Harper Creek Trail
Harper Creek
Harper Creek Rapids
Harper Creek Falls

The first part of this trail, about 1.4 miles, is split into two trails. The Harper Creek Falls trail ends at an overlook point just above the Harper Creek Falls and the Harper Creek Trail branches off to the right for a five mile hike to a gravel road west of the falls. This split is marked with a steel post and sign. The two trails share the same path for most of the hike but splits off and crosses one another in several areas so it is best to keep to the left when encountering a split to reach the overlook point. This trail is rated as difficult. The first 2 tenths of the trail is a steady climb from 1385 feet to about 1640 feet (consult the map at the bottom of the page for a detail description). Some parts of the trail have been eroded by heavy rains and rock slides. The overlook point has several trees blocking the path (as of April 2016)but they are easy to duck under or crawl over.

Note: Click on the pictures for a larger view or here to scroll through the photo gallery consisting of 19 photos.
  • Trailhead

    There is a warning sign of the danger of flash floods at the trailhead off the gravel Brown Moutain Beach Road. The parking lot is not paved and holds around a dozen cars. The trailhead is about a mile north of the Wilson Creek Visitor Center. The trail is steep and rocky for 2 tenths of a mile with few stairs in spots. Last photo is of the parking lot from the first steep climb.

  • Trail Erosion

    There are several areas where the trail has been washed away and require careful crossing, finding an alternate path to take or a bit of rock climbing. The third photo is looking down at the trail and the fourth photo is looking back up after climbing down. It is about a six foot drop.

  • Harper Creek

    For the most part the trail is above the creek and hidden from view through the forest. There are several steep trails leading down to the creek used by fishermen. Hiking along the creek looks to be very rocky with steep cliffs which would require you to wade in the creek in places. At one point, just below the falls, I tried to climb down a path but the cliff face was too smooth and slippery towards the bottom to reach the creek banks.

  • Fallen Trees

    Just before you reach the overlook area of the falls there are numerous fallen trees. They are easily passable by ducking under or crawling over. This trip was taken in April 2016. I am not sure how often these trails are maintained or when the fallen trees will be removed. The only problem caused were from the ones that fell in the overlook area. It would prevent a large group from viewing the falls at one time.The fallen trees in the background is where the trail ends.

  • Harper Falls

    The falls are in two sections totaling about 50 feet that slide down the bedrock rather than fall vertically into a large plunge basin. There is a very steep path heading down to the basin but the foot of this cliff is smooth rock. There is a rope tied there to aid in descending to the basin but I found the rock too slippery and was unable to get a proper foothold. I took the picture below from the top of this rock where the rope is tied off.

  • Harper Creek Map

    This is a scan of the map I obtained from alltrails.com. There is a free membership and they also offer a more feature rich premium membership. I recommend this site for obtaining topographical maps of trails before you go on a hike.