Big Laurel Falls is located deep into the Standing Indian area of the Nantahala National Forest. If you drive in past the campground, across the creek and a few miles further on – the trailhead is along the right side of the road.
Melanie isn’t tired yet in this picture – the crossing of Betty Creek is only a few hundred yards into the hike but I couldn’t get her standing up and the stream under the bridge at the same time.
It’s a short (0.6 mile) and pleasant hike along a couple different streams to Big Laurel falls. The falls themselves form a nice pool which one might consider swimming in if one is somehow immune to hypothermia. Maybe it’s better later in the summer but even Trout wasn’t willing to stand in this one for too long.
It’s a fairly easy rock scramble to get to the mid level of these falls but we’re probably supposed to mention that waterfalls are dangerous and you shouldn’t mess around with them. Don’t try this at home if you happen to have a 25 foot cascade at home.
Just a half mile or so further down the forest road from the Laurel Falls trailhead is a pull-off for Mooney Falls. You should be able to see the falls off the south side of the road as you approach. It’s just a couple switchbacks down to the river but the canyon is narrow and overgrown through here so it’s difficult to get a view of the entire cascade. This picture is probably less than half of the total drop.