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Panthertown Valley Loop

Intermediate
 4.1 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A relatively easy hike that has a few waterfalls and stunning vistas.


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Map Key

5.5

Miles

8.8

KM

Loop

4,062' 1,238 m

High

3,649' 1,112 m

Low

822' 250 m

Up

791' 241 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Swimming · Views · Waterfall

Overview

What makes this 6.0 mile loop so interesting is the diversity of terrain. There are high alpine bogs, stunning waterfalls, granite overlooks, and a variety of unique fauna within the 6.0 miles.

Description

From the Salt Rock Trailhead, follow the gravel road down into the valley. At 0.1 miles, you'll come to an overlook known as Salt Rock. From here, you can see the entire valley of Panthertown.

Continue down the gravel road and look for a trail to the right marked as Mac's Gap Trail #482. Follow this narrow trail into a deciduous forest and eventually into a beautiful pine forest. At 1.3 miles, there is a spur trail to the right. Granny Burrel Falls is only about 200 yards down the spur. Backtrack to Mac's Gap Trail #482 and continue along the valley floor to Little Green Trail #485 (2.3 miles). Take a left on Little Green Trail, which starts as a moderate climb but gets steep, ascending a series of steps up the side of Little Green.

Once on the top, the trail follows the contour of the ridge line, and one must navigate across barren rock which can be a little difficult to follow. Watch for faint white arrows painted on the rock's surface and occasionally a green marker nailed to a tree or an exposed root. There are some tremendous views of the valley along this stretch.

After taking in the view of Tranquility Point, follow the steep trail down the backside of the mountain to School House Falls. After leaving School House Falls, the trail is on a raised boardwalk for a short stretch. Then comes to the Panthertown Valley Trail #474. Turn left and follow the trail back to Salt Rock trailhead.

Contacts

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Hiking Project Staff

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 11 votes

#2372

Overall
  4.1 from 11 votes
5 Star
9%
4 Star
91%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2,372

Overall
341 Views Last Month
5,688 Since Nov 26, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Schoolhouse Falls along the Panthertown Valley trail
Aug 13, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC
The School House Falls are one of the highlights of the Panthertown Valley Loop.
Dec 21, 2015 near Cullowhee, NC
Panthertown Valley provides pleasant views toward Green Mountain.
May 29, 2017 near Cullowhee, NC
Slickrock/bald rock face seen from Little Green Mountain Trail.
Dec 26, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC
View from a top Little Green Mountain Trail.
Dec 26, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC
Boardwalk on lower section of Little Green Trail.
Dec 26, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC

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Check-Ins

Jul 18, 2020
Riding Pastor
not bad some overgrown spots and some mud but good hike. 4.6mi — 2h 24m
Aug 10, 2019
Mervyn Fox
5.5mi — 3h 30m
Mar 23, 2019
Jack Bert P
Jan 26, 2019
Jack Bert P
Aug 5, 2018
Jessie Blackburn
Wet trail, lots of neat stream crossings. 5.6mi
Feb 3, 2018
Nate Young
5.6mi
Jan 29, 2018
Cassie Dockery
Wonderful trail and view! Very fun hike all around. Be careful while following the trail, it’s easy to veer off. 5.6mi
Dec 17, 2017
D Blbs
Great hike with a lot of snow! Was only one out on the trail. 5.6mi — 2h 30m