If 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!
You can also narrow your search by region:
- East (Black Mountain , Chimney Rock, Morganton)
- North (Burnsville, Hot Springs, Madison City, Mt Mitchell)
- South (Brevard, Hendersonville, Saluda, Tryon)
- West (Bryson City, Cherokee, Highlands, Sylva, Waynesville)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (includes more options for West)
- Blue Ridge Parkway (includes more options for North and West)
Waterfalls Near Asheville in the NC Mountains
Get picked up at your accommodation in the Asheville area for a guided half-day waterfall excursion that will visit 3 impressive waterfalls in two protected forests. Plus ride