Rufus Morgan Falls

Wayah Bald & Rufus Morgan Falls

Wayah Bald (5,342') sits atop the high Wayah Crest which separates The Little Tennessee and Nantahala Valley's in western North Carolina. Wayah Bald is home to a beautiful old fire lookout tower that provides commanding views in (almost) every direction. The tower is the second to sit atop the summit, which has long been a local tourist destination as well. The present tower was opened in 1937 and was originally three stories tall. After only a little over a decade of service the tower was abandoned and the top two stories were removed for safety reasons. Luckily for visitors, in 1983 the USFS completed renovations on the tower, which included a roof, and you can once again enjoy the views as people have been doing there for generations.

The day was rather dreary (not at all conducive for mountain top photography), so I stopped by nearby Rufus Morgan Falls on the return trip to enjoy some of the colors still holding on in the valley's...

Wayah Bald

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:   35.178828, -83.562333

Route Type: Out-and-back      Difficulty: EASY (Petzoldt Rating: 0.78 )      Hike Length: 0.5 miles      Hike Duration: 0:30      Trailhead Temp: 50'F                               Trail Traffic: 10-25 people      Min. Elevation: 5,180'      Max. Elevation: 5,342'      Total Vertical Gain: 138'      Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 276'

Trails Used (blaze color): Wayah Bald Trail (unblazed)

Rufus Morgan Falls

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  35.146555, -83.547489

Route Type: Loop      Difficulty: EASY (Petzoldt Rating: 1.62 )      Hike Length: 1.0 miles      Hike Duration: 0:45      Trailhead Temp: 60'F      Trail Traffic: 1-5 people      Min. Elevation: 3,200'      Max. Elevation: 3,500'      Total Vertical Gain: 310'      Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 310'

Trails Used (blaze color): Rufus Morgan Falls Trail (unblazed)