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Asheville Top 60 North Carolina Waterfalls

Also see: Waterfall Scenic Drives & Maps | Mountain Swimming Holes | Top 60 Hikes | Whitewater Rafting | Outdoors Guides | Wintry Waterfall Scenes | Waterfall Jeep Tour Nantahala Gorge | Top 20 Picnic Spots | Why stay in a B&B? | Top 10 Ways to Beat the Heat | Pisgah Forest Waterfall & Hiking Map | Nantahala National Forest | Fall Waterfall Photo Tour

Asheville WaterfallIf you love to find waterfalls in western North Carolina, the Asheville area is the place for you! While there are hundreds of falls in our area, these are our 60+ favorite waterfalls (with full page guides, photos and videos) near Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains - the most beautiful and easy to find and enjoy. Most of the waterfalls in the national forests are not signed, so take our directions with you! See a Google Map of waterfalls at bottom of page.

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Best North Carolina Mountain Waterfalls (grouped by location)

Brevard Area
High Falls at DuPont
High Falls at DuPont State Forest is one of four beautiful waterfalls at this amazing 10,000-acre nature sanctuary. The 150-foot High Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the North Carolina mountains. It's an easy hike from the parking area (1.2 miles roundtrip) and you walk or bike farther to see additional waterfalls.
See photos & guide to High Falls.
Triple Falls at DuPont Triple Falls at DuPont State Forest is a unique three-tier watefall that offers a chance to safely get a close-up view right in the middle. It's only a one-mile roundtrip hike - and an half mile from High Falls.
See photos and guide to Triple Falls.
Hooker Falls at DuPont Hooker Falls at DuPont State Forest is near Triple Falls and an easy 1/2-mile roundtrip stroll from the parking area. While it's only 12 feet tall, it's wide and cascades into a beautiful pool that is a popular swimming spot.
See photos and guide to Hooker Falls.
Bridal Veil Falls at DuPont Bridal Veil Falls at DuPont State Forest can be enjoyed from many angles. You can even walk behind the top section! It's a 4.4-mile roundtrip hike. Take a picnic since there are many spots by the waterfall to relax and enjoy the view. Also hike to Grassy Creek Falls.
See our Bridal Veil Falls Guide.
Merry Falls NC Merry Falls is a small waterfall but definitely a beauty with a series of cascades below it. It's hidden along an unpaved road near DuPont State Forest, so no hiking required.
See our Merry Falls Guide.
Looking Glass Falls Looking Glass Falls is one of the most beautiful and easily viewed waterfalls in western North Carolina. Enjoy it from the roadside parking area on US 276 (Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway) north of Brevard, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or walk down the steps for a closer look. Nearby in the Pisgah National Forest is Sliding Rock and Moore Cove Falls.
See our guide and video of Looking Glass Falls.
Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock is the favorite natural mountain 60-foot waterslide in the Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard (just a few miles from Looking Glass Rock Falls). Slip and slide down - or just stop by to watch.
See our guide and video of Sliding Rock.

Moore Cove Falls Moore Cove Falls is a hidden jewel near the popular Looking Glass Falls. The easy 1.5-mile roundtrip hike takes you to this 50-foot tall waterfall. While the water flow is not impressive, it's a beautiful setting and you can walk behind the waterfall. Since there are no signs for this waterfall along the highway, you won't find the crowds at nearby Looking Glass Falls.
See our Moore Cove Falls Guide.
Cedar Rock Falls, NC Cedar Rock Falls is a 20-foot waterfall along one of our favorite hikes up to the summit of John Rock. To reach the falls, hike about mile from the Fish Hatchery and Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
See our Cedar Rock Falls Guide.
Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Falls (near Moore Cove and Looking Glass Falls) is a 150-foot cascade in Pisgah National Forest. It's also known as Tom's Spring Branch Falls. Accessed by a one-mile roundtrip hike.
See our Daniel Ridge Falls Guide.

