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Waterfalls near Highlands & Cashiers, NC

Also See: Waterfall Guide | Nantahala National Forest | Asheville Hiking | Whiteside Mountain Hike | Highlands | Cashiers | Wayah Bald Lookout Tower | Dry Falls | Shadow of Bear | Waterfall Drives & Maps | Panthertown Valley
There are many waterfalls near Highlands and Cashiers, North Carolina, that are easily seen and enjoyed. Many of these are located along U.S. Highway 64, the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.
Glen Falls, NC
The middle section of Glen Falls

Glen Falls
This beautiful waterfall setting near Highlands is not visited by huge crowds since it's not on the main highway and it requires a 2.5-mile roundtrip hike. Plus, you get two beautiful waterfalls for one. Located just a few miles from downtown Highlands, Glen Falls is on the east fork of Overflow Creek in the scenic Blue Valley area in Nantahala National Forest. The hike is down hill from the parking lot, so it's quite a climb to return (about 400 feet in elevation change). There are quite a few switchbacks, so the climb is not too steep. As you descend, you will reach a beautiful view from the top of Glen Falls (see photo below).

Continue down hill to the upper section of the waterfall, dropping about 70 feet. There is plenty of room to relax on the rocks at the base of the falls. Continue about 1/3 mile to the middle section (photo at top) of the falls that drop 60 feet, with water stairstepping down a wide rock face. If you want to venture down the trail more, a third section that drops about 15 feet. But some logs are stuck in the waterfall, so it's not much to look at. Add a 1/2-mile roundtrip to your hike for to reach this spot.

Directions: From U.S. Highway 64 in Highlands, go south on Hwy 106 about 1.7 miles and look for the sign to Glen Falls Scenic area on the left. The gravel road to the Falls (SR 1618) veers off immediately to the right after you take the left. The road dead ends into the parking area in about a mile.

Glen Falls, NC
The top of Glen Falls

Glen Falls, NC
Upper Section of Glen Falls

Bridal Veil Falls
This is the only waterfall in North Carolina that you can drive under! The 60-foot Bridal Veil Falls doesn't have a large volume of water. But it's along the highway, so it's convenient. Bridal Veil is easy to find. Just look for the sign on U.S. 64, 2.5 miles west of Highlands in the Cullasaja River Gorge.
Bridal Veil Falls NC
Bridal Veil Falls NC

Dry FallsDry Falls
Near Bridal Veil Falls is Dry Falls. This 75-foot waterfall flows over and overhanging cliff, allowing people to walk behind the falls and stay dry (hence the name). Dry Fall is 3.25 miles west of Highlands on U.S. 64.

See our Dry Falls Guide.

Bust Your Butt Falls / Quarry Falls
A popular swimming and sliding area along U.S. Highway 64 is Bust Your Butt Falls (also known as Quarry Falls or Bust-Yer-Butt Falls). For added excitement, there is a "jump off" rock for diving into the chilly waters. It's six miles west of Highlands on U.S. 64 (about 3 miles from Dry Falls).
Bust Your Butt Falls
Bust Your Butt Falls

Cashiers Sliding Rock
Cashiers Sliding Rock
Cashiers Sliding Rock Falls is a natural waterslide, created by the Chattooga River gliding over a 10-foot high rock face with a few large potholes. It's a popular local spot during the summer because the water is quite cool. You can slide down the rock, cannonball into one of the potholes or just wade in the pool below the rock.
Directions: From the intersection of NC 107 and US 64 in Cashiers, follow NC 107 south for 1.9 miles to Whitesides Cove Road. Turn right onto Whiteside Cove Road and follow it 2.8 miles to the bridge over the Chattooga. Park and follow a short trail to the river.
Also see the other, better know Sliding Rock, near Brevard.
Cullasaja Falls
Cullasaja Falls
Cullasaja Falls can be seen from the roadside on U.S. Highway 64, 8.8 miles west of Highlands, along a very narrow, curvy stretch of highway through the Cullasaja River Gorge. What a beautiful drive! Due to the location, there is only a small pull-off along the road (on the left if you are heading west from Highlands). There is no sign for 250-foot Cullasaja Falls, so you need to drive slow and look for pull-off.

Download a map & brochure of the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.

Nearby Waterfalls
A short drive away is Whitewater Falls (the tallest in eastern America) and Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park.

See Waterfall Drives & Maps


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Writing & Photography By Mark File - ©2003-2014 File Investments, Inc - All Rights Reserved