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Southern Highlands Waterfall Day Hiking, SC/NC


When people think of the Southern States, they often think of hot, steamy days and lazy rivers draped with Spanish moss. But not everyone knows that the Northwestern corner of South Carolina where it borders North Carolina contains a veritable cornucopia of magnificent waterfalls. An annual rainfall of around 80 inches -- only matched only by the Pacific northwest -- guarantees abundant water to feed these waterfalls. Southern Living Magazine describes them as ”tumbling like ribbons flowing over granite outcrops tucked into the craggy terrain of South Carolina’s upcountry”.

Our trip will take you to 12 of the most impressive and easiest to access falls in both South and North Carolina. Careening 411 feet, Upper Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies and we will certainly visit both Upper and Lower Whitewater Falls. As it's June, we expect to be able to enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool waters of many of the pools we visit. As a bonus, Spring and early Summer wildflowers will be in bloom.

We will establish our base camp at Burrell’s Ford campground on the Chattooga River of Deliverance fame, so it’s possible we could hear banjo music. The Chattooga River was the first river to receive "wild and scenic" designation in the country. If you care to obtain a fishing license, you can try your luck in the river. Your guides will be more than happy to prepare your fresh trout for dinner.


Weather is always an important consideration when hiking. August in the Carolinas is hot, so expect to spend much of the trip splashing around in the waterfalls. Daily temperatures are typically in the 80s & 90s but may hit 100. Nights are expected to be in the 50s. Please come prepared for the possibility of rain or hot temperatures. Here is the historical weather

Probable Trip Leaders

Bruce Cannon
2nd Guide TBD


Although the trails may be rugged at times, there's usually clear and solid footing for stability and traction. Furthermore, we will only be carring about 10 pounds or less each day making the hiking more attainable to most people.


$1525 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Greenville, SC (GSP) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides. If you drive, the hotel may charge you for parking your car there all week.

Covered expenses include 6 days of trail meals (that guides prepare for you), 6 nights in Burrell's Ford campground, 1 hotel night, ground transportation to each trail, permits, campground fees and awesome guides.

Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.


This trip is Day Hiking / Base Camping only/

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Sunday, August 20, 2023

Drive or fly into Greenville, SC (GSP). The best time to arrive is between around 9AM-1PM. However, if you can have done your online equipment shakedown and can be ready to go without much delay (by around 4PM) then you can arrive later.

Call for a free shuttle to our local hotel where we'll gather the group (TBD)

Mini equipment shakedown. We will have already done the major shakedown pre-trip virtually

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Make-Your-Own Trail mix bar

Go to REI Greenville, 1140 Woodruff Rd Ste 400, Greenville, SC 29607, (864) 297-0588 for last minute equipment if necessary

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in a storage unit.

Shuttle to Burell's Ford campground on the Chattooga River/Foothills Trail

Along the way, go out for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

Set up base camp for the week

Monday, August 21, 2023

From camp, day hike 3 round trip miles to King's Creek Falls and Spoon Auger Falls

Camp at Burrell's Ford campground, site(s) TBD

Today’s mileage: 3. Total miles: 3

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Shuttle to Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel

Day-Hike 4 miles to Issaquena Falls and Yellow Branch Falls

Camp at Burrell's Ford, site(s) TBD, elevation 2100'.

Today’s mileage: 4. Total miles: 7

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Shuttle to Upper & Lower Whitewater Falls

Hike 6 miles to Upper & Lower Whitewater Falls

Camp at Burrell's Ford, site(s) TBD, elevation 2100'.

Today’s mileage: 6. Total miles: 13

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Shuttle to Panthertown Valley

Hike 6 miles to Wilderness Falls, Granny Burrell Falls, and Schoolhouse Falls

We will lunch atop Tranquility Point just above Schoolhouse Falls and overlooking Panthertown Valley

Camp at Burrell's Ford, site(s) TBD, elevation 2100'.

Today’s mileage: 6. Total miles: 19

Friday, August 25, 2023

Shuttle to the Foothills Trail at Laurel Valley

Hike 3.5 miles Virginia Hawkins Falls and Twin Falls.

Time permitting: Hike 3 miles to Beech Bottom Falls, not far from Virginia Hawkins Falls

Camp at Burrell's Ford, site(s) TBD, elevation 2100'.

Today’s mileage: 6.5. Total miles: 25.5

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Break camp and pack everything up

Shuttle to Station Cove Falls

Hike 1.5 miles to Station Cove Falls

Today’s mileage: 1.5. Total miles: 27

End of hike

Shuttle back to Greenville. Check into local hotel TBD

Your off-trail items will be retrieved from storage

After measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip price)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Either there will be a free Airport Shuttle or we will drive you or we'll pay for a shared cab / Uber

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