Mooney Falls Nantahala National Forest, NC
miles
LENGTH 0.3 MILES
DIFFICULTY 0.5 Easy
DURATION 15 minutes
ELEVATION GAIN
70
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Mooney Falls

A powerful 15 foot falls roars along Hemp Patch Branch deep in the Nantahala National Forest on this short trail. This is a perfect quick hike to combine with other hikes in the area like Albert Mountain, Pickens Nose or Big Laurel Falls.

Park along the Forest Service road at the sign for the falls. The trail begins at the sign, heading down a couple short switchbacks. After about 350 feet the trail splits. Straight takes you to the top of the falls and to the right, below the falls.

At the base of Mooney Falls you'll get the best view of this small but powerful waterfall. Be careful along wet rocks here as you venture closer at the very end of the trail. As a short trail that doesn't pull a big crowd, there's a good chance you'll have it all to yourself.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0 ft
0 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
255 ft
19 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
263 ft
29 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
135 ft
21 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
90 ft
18 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
Navigation
0.0 mi
0.0 mi - Trailhead
350 ft
350 ft - Split Stay straight for the top of the falls, turn right to access the base of the falls.
0.14 mi
0.14 mi - Base of the Falls
Details
length0.3 miles
difficulty0.5 Easy
duration15 minutes
features Dog Friendly  Waterfall 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeNone
elevation gain70 ft.
park/forestNantahala National Forest
ranger districtNantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
828-524-6441
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.028845, -83.497952 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°1.73, W 83°29.88 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°1'44'', N 35°1'44'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.028845, -83.497952 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°1.73, W 83°29.88 most GPS units use this one
N 35°1'44'', N 35°1'44'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
From the US-64 side you will have to cross a concrete slab ford. I was able to make it in a sedan but after heavy rain a 4WD vehicle may be necessary. The Forest Service roads in general are fine for 2WD low ground clearance vehicles but coming from the US-23 side may be a little rougher as it is steeper and can get washed out.
Parking Capacity
4-5 vehicles.
Notes
Be careful around wet slippery rocks at the base of the falls.
Nearby Hikes
Similar Hikes
Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4 (1)
hikethesouth-2 weeks ago
Make It A Combo
This isn't worth the drive just for this hike, unless you just want a nice forest drive and a short hike. But this is great to combine with the other amazing hikes in the area. Albert Mountain, Pickens Nose, or Big Laurel Falls are all within minutes of this hike.
Easy | Hiked Spring 2019
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