Crabtree Falls is located in the Crabtree Meadows Recreation Area at
Milepost 339.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 3 miles south of Little
Switzerland) and is accessed by a 2.5 mile moderate loop hiking trail.
The wooded hike is a beautiful walk. The 70-foot waterfall is definitely
To access the hiking trail, watch for signs for the
Crabtree Meadows Camping area. Near the entrance is a gift shop, along
with helpful workers if you have questions. Follow the road into the
campground about 1/4 mile. Just past a small info booth, you will see a
parking lot on the right with a sign for the Crabtree Falls Trailhead.
The camping area is closed in the off season (November through mid
April), so you may have to park outside the gate and walk in an extra
1/4 mile. Take the trail from the parking area to a 'T' intersection.
The trail to the right is shorter and somewhat easier. It's mostly
downhill to the waterfall (just under a mile).
A bridge over the
creek in front of the falls offers great views. There are even better
views on the other side of the creek, and you can walk up to the base of
the falls. The photos on this page were taken after a good bit of rain.
So the water flow is much less during dryer times of the year.
can either return the same trail or complete the loop (adds an extra
1/2 mile) by climbing the stairs across Big Crabtree Creek and
continuing up and along the creek for the 1.6-mile hike back to the
parking area. The first part just after the waterfall is the steepest.
When you get closer to the campground, spur trails will head off to the
right into the campground, but continue to the left until you get to the
'T' - turn right to get back to the parking area.