Slickrock Creek (via Big Fat Gap)

Location: Western NC/Eastern TN
Trip Starts: Big Fat Gap Parking Area
Trip Ends: Topoco Parking Area
Total Distance: 9.6 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Difficult to Very Difficult
Trails Used: Big Flat Trail, Slickrock Creek
Trail Traffic: Light to Moderate
Trip Type: Overnight Hike
More Information:

Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Creek Wilderness
Nantahla National Forest
Cheoah Ranger District
Route 1, Box 16-A
Robbinsville, NC 28771
(704) 479-6431


Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Creek Wilderness was designated with the passage of the 1975 Wilderness Act and expanded in size in 1984 with the North Carolina Wilderness Act. The 17,013 acres of forest shares a common boundary along the Unicoi Mountains with the Citico Creek Wilderness in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, but the majority of land is in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. Although the wilderness is best known for the gigantic strands of virgin timber in the Poplar Cove area, the main watershed of Slickrock Creek is popular with both hikers and fisherman. This hike starts at Big Fat Gap parking area and descends along the Big Flat Trail to the Slickrock Creek Trail which follows the stream down to its junction with Calderwood Lake. Here the trail climbs a ridge and turns east toward the Tapoco parking area (which is also known as the Slickrock Creek Trailhead) at US 129 near the Cheoah Dam. Wildcat and Lower Falls are two nice waterfalls on the route, but the trail can be difficult to find at times and the numerous creek crossings make this a very challenging hike.

GPS Coordinates:

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