Slickrock Creek Trail

At A Glance

Most Difficult

13.2 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 13.2
Steepness: Climbs Moderately
Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Trail Number: 42


The Slickrock Creek Trail is the longest single trail in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness area. Starting at an elevation of 1160 feet at the Slickrock Trailhead and reaching 4860 feet at the Naked Ground termination, this trail has at least 12 fords, which can vary from easy to very challenging. Hikers are advised to consider weather conditions and rainfall before attempting this trail due to the numerous creek crossings. This trail has been rated as one of the ten toughest trails in the United States.

The trailhead is located just off US Route 129 at the Cheaoh bridge and dam, north of Robbinsville. There is limited parking in this area. At the 0.5 miles, the Ike Branch Trail branches off to the left and continues steeply uphill. The Slickrock Creek Trail continues relatively flat around the head of Slickrock Creek, past a boating access point to Lower Falls, then to the second junction with the Ike Branch Trail at mile 3.7. The trail continues to its junction with the Stiffknee Trail at mile 4.3, and the Nichols Cove Trail at mile 4.5, with several stream crossings along its course. From the Nichols Cove Trail junction, the trail continues along the creek, past Wildcat Falls, with several more creek crossings for another 2.8 miles to the junction with the Big Stack Gap Branch Trail at mile 7.3, and then to the junction with Big Fat Trail at mile 8.0. After this point, the trail continues to generally follow the creek, but without major crossings for another 2 miles, where the trail starts a steep uphill climb, ultimately reaching the Naked Ground Trail junction at mile 13.2.

Intersecting Trails

  • Ike Branch
  • Naked Ground
  • Big Fat
  • Nichols Cove
  • Haoe Lead
  • This trail is located in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness trails list page.

    This trail also crosses into these trailhead areas:

    GPS Map

    Map Information

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    Data Formats

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    About the Map


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    Trail and Marker Overlays

    Trail layers and downloadable data are all original works created by WNCOutdoors with guidance from a variety of sources, including ensembles of our own GPS tracks, user contributed GPS tracks, official maps and GIS data from government agencies, and field observations. WNCOutdoors data is made freely available under the Open Database License - you are free to copy and use it for any purpose under the terms of that license (summary).


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    Trail Segments

    Trails are often made up of several connecting paths which may have different characteristics, allowed uses, and seasons. This trail is divided into multiple segments as follows:

    Slickrock Creek - US 129 to Ike Branch Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.72 mi

    Slickrock Creek - Ike Branch Tr. to Lower Falls

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 2.37 mi

    Slickrock Creek - Lower Falls to Ike Branch Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.66 mi

    Slickrock Creek - Ike Branch Tr. to Nichols Cove Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 0.7 mi

    Slickrock Creek - Nichols Cove Tr. to Big Fat Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 3.36 mi

    Slickrock Creek - Big Fat Tr. to Haoe Lead/Naked Ground Tr.

    • Allowed Uses: Hiking
    • Length: 5.01 mi

    Total Calculated Length: 12.82 mi

    This value is derived from our underlying map data, and it may not match officially published information.



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