Hike Crabtree Falls

Details

Distance

4 miles

Elevation Gain

1000 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Lucas Moore

Explore the largest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. This hike is great for both family and dogs, so bring the group.

This is an approximately 4 mile roundtrip hike. It will usually take anywhere from 1-2 hours to get up, depending on your experience and who you have with you, and about an hour down. As you come off of route 56, you will come up to the trailhead where there is a large parking area with restrooms. There is a $3.00 parking fee per vehicle that is on the honor system. You put your money into the container and take a pass to hang inside your car.

As the trail starts, it is paved for the first quarter mile or so as it comes to the first waterfall at the lower falls. It is a great place to go and see a waterfall without having to do much rough hiking. From here on out the trail is dirt meandering back and forth through the woods. It can get steep with some jagged rocks at some points and there can be places where the ice hasn't melted depending on the season you go in.

CAUTION: There are signs everywhere that tell you to stay on the trail and to not wander off near the falls because the rocks are very slippery. There have been plenty of deaths that result from it, usually one every couple years or so. I know that most people will wander off the trail, I do so myself, you pretty much have if you want any decent photos. I'm not advising it, but if you do be extra careful and know your limits.

Around 3/4 of a mile in you come the largest falls of the lower section that are over 200 feet! Then at a mile in, you reach the middle section of the falls, until about 1.5 miles where you get to the base of the upper falls. Then about the 2 mile mark, you reach the summit where you will cross a bridge and see a stone wall. There you have an awesome view of the Tye River Gorge. From there you can go back down the trail or continue on. There is Crabtree Falls Trail which has good campsites that continues beyond the waterfalls that goes for about 1.5 miles farther to reach Crabtree Meadows if you want to go farther.

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Know for

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Nearby

Reviews

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My first ever hike

Whew what a beautiful site! I went for my 22nd birthday as a milestone in my health journey. I just got to say if this a a good beginner hike I’m scared to see what the next level hike is because holy sh*t! My calves were BURNING! Granite I over packed my bag but my poor dog had to drag me up that trail less then half way in! Nevertheless, I did not quit my fat a$$ kept going and got to the top and shooowee it was worth it the view is breathtaking, the trail itself is absolutely gorgeous. However I must say go early bc it does get a little crowded as the day goes on I started at 10am and finished the trail around 1pm. Me and my sweet pup almost rolled down the trail to finish and then barely made it to our car and cried once we did. My pup shed a tear and then demanded to never do that again... we have several more planned for next year!

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πŸ₯‡Top Contributor

5 months ago

Dry falls, but still fun!

Unfortunately we visited during a dry spell and there was just a trickle of water. But it was still a fun hike in the Virginia mountains! PS- Check out Crabtree Falls Campground and get a site along the river!

Foggy Morning Hike

Drove up in late August and did the hike for the first time. Weather was low 70s with complete overcast and a late morning mist and fog still on the mountains. It actually made for an amazing day as there was very little traffic in the trail. Quiet and serene, you were able to almost have the entire place to yourself. Next time I plan to extend the hike out to another location for a longer day.

almost 2 years ago

Mark Johnson

I have hiked this dozens of times year round.its a very special place and made a lot of memories here

πŸ₯ˆ Contributor

about 3 years ago

Crabtree Falls

Did this hike March of last year - not many people. This hike is pretty unique since you're hiking next to the waterfall the entire way up. Many opportunities to stop and take pictures. Perfect for all ages.

829 total saves

4.5/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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