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Once I found the Roaring Fork Falls trail, it was stuck in my head and I was determined to see it. I really don’t know why, it wasn’t one of the most amazing waterfalls ever, but I just really wanted to go.
We planned to do it the same day at Grassy Creek Falls and Crabtree Falls but by the time we finished those two hikes, it was getting kind of late and wee were both pretty tired so we called it a day and headed back to Boone.
Instead, we decided to do this hike on our way from Boone to Asheville. This was on a Saturday in October and we took the Blue Ridge Parkway which took FOREVER. We left probably mid-day and it took like, two hours to go 8 miles.
The traffic was insane. I would never recommend driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on a weekend in October. Unless sitting in traffic and searching for parking spots is a hobby of yours, of course.
Once we made it through the traffic, it was smooth sailing to the trailhead. We found it easily and there was only one or two other cars there. Of course, one of the groups was starting the hike at the same time.
It was a pretty easy hike, a little rocky, rooty, and leafy, but not muddy or difficult. It was very straightforward, just the one trail, no forks.
There was a little trail to the right of the bottom of the falls that looks like it could go to the top of the falls. We went up it a little but it didn’t seem to go anywhere (if you know it does, let me know in the comments!)
While we were investigating up there the other group got to the falls and was taking pictures at the bottom. There were like six people all taking pictures of each other, taking forever.
I managed to sneak out onto the rocks and get some pictures without them but they just weren’t leaving or moving. It was quite annoying but I got some that were good enough so whatever.
PSA: if you’re at an attraction and there are other people there that obviously want to take pictures of it, take your pictures and let the other people have a turn. When they’re done, you can finish your pictures or take more or whatever. Don’t hog the view!
After getting the pictures, we headed back out the way we came and off we went, Asheville bound for even more waterfall chasing.
Where is the Roaring Fork Falls trailhead?
The trailhead isn’t too far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s about 1.5 hours from Boone, about 50 minutes from Linville Falls, and about an hour from Asheville. It’s a great stop between Boone and Asheville (that’s when we saw it.)
How long is the Roaring Fork Falls hike?
The Roaring Fork Falls trail is just 1.4 miles round-trip with only 127 feet of elevation gain so this is a pretty easy waterfall hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s perfect if you want a quickish stop to stretch your legs and see something cool. I don’t think you can get to the top of the falls, at least not that I saw.
How long do you need for the Roaring Fork Falls hike?
An hour should be plenty of time. We had to wait at the bottom of the falls for a while because there was a group of people taking their sweet time taking pictures of each other.
What to bring on the Roaring Fork Falls hike
Water bottle – It’ll be hot and you’ll need to stay hydrated. Even if it’s not hot you need to stay hydrated. A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.
Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes. A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.
Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are. Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.
Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen. I like the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch a lot AND it’s reef safe! If you’re sensitive to fragrance though, it’s not a good choice. I also like the same one but specifically for your face.
Light Jacket – Because you just never know. Weather can change quickly depending on where you are, time of day, and season. I usually use my rain jacket for this.
Good hiking shoes – If you’re hiking when it’s warmer, Chacos will be good. If it’s fall, muddy, or a little cooler out, you’ll want closed toe shoes.
Is the Roaring Fork Falls trail worth it?
I think so! It’s not my favorite waterfall in North Carolina but I’m glad we stopped to see it. It is a cool waterfall but there isn’t much room for people at the bottom. It’s definitely worth seeing, though. I think it deserves a spot on your North Carolina bucket list, for sure.
Have you been to Roaring Fork Falls? What did you think of it? Do you want to go?