Cove Creek Falls Cove Creek Falls (near Daniel Ridge Falls) is a waterfall on a beautiful two-mile hike that includes a second, smaller cascade. It's also located near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
See our Cove Creek Falls Guide.
Slick Rock Falls Slick Rock Falls (near Cove Creek Falls) is a beautiful small stream that cascades across an overhanging cliff in Pisgah National Forest. It's a short walk from the road. Located near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
See our Slick Rock Falls Guide.
Log Hollow Falls Log Hollow Falls (near Slick Rock Falls) is often missed since it's off the main highway. But it's an easy 1-mile hike to enjoy this and the impressive nearby "Kissing Falls."
See our Log Hollow Falls Guide.
Twin Falls Twin Falls (near Looking Glass Falls) features two 100-foot waterfalls in view of each other, reached via a beautiful 4.5-mile roundtrip or 6.5-mile loop hike on the Buckhorn Gap Trail. It's near the Pisgah Forest Horse Stables, and they offer a guided horseback ride to the falls.
See our Twin Falls hike guide.
US Highway 64 Brevard to Highlands
Cathey's Creek Falls Cathey's Creek Falls is an 80-foot waterfall in Pisgah National Forest, just six miles west of downtown Brevard near U.S. Highway 64. It's a short but steep hike to the cascade hidden away in a lush cove.
See our guide for Cathey's Creek Falls.
Toxaway Falls Toxaway Falls can be viewed from the top on a walkway along US Highway 64 at Lake Toxaway, located between Brevard and Cashiers.
See our Toxaway Falls Guide.
Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is a mighty 150-foot waterfall in the Nantahala National Forest. Access it via a 3-mile roundtrip hike from Gorges State Park. Enjoy the falls safely on boulder at its base or at the top. A little upstream is Turtleback Falls, a cool summer swimming hole. You will find more smaller falls if you continue on the trail.
See our guide and video of Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls.

Whitewater Falls NC Upper Whitewater Falls is the part of the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. The upper falls plunge an amazing 411 feet! The best part is that you can get a great view with a short walk.The walkway begins at the end of the parking lot and is accessible to wheelchairs. A lower overlook is located at the bottom of 154 wooden steps.
See our guide and video of Upper Whitewater Falls.
Eastatoe Falls Eastatoe Falls is a beautiful 60-foot gentle cascade that is very easy to enjoy with a short walk. It's on private property, but the owner is nice enough to share it with no admission fee. Located near Brevard, 3.4 miles south of US Highway 64 on US 178.
See our guide to Eastatoe Falls.
Schoolhouse Falls Schoolhouse Falls in Panthertown Valley in Nantahala National Forest is a small waterfall, but really big on beauty with a great pool for a splash. It's a 2.5-mile easy roundtrip hike.
See our guide, photos and video for Schoolhouse Falls.
Greenland Creek Falls

Panthertown Valley is home to many waterfalls. In addition to Schoolhouse Falls (see link above), see our hikes to Greenland Creek Falls, Wilderness Falls and Frolictown Falls.
See our guide, photos and video for Panthertown Valley waterfalls.

NC Highway 215 near Blue Ridge Parkway
French Broad Falls French Broad, Shoal Creek & Cathedral Falls are located on NC Highway 215 near Rosman / Brevard, about 7.5 miles north of Highway 64. See a twin waterfall, then walk a short distance riverside to see more cascades and a majestic cliff. All of this is right off the road, but most visitors miss it since there are no signs.
See our guide for French Broad, Shoal Creek & Cathedral Falls.
Courthouse Falls Courthouse Falls is an easy hike in Pisgah National Forest. The picturesque watefall is located in a beautiful and lush cove off NC Highway 215, about 10 miles north of Highway 64.
See our guide, photos and video for Courthouse Falls.
Dill Falls, NC Dill Falls and Upper Dill Falls are both easy walks from the end of a forest service road deep in Nantahala National Forest. See both waterfalls with only about a mile of hiking.
See our guide, photos and video for Dill Falls.
Wildcat Falls Wildcat Falls in Pisgah National Forest is about 3/4 of a mile hike from a campsite along NC Highway 215 and less than a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's along the Flat Laurel Creek Trail that follows an old logging road and railroad grade.
See our Wildcat Falls guide with photos and video.
Bubbling Spring Branch Cascade Bubbling Spring Branch Cascade is a 25-foot waterfall in Pisgah National Forest, just 1.8 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway on NC 215, between Wildcat Falls and Sunburst Falls.
See our Bubbling Spring Branch Cascade guide.
Sunburst Falls is hidden below an historic stone arched bridge on NC Highway 215 over the West Fork of the Pigeon River, about four miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also see cascades above the bridge. A beautiful roadside setting.
See our Sunburst Falls guide with photos and video.
Cashiers / Highlands Area Waterfalls
Cullasaja Falls Cullasaja Falls can be viewed from US 64 (Mountain Waters Scenic Byway) in the Cullasaja River Gorge, located between Highlands and Franklin. It's just 5.5 mile from Dry Falls. See our Cullasaja Falls guide.
Dry Falls Dry Falls is unique since you can walk behind this impressive 75-foot waterfall in the Nantahala National Forest near Highlands. And you stay dry - hence the name - unless the water volume is really high during rainy periods. It's located roadside, so it's easy to enjoy.
See our Dry Falls video and guide.
Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is the only waterfall in North Carolina that you can drive behind! It's located near Highlands, about a mile from Dry Falls.
See our Bridal Veil Falls Guide.

