Return To Lost Creek Falls

Welcome to Lost Creek State Natural Area, located on the Cumberland Plateau near Sparta, Tennessee.

Lost Creek Falls are picturesque, and also have an interesting story. Water first flows out of a few small mountainside caves, cascading downhill until dropping 50-feet as a waterfall. Splashing into the plunge pool, below, water then disappears underground into a “sink” (or bowl), that flows approx. 250-feet into a large cave. On days like yesterday, with water plentiful, an overflow of surface-runoff into the cave is present.

In connection with Virgin Falls State Natural Area, these two parks sit atop Tennessee’s largest network of underground caverns, featuring seven miles of mapped passageways. There are only five entrances, of which Lost Creek Cave is one point of entry. The opening is approx. 20-feet high, and, once inside, it quickly becomes pitch black.


  • GPS coordinates of the parking area are N35 50.442, W85 21.660
  • I was told there’s a 30-foot tall waterfall somewhere in the caverns
  • No restrooms, gift shop or food

In 1994, the Walt Disney Corporation, so pleased with the area’s natural beauty, filmed several scenes from “The Jungle Book” at both the falls and cave entrance.

Located slightly uphill along a short trail to the right of Lost Creek Falls, there are a few smaller waterfalls to enjoy, These, however, typically run dry at times of low water during summer months. Here’s a photograph of one…

Another area to enjoy is called Rylander Cascades. It’s less than a 1/2 mile drive from the Lost Creek Falls parking area, and then approx. a 1/2 mile hike from the road into the forest. Here a photograph…


Discover a variety of fine prints available in my gallery at Pixels, including: framed, art, canvas, poster, metal, wood, acrylic and tapestry. And, more!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post about Lost Creek Falls, and find a print of interest to purchase. Thanks for stopping by ~ enjoy the great outdoors!

25 responses to “Return To Lost Creek Falls”

  1. I am not good with manual photography. I have been wondering what kind of time setting you have to use to get the water to look like that?

    • First, time of day it critical. Most of my long exposure photographs are within an hour or two of sunrise. Too much midday sun bleaches the water white, beyond correction. There are “ND” filters, but I haven’t mastered such usage, yet. The shutter time varies per volume of water, also – for waterfalls with low water, keep the shutter open longer (maybe 1-15 seconds). You’ll also need a tripod to eliminate motion. I think I had a shutter time of 1/2 second for this waterfall.

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