Big Falls on the Thompson River Trip Report…Finally!

It’s been a long time coming! Wow & Finally….are the only two words that come to mind! Big Falls on the Thompson River has been the #1 waterfall on my “Waterfalls to See” list for years now. Early on, I got High Falls at DuPont, Rainbow Falls in Gorges, and Whitewater Falls off the list pretty quick. These seemed to be some of the big waterfalls in North Carolina that newbies can all get checked off pretty easy. Big Falls on the Thompson is a different story. The difficulty goes up several notches. Back then, and still these days, I relied heavily on Waterfall Rich’s site If you scroll down his impressive list of waterfalls to the one for Big Falls, it is clear that not only is this one of his favorite waterfalls, but also that the trek there is NOT to be taken lightly. It is long. It is steep. It is potentially dangerous. There are river crossings that must made. Me being primarily a solo hiker and photographer for years, I have kept putting this one off. I have always planned on going , but reading Rich’s report, this trip was not going to be made until conditions were optimal. Optimal conditions and open availability rarely seem to happen at the same time. Read more

White Owl Falls


White Owl Falls is the perfect introduction to the Thompson River, in the far southwestern section of North Carolina. It is a beautiful waterfall and easy to get to. The Thompson River is probably the least known of the four main rivers that all make up Lake Jocasse in northern South Carolina, along with the Toxaway River, Horsepasture River and the Whitewater River. This land is waterfalls paradise. Some are easy to get to and some are not. White Owl Falls just happens to be one of the easy ones.

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High Falls (Thompson River)

After spending some time at the very nice White Owl Falls, I had time for maybe 1 more waterfall before it was time to call it a day. Mother Nature had already chased me away from my planned destinations for this day. Somehow I had found myself along the Thompson River, a mysterious river that I have done very little exploring on. Since the weather was still looking promising after White Owl Falls, I figured that I would just stay where I was. Just from reading about this area, I knew that the High Falls was a reasonably short hike from the Brewer Rd area along US 281. Click on the link for more info and photos on White Owl Falls.

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