From the guide
Panthertown Valley offers several opportunities for swimming. From waterfall plunge pools to a sandbar pool, places to cool off abound. JUST DON’T FORGET YOUR MAP.
There are reminders all over this web site to bring a map with you when you venture into Panthertown Valley. Despite its relatively small size, it is easy to get lost in the area. Maps are available at Brooking’s in Cashiers and at the Highland Hiker in Cashiers and Highlands.
The easiest way into Panthertown from Cashiers is to park at the Salt Rock trailhead. From there, a short hike will lead you down an old logging road to Salt Rock, where you can get a panoramic view and take your bearings. From here, it’s all downhill (until you want to go home, a point to remember) to the valley floor, which flattens out to such a degree you might forget you’re in the mountains.
There are several crossroads on the main trail and even more trails branching from the secondary trails, hence the need for a map, as the flat valley doesn’t lend itself to memorable landmarks.
For swimming, check out Sandbar Pool, Schoolhouse Falls, and other pools along the creeks. Just watch out for slippery rocks and precipitous drops. Aside from these two, Panthertown is NOT recommended for kids.