4-17-05 - Corbin Creek Falls is a lesser known series of cascades just to the east of Whitewater Falls. It tumbles about 400-600' from Hwy 281 north of the Whitewater River into the river below Whitewater Falls. The entire series of cascades can only be seen from the air, so I wouldn't consider it a 600' waterfall. You can see the bottom part of the falls without too much difficulty. Head to the viewing platform for Whitewater Falls and continue down the steep trail to the river. Cross the bridge and take the trail to the right. In less than 1/4 mile, you'll come to a footbridge at the base of the falls. That next photo is from a previous trip.
Some time ago, Harry and I tried to climb up from this point to see some more of the cascades. We headed up the right side and didn't really make it too far. Close to the creek, rock walls closed in fast and we decided to nix the attempt and go some place else. It was a feeble attempt I admit. We could have tried the other side or gone away from the creek and up. Anyhow, we decided a couple of weeks ago to give it another try - this time from the top. Bear in mind that this is all off trail and there is a risk of death and other nasty things. The terrain is very steep, rocky, and gnarly. If you have never been off trail, you have no business trying this. Remember, if you get hurt, other people have to risk their lives climbing down in here to drag you out. If you like to go off trail, please disturb as little flora as possible. There are rare plants in this area.
We accessed the creek from Hwy 281 south of Lake Toxaway. Drive down 7 miles from Hwy 64 and park in a gravel pull out on the left. Head over the mound and into this very flat area of the forest. Go straight back and you'll soon come where the land falls off quickly. It's maybe 100' down to the river. We headed a bit to the left and down at this point and ended up a bit south of west of where we parked. As luck would have it, there was a pretty nice set of cascades.
We crossed the creek at this point and got up on that rock for this view -
From here we crossed back over and continued down creek to the top section of the waterfall. The land drops off dramatically from this point on.
It was too steep right at the creek to continue down from this point, so we headed back into the woods a bit, then descended. We noticed a place where it appeared someone else had scrambled down, so we did the same and came out at the base of this 20' drop.
We were so close to the falls I couldn't get the whole thing in, so we decided to cross to the other side. There's a huge boulder on the opposite side which squeezes the creek into a narrow chute. It's behind the branches in the next photo. There wasn't really a good place to get a shot from this side either, but there's one anyway.
Back on the other side, we continued down to the next level. Just above where we ended up, there's a nice flat chunk of rock that hangs out over the creek. We figured that might be a nice place to hang out, so we headed up to it and out on it. Just above us was that big boulder. We estimated it to be 20-25' high!
At the end of the rock we were now on, we could peek over and see the creek spilling another 20-25' to the next level. This next shot only shows the creek below the cascade as it levels off and then disappears over another drop.
At this point we knew we didn't have enough time to do much more exploring, so we decided to hang out a bit more, then headed back up. When I got back to the house and plugged the GPS into the computer, I saw we had barely even scratched the surface of this series of cascades. The story will be continued later this year...
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