Solitary Experience - Snowbird Wilderness - Uphillhike
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Solitary Experience – Snowbird Wilderness

Middle Falls (Snowbird Creek)

How many days have you hiked without seeing another person? If not days, how many hours? On this January weekend, I hiked for 2 days through the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area without seeing another person. In fact, I didn’t see people or vehicles at the trailhead parking area. I didn’t even see people or vehicles along the 4 – 5 mile length of the one lane  unpaved Forest Service Road 75 that leads to “Junction” the start of Snowbird Creek (Trail 64).

Post a comment and let us know the longest period of time you have gone without seeing another human. Where were you and how was the weather? Bad weather is a major factor that explains why you might be the only fool out in the woods.

I was off with clear skies and cold temps (26 degrees F). From the Big Snowbird Creek parking area the trail follows the creek upstream on an easily walked wide path (former railroad bed).  Beyond Big Falls a nice footbridge crosses the rushing creek. When I was there, the flow of the creek was such that it could be crossed, but only with care and even then with difficulty. There is no rock hopping this creek. I avoided all crossings by taking the 64A trail.

The several trails that make up the small network of trails around Big Snowbird Creek and Sassafras Creek are practically, out and back trails. The trailhead at Junction has a large National Geographic map posted on a sign which shows several possibilities for loops leading back to Junction via the Kings MeadowTrail; however, I suspect that those loop routes are difficult if not impossible to find. I plan to return in order to explore loop possibilities. My first order of business will be to hike Kings Meadow trail the 7.9 miles up to 5400 foot Hooper Bald just off the Cherehola Parkway.


This map appears on the sign at the turnabout on the end of FS 75 at the trailheads for Snowbird Creek (64) and King Meadows (63) trail heads are located. Trail 154 could be used to make a loop, but I wasn’t able to find my way up 64 much past Meadow Creek.

Beautiful Bridge at first crossing of Snowbird Creek. Just beyond bridge you have to choose continuing on trail 64 with 11 creek crossings in a little over a mile, or trail 64A with no creek crossings. Don’t stop here, because Middle Falls is next and it is the best!

Hipster Mobile


After setting up my tent and when I was losing light, I noticed a shape moving in my direction through the rhodo undergrowth and up the hill. I got up thinking, this can’t be a bear. Earlier in the day I had seen a half dozen or more hunting dogs. A dog poked his nose from the bushes. This dog couldn’t be convinced to join me. The dog spent the night under rhododendron about 25 feet down the hill from my tent. He only reluctantly came out the next morning. It was then that I discovered a big slash across the shoulder. Later on that day the dog was chasing his nose through the woods. I guess the injury didn’t bother him too much.

Getting There:

Link to Google Map Directions: Robbinsville, NC to Snowbird Trail Head

Turn by Turn Directions

From Robbinsville, NC just as you are entering town on Hwy 129 (coming from Topton, Andrews direction) turn right on East Main Street

Head north on US-129 N toward 5 Point Rd
568 ft
Turn left onto E Main St
0.264 mi
Turn left onto S Main St
604 ft
Turn right onto Junaluska Rd
0.343 mi
Turn left onto Snowbird Rd
4.73 mi
Turn left to stay on Snowbird Rd
2.10 mi
Sharp left to stay on Snowbird Rd
(Look out for a 180 degree turn on Snowbird Road that descends immediately following the turn. There is no sign and it is easy to miss. )
1.02 mi
Immediately after a crossing bridge, turn right on a small road (Big Snowbird Road) with one-lane bridge. Cross the one-lane bridge. You will also see a sign at this junction that shows “Little Snowbird” straight ahead and Big Snowbird to the right. The key is to look for the one lane bridge on right.
Continue straight onto Big Snowbird Rd
This road eventually turns into one lane unpaved Forest Service Road 75 with occasional campsites alongside Snowbird Creek. The road dead ends at a turnabout where there is a campsite and trailhead sign.
4.09 mi (plus another 4 – 5 miles after Big Snowbird Rd turns into FS 75.)