Chasteen Creek Falls
A great stop for campers staying at Smokemont Campground, Chasteen Creek Falls boasts gorgeous wildflowers in late spring and a challenging hike year round.
The cascade, fed by its namesake creek, has a drop of about 16 feet, and isn't far from several backcountry campsites and the Cabin Flats Trail spur, for backpacking enthusiasts. If you're fine with a little soreness the next day, use the falls as a starting point and follow the Falls Side Trail, Chasteen Creek Trail, Hughes Ridge Trail and Bradley Fork Trail, successively, for a 17.2-mile hike.
Begin on Bradley Fork Trail at the gate. The trail is an old park auto road that follows the lazy Bradley Fork, so it’s wide and has easy grades. At 1.18 miles, you’ll come to a fork. Turn right on Chasteen Creek Trail. You’ll soon pass a backcountry campsite. At 0.18 mile from the fork, you’ll cross Chasteen Creek on a wide footbridge. About 0.5 mile from the bridge, take the side trail that forks left. After passing a horse-hitching rail, continue on a path heading upstream. You’ll reach the falls 0.1 mile from Chasteen Creek Trail.
Leave No Trace -- Seven Principles1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more details, visit www.lnt.org
©1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Heed posted warning signs indicating danger and stay on established trails. Never climb on or around waterfalls and never play in the water above a waterfall. Rocks can be slippery and it's easy to lose your balance especially with bare feet. Currents near waterfalls can be extremely swift even in areas further upstream. Never jump off waterfalls or dive into plunge pools at the base of waterfalls. Rocks and logs can be hidden beneath the surface of the water. Often waterfall pools have swirling water or currents that can drag and keep you underwater. Even if you have seen other people enjoy playing around waterfalls, be aware they have been lucky to escape unharmed. Waterfalls are constantly changing with varying water flows and erosion of the rocks around them. The current from one place to the next may be faster than you anticipate and the arrangement of rocks or other debris such as logs in the plunge pool is ever changing.