Falls of Big Creek in Shenandoah National Park – Page County
The amazing Falls of Big Creek are no longer secret per say, but receive only a handful of waterfall enthusiasts every year.
The reason is simple. It is a very tough, lonely and sometimes dangerous hike down to Big Creek. I will say the section down to the Creek is doable for most experienced hikers wearing proper gear, but once you turn upstream towards the Falls it becomes quite challenging.
It is roughly 2.8 miles (one-way) from the trailhead to the waterfalls.
There are three major waterfalls to enjoy but I have not explored the top section nor the lower part of Big Creek – meaning there could be more waterfalls waiting to be discovered! Get out there and explore, friends!
The lower Falls (#3) is the first one I encountered and it is the largest and most impressive. #2 and #1 are relatively close to each other and smaller but very scenic.
You can reach the Falls from a limited parking area from Jollett Road in Elkton but I am describing the trail from the top and back.
Park at Hazeltop Ridge Overlook at mile 54.5. Look for a trail marker in the center of the overlook. This is the Powell Mountain Trailhead.
Always study my Virginia Waterfall Map for precise locations.
Hike down the blue-blazed Powell Mountain Trail for 1.67 miles where you cross a small creek. It is a very quiet and seldom used trail so it may be overgrown at times and covered with spider webs!
Turn left after the crossing and bushwhack down the mountain – always keep the creek on your left and stay close to it. You can see this section on the trail map marked in light green.
After roughly 0.6 miles following the right bank of a side creek, you will reach Big Creek. It is time to turn left, cross the unknown side creek and follow Big Creek upstream (I stayed on the left bank) where you will encounter waterfall #3, #2 and #1 in order!
Note my GPS trail on the map above. At times you have to swing wide away from the Creek in order to scale the high cliffs safely.
Afterwards, retrace you steps or bushwhack back to Powell Mountain Trail – it is very rough country I can tell you now!