Saturday I took the dog out to Shining Rock Wilderness to look for a waterfall or two that I've heard are on Greasy Cove Prong. An internet search reveals several pictures of various falls on Greasy but I couldn't find directions or anything else about them and considering that the Greasy Cove trail is perhaps the most remote and seldom used trail in Shining Rock it sounded like the perfect place for us to go looking for a waterfall.
We took the fast way there - Bridges Camp Gap and were into the wilderness right away.
I've been on these trails many times and am always amazed at the logging relics that are still scattered about. Hard to believe they were able to get rail lines up these mountains.
I only had a vague idea of where the waterfalls might be and had to stop many times to try and figure out where the best place to leave the trail to find them was. Often times there are established trails that lead to waterfalls, sometimes they are very faint but usually I'll find some sort of hint of where people are accessing them from. There were no signs of people leaving the trail anywhere on Greasy Cove so when we hit the 4800' point where the trail leaves the stream side and begins to climb steeply I knew it was time to start the bushwhack. This was a very tough bushwhack and I would only advise attempting it if you are very confident with off trail travel. It took a lot of work to get back down to the stream and once we were down there it proved impossible to hike up the stream. If I didn't have Duma with me I probably could have made it up the stream bed but there was no way a hundred pound dog was going to be able work his way up and around all the boulders so we had to go back up the hill a little and keep working our way upstream that way.
Greasy Cove Prong was full of small waterfalls. It seemed like every time I caught a glimpse of the stream there was a waterfall or two.
I knew none of these small falls were what I was looking for. I didn't know exactly what I was looking for but knew I would know it when I saw it. After wrestling our way through the brush for an eternity longer we popped out onto a cliff edge and there it was.
It was a major waterfall with at least three levels but we couldn't get to a decent vantage point from the cliff where we were perched and had to once again bushwhack through the heavy brush to try and get to a spot to take a picture. It took us three tries but eventually Duma and I made it down to the base of the waterfall and got our picture.
It was tough to shoot and the picture only shows a very small portion of the waterfall and doesn't do it justice at all. This is a very big waterfall that I'm guessing very few people make it to and we felt lucky to be there. At the base was a very nice swimming hole that we had to take a quick dip in regardless of the air temperature.
During the bushwhack back out Duma chased a bear for a few minutes and after he came back I decided not to push our luck by heading further up the stream to look for more waterfalls. The terrain was very challenging and we had already gotten what we came for so back up to the trail we went.
If you go looking for this waterfall be sure you know what you are doing and be careful!