11-3-17 Mashbox Falls, Misty Falls, and Evans Falls lie within Caesar's Head State Park, but are relatively unknown waterfalls. Even though they are very close to US276 south of the visitor center, there's no trail to these falls and the novice hiker might find the bushwhack rather difficult. Seasoned off trail explorers probably won't have much problem getting to these. My pal Bernie brought me to these waterfalls back in 2007, and I finally made a return trip in November 2017 to get updated pictures and video.
Directions: From Brevard, NC, drive south on US276 into South Carolina and on to the Caesars Head State Park visitor center. From there, drive about 2.2 miles farther south and park on the right in a pull off just before a very sharp curve to the left. There's enough room for probably 4-5 vehicles. If you are coming from SC11, drive north on 276 for 5.0 miles to the sharp curve to the right and the pull off will be on the left. There's a gravel drive on the inside part of that curve and that's where the hike begins. I used to have in the directions to pull into that road and park, but there's a huge tree blocking the road a short way down and you would have a hard time turning around.
Begin the hike from the parking area by heading south on 276 to the curve and the gravel road on the left. A short ways down is the big tree (unless they cut it out at some point) that you have to crawl over. Not too far down from that is a green gate. From here you have 2 choices - steep and longer distance to see the waterfalls, or even steeper and shorter distance. On this past trip, I went down the longer and came back up the shorter. If you choose the steeper route, hike almost 1/4 mile down the gravel road to a bend in the road to the right. You will have hiked near the creek up to the bend, then in the bend notice that the creek drops off and listen for the sound of the very top of Misty Falls. Don't go towards the top of the falls, but leave the road and head down the top of the ridge line parallel to the creek. Pass some thick laurel shrub, then try to work your way to the left side of the ridge line down to the middle of the waterfall. You'll have to get far enough left to see the waterfall through the trees, then determine if you want to sidehill it over for a better look. It's very steep. Misty Falls drops over 100' in several sections and I made it to a spot with the view below. There's a lower section of the falls not in this shot and you have to look closely to see the upper section. This is a low flow creek, so try to go after some decent rainfall.
From here, go back to the top of the ridge line and continue to the bottom - a 300' drop in elevation. At the bottom, you'll be on an overgrown old logging road. Head to the left and in a very short distance arrive at a point where the creek Misty Falls is on and the creek that Mashbox Falls is on come together. If you decide to come down from the road via the longer and less steep way, you'll miss the view above unless you choose to head up from the bottom. (Both ways down get you to that same point where the 2 creeks meet.) From the road above, continue past the steeper descent for another 0.4 miles to a red gate. You will have passed where the white blazed Pinnacle Pass Trail comes in from the right, so you are now on the Pinnacle Pass Trail. Just before the red gate, look on the left for some rocks at another ridge line. Head down this ridge line, but when you get near the bottom, begin heading to the left through the woods. Head north towards the sound of Oil Camp Creek and you should pick up that old logging road that will take you up creek towards the point where the 2 creeks meet. You will only have dropped 200' in elevation from the road because you were losing elevation as you were walking down the road. If you want a view of all of Misty Falls that's best seen when there are no leaves on the trees, at the point where the 2 creeks meet, cross the creek on the left that Misty Falls is on and continue up through the woods on the right side of the creek. I'll bet this would be an awesome sight after a lot of rain!
Evans Falls is on the same creek that Mashbox Falls is on, but this creek doesn't have a name. It's a short distance up the creek from Oil Camp Creek - you just have to find a good way to get to it. I did it by crossing Oil Camp Creek and working my way up the right side of no-name creek. I came to a small cascade first, then Evans Falls is above that. It's a really nice 15' falls that we missed on out 1st visit to this area and well worth a stop.
There's also a nice cascade above Evans Falls that offers numerous shooting possibilities. From the left side of Evans Falls, head left up the bank away from the falls, then back towards the creek above the falls towards the cascade. Here's what you should see.
There's another small cascade above this and then it's about 1/4 mile farther up the creek to Mashbox Falls. The old road you were on before Evans Falls is up to your left, but it has faded to not much of anything at this point. Pick and choose what is your easiest path for getting up the creek. Once you reach the waterfall, there isn't a clear shot to be had from the left side looking up at the falls. The best view is from the right side up the very steep bank to about the middle of the waterfall where I took the first picture on this page and the one below. The last picture is from my first trip and is from the left side through the trees. Look closely for a person in the middle right of the shot which will give you some perspective on the size of this wonderful waterfall!
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