1-20-07 Mashbox and Misty Falls lie within Caesar's Head State Park, but are relatively unknown waterfalls. Even though they are very close to Hwy 276, they are rather difficult to get to. There is no trail to either of these waterfalls. My pal Bernie heard about these falls from Bob Julian and proceeded to investigate shortly afterwards. He then brought a small group of us back to share the find.
Directions: From Brevard, drive south on Hwy 276 to the South Carolina state line. From the state line, continue for 5.1 miles to a left turn on a gravel drive just before a very sharp curve to the left. You will have passed the parking for Raven Cliff Falls and the visitor's center at Caesar's Head. Just remember that if you park here, when you come back out you will have a blind curve to pull out in. You risk being creamed by some idiot flying up the road. We did park in here and just listened for traffic coming around the curve. You might opt to find a safer place along 276 to pull off. If you drive too far, you'll pass where the Pinnacle Pass Trail crosses the highway. If you can pull off in here somewhere, you can take the Pinnacle Pass Trail east towards that gravel road. Once on that gravel drive, we just pulled a short ways in and parked on the mound. There's a gate here and the road down eventually meets up with the Pinnacle Pass Trail coming down from 276.
From here, the trail (road) drops in elevation in a series of switchbacks. At the end of the switchbacks we could hear the sounds of the creek to our left, and this is where we left the trail. In the summer you might not hear the creek because of the foliage. The land has become flatter in this area and we just worked our way back through the woods. At one point we picked up an old overgrown logging road that led to a fork in the creek. The main creek is Oil Camp Creek but if you have the Mountain Bridge Wilderness area map, you can see that the creek forks as it heads up the mountains and towards 276. If you don't have the map, you can get a copy at the visitor's center if it's open. From this fork area, I could look up the left fork and see Misty Falls way up there. Harry and I headed up for a look while Bernie and John continued up to the slightly easier to get to Mashbox Falls. Misty Falls drops over 100' in several sections, but the falls is cluttered with downfall. I expect that in greener weather, the falls would be very difficult to see through the foliage. It also might be more of a trickle during drier times. Getting to this point for a shot was very difficult because it's so steep.
From here we crossed to the right side of the creek and followed the ridge over to the other fork. We spotted Bernie and John and followed them up to the 50' Mashbox Falls. The best view is from the right side. If you look closely in the 1st picture, you can spot John's blue jacket through the trees. It's pretty steep over this way also, so please be careful if you decide to go. Here's the view John was looking at.
At this point we decided it would be quicker to just head straight up the mountain to Hwy 276, then walk back down to the road. It is quicker, but the land here is extremely steep. One slip and you could tumble down the mountain with not much to stop you - except a tree or 2.
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