Also see our Cashiers / Highlands Waterfall Guide Cashiers Sliding Rock, Bust Your Butt Falls and Cullasaja Falls.

Glen Falls

Glen Falls is a beautiful waterfall setting in the Highlands area, deep in the Nantahala National Forest. The 2-mile roundtrip hike takes you to two separate cascades, so you get two falls for one.
See our Glen Falls Guide.

Silver Run Falls Silver Run Falls is a 25-foot waterfall that cascades into a calm pool to create a picturesque setting for sure. It's located four miles south of Cashiers and accessed by a short trail in the Nantahala National Forest.
See our Silver Run Falls Guide.
High Falls at Lake Glenville

High Falls (also known as Cullowhee Falls) is a 150-foot waterfall at Lake Glenville near Cashiers that becomes the most powerful waterfall a few days of the year when extra water is released from the dam for kayakers. A new hiking trail takes you to the base for a great view.
See our High Falls at Glenville Guide.

On or near the Blue Ridge Parkway (North to South)
Upper Creek Falls Upper Creek Falls in Pisgah National Forest is located along NC Highway 181 (exit from the Parkway at Milepost 312) with a 1.6-mile loop hiking trail.
See our guide and video of Upper Creek Falls.
Linville Falls Linville Falls is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 316). Trails lead to views of both the upper and lower falls. Erwins View Trail, a moderate walk of 1.6 miles round trip, offers hikers four overlooks, each revealing a different aspect of the Linville Falls area. Linville Falls has the largest volume of water of any waterfall on the northern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Also see Dugger Creek Falls here.
See our guide and video of Linville Falls
Grassy Creek Falls Grassy Creek Falls is adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland (near Milepost 334). A two-mile roundtrip hike takes you to a beautiful collection of cascades. (There is also a Grassy Creek Falls in DuPont State Forest near Bridal Veil Falls.)
See our guide and video of Grassy Creek Falls.
Tom's Creek Falls Tom's Creek Falls is an 80-foot, two tier waterfall, accessed via an easy hike in Pisgah National Forest (near US Highway 221) north of Marion. It's a great hike for families.
See our guide and video of Tom's Creek Falls
Crabtree Falls Crabtree Falls is a beautiful 70-foot waterfall along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 339), near Linville Falls, accessed by a two-mile loop hiking trail that starts by the campground.
See our Crabtree Falls Guide.
Roaring Fork Falls Roaring Fork Falls is just two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (exit near Milepost 344) five mile from Crabtree Falls on NC Highway 80 in Pisgah National Forest at the base of Mt. Mitchell.
See our guide & video for Roaring Fork Falls.
Setrock Creek Falls Setrock Creek Falls is near Roaring Fork Falls, a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (exit at Milepost 344) on NC Highway 80. A 1/2-mile hike takes you to this 75-foot waterfall.
See our guide & video for Setrock Creek Falls.
Glassmine Falls Glassmine Falls on Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 362 is visible from an overlook falling along a cliff across the valley. It's most visible after heavy rains.
See our guide & video for Glassmine Falls.
Skinny Dip Falls Skinny Dip Falls is just two miles away from Graveyard Fields on the Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 417. It's a fun summer swimming spot (and beautiful waterfall), a short hike from the Parkway.
See our Skinny Dip Falls video and guide.
Graveyard Fields Waterfall Graveyard Fields is about 37 miles southwest of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. An excellent loop trail (Graveyard Fields Loop) enters the area from the overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 419) and leads to two waterfalls on the Yellowstone Prong. Beautiful Second Falls is just 1/3 mile walk from the parking area.
See our Graveyard Fields Guide.
Great Smoky Mountains Area
Great Smoky Mountains Waterfall Tom Branch Falls, Indian Creek Falls and Juney Whank Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are located in the Deep Creek area and can be enjoyed with a two-mile hike. Deep Creek is also a popular tubing spot.
See our Deep Creek Waterfalls video and guide.
Soco Falls Soco Falls near Maggie Valley and Cherokee is a spectacular waterfall along U.S. Highway 19. You can easily miss it since there are no signs! This twin waterfall has an observation deck a short walk from a small parking area. You can also hike down to the base of both falls.
See our Soco Falls video and guide.
Mingo Falls Mingo Falls is a 200-foot waterfall near Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's a short hike up a long staircase.
See our Mingo Falls video and guide.
South & East of Asheville
Pearson's Falls Pearson's Falls is a 90-foot waterfall in a beautiful glen that is accessed by a short hiking trail. Located between Saluda and Tryon, it's a must if you are driving on I-26 to/from South Carolina. Ten miles away is the roadside Shunkawauken Falls.
See our Pearson's Falls video and guide.
Shunkawauken Falls Shunkawauken Falls cascades 150-feet down a mountainside beside the road, so you enjoy it from your car as you drive by! It's located near Columbus, about 10 miles from Pearson's Falls.
See our Shunkawauken Falls Guide.
Hickory Nut Falls Hickory Nut Falls at Chimney Rock Park is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. It is reached via the easy Hickory Nut Falls trail to a platform at its bottom. It was featured in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans. Especially impressive after a good rain.
See our Hickory Nut Falls video and guide.
High Shoals Falls High Shoals Falls in South Mountains State Park near Morganton is a spectacular loop hike with numerous cascades and wildflowers. The 2.7-mile loop hike also takes you above the falls and back to a picnic area, mountain bikes trails, camping and more hikes.
See our High Shoals Falls & South Mountains Guide
Catawba Falls Catawba Falls in the Pisgah National Forest is just three miles from I-40 in Old Fort! Hike 1.5 miles to the lower falls, a 100-foot cascade. Experienced hikers and rock climbers continue on a challenging hike to the stunning Upper Catawba Falls (pic).
See our Catawba Falls video and guide.
Beech Mountain / Banner Elk
Elk River Falls, NC Elk River Falls is located near Beech Mountain and Banner Elk in Pisgah National Forest. This 50-foot waterfall is easy to find and a quick walk from the road. And there's a great swimming spot.
See our guide, photos and video for Elk River Falls.

