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Graveyard Fields Loop


A classic waterfall hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Hiking Moderate

5 km
115 m
115 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.6 km
Graveyard Fields Loop Map

Graveyard Fields is one of the more popular spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Pisgah National Forest - and it's not hard to see why. Over 5,000' above sea level, this flat mountain valley is known for its incredibly serene and beautiful waterfalls that pass through forming the headwaters of the Yellowstone Prong of the Pigeon River.


According to Wikipedia, "The valley's name may originate from a time when a great windstorm fell hundreds of spruce and fir trees on its slopes. These moss-covered stumps resembled graves. Another theory says that extensive logging during the early 1900s left stumps behind. Mosses and lichens grew on the stumps, resembling an overgrown graveyard." Large logging operations also ravaged the region in the 1,900's and multiple forest fires have left large clearings (and new vistas) in their wake.

This hike is perfect for the entire family, but you should get an early start to your day to make sure you can get a parking spot. Vault toilets and a kiosk with information can be found at at the trailhead. Should the parking area be full, park at the picnic area due west on the Blue Ridge Parkway and walk to the trailhead.

This loop can be explored in countless ways, with endless side trails leading to smaller cascades or swimming holes. The official Graveyard Fields Loop is well marked and an easy hike, but the trek up the Upper Falls Trail is well worth the extra time.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GraveyardFields



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between April and October


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area