It was another 1000 vertical foot day. Just for reference, the observation deck on the CN tower is 1100 feet up.
Crabtree Creek descends 1800 feet into the Tye River, with many cascades and 5 waterfalls. The entire trail follows 1500 feet of that. You can start at the top or the bottom. We chose the bottom to be going downwards on the way back.
It was a pretty tough trail, especially after yesterday. We climbed the 1000 feet in only 1.7 miles to the top of Crabtree Falls, making for a 3.4 mile round trip.
The forecast had called for afternoon rain, which never did appear. It was a grey morning and early afternoon but very humid. The sun came out after we were done and it got very hot.
The first, short, part of the trail is paved out to the first waterfall.
It was a dark enough day that it was easy to take the blurred water pictures.
From here on we did a series of very steep switchbacks that eventually took us to the top of Crabtree Falls. You would get a view of the falls and then do one of the switchbacks into the forest to come out at the next view, significantly higher up the creek.
The first switchback was still fairly civilized. It was wide and smooth.
It had real wooden steps in the very steep section.
A nice wide viewpoint.
It was only a short way (no switchback) to the next one.
There were signs everywhere about not leaving the trail to climb on the rocks so I was a bit limited as to the locations I could take a shot. Supposedly 20 people have died from falling at various spots here.
Now the longer switchbacks started.
We cheated a bit at the next stop. The view upwards was pretty obstructed.
For a better look, there was a short side path, that it looked like everyone took and seemed pretty safe.
The view downwards at most of the viewpoints was lousy because the falls were so steep.
The creek starts to flatten out for a very short time.
The trail did not.
On the next switchback we came to a cave / tunnel.
Coming out the other side of the tunnel.
There was not much to see at the next turn by the falls. I guess it was too steep for a viewpoint. It was tough to photograph as well, with the very bright falls and very dark forest.
The next was more interesting.
Under a big boulder, there were hundred of little rock piles.
None of them were very artistic.
The final viewpoint before the top was part way up the actual Crabtree Falls. You couldn’t see much of the falls. Removing one or two trees would have made a world of difference. It was also really dangerous to go out on the rocks for a better angle.
Our final destination and lunch spot was just over the crest.
The final push to the top.
Almost there. Every 1/10 of a mile they had one of these markers.
Early on they were a discouragement. “WHAT! We climbed this far and have only gone 3/10 of a mile.”
After half way they were an encouragement. We almost turned around part way up because it was so steep and so humid but because we knew that we were past halfway we persisted.
You couldn’t actually see the falls from the top. This is the best we could do.
But there was a nice place to have lunch with a view of the valley and the Blue Ridge with the Parkway on the other side.
Here is the non existent view of the falls from the lookout wall.
We rested for quite a while. I even stretched out for a short nap on the rocks before we headed back down. SO much easier.
We had left the car at about 10:30 am and got back at around 2 pm.