 

NEW! Waterfall Scenic Drives & Waterfall Maps

For more hikes, see our Top 40 Asheville Hiking Trails. Also see wintry scenes from some of these waterfalls.

CAUTION: Do not wade in water above a waterfall. Several people die each year after being swept over a waterfall in the area.

NC Waterfall App
Recommended App: Waterfalls of Western NC iPhone and iPad GPS-enabled apps feature 70+ local waterfalls with driving directions to each trailhead and offline maps. (No Android version yet) $2.99 on iTunes.

Looking Glass Falls

Roy's FolksWaterfall Safety Tips:

  • Many of the North Carolina waterfalls require a hike. Our favorite waterfalls above all have well-maintained, safe trails that are not strenuous or "technical." Be sure to take hiking instructions or a map with you. Often trail markers fade, fall or are hidden by leaves. So you don't want to make a wrong turn!
  • Practice "Leave No Trace" practices by removing any trash and respecting all plant and wildlife.
  • Most of the waterfalls are not signed along the road. So you need to take exact driving directions. Often, the unmarked parking area consists of a pull-off on the side of the road.
  • Of course, waterfalls can be dangerous places with swift currents and slippery cliffs. So just use good common sense. The mist from the falling water can create very slippery rocks. Wear walking shoes with a good grip (no flip flops!).
  • Don't go off the trail and try to climb up rock ledges along the waterfall. And be very careful if you are standing at the top of a cascade. Each year, our falls claim lives of careless visitors. The water is swift and cold.
  • A few of the waterfalls have a safe place for wading. At others, there are sharp rocks under the water near the base. So it may falsely look like a great place to jump in.
  • Many of the hiking trails cross streams or are wet from springs. So bring an extra pair of shoes and socks for the car in case your feet get wet. And an extra change of clothes is a good idea if you get caught in a summer thunderstorm.
  • Bring your camera, but be careful when trying to get that perfect angle!
  • Be considerate of other visitors to a waterfall. Don't spoil this quiet, romantic setting for others trying to connect with nature.
  • Take time to enjoy waterfall, after you take all the effort to find it! Bring a picnic or snack (and water of course). Be sure to take all extra food and your trash back with you.
  • Be aware of the time for sunset and get back to your car before night falls.
  • If you are hiking alone, tell someone where you are going.
  • During the winter, watch for icy patches along the trail and from mist of the waterfalls. Many times, a winter view is better since there are no leaves on the trees to hide parts of the falls. See photos of winter waterfalls.
     
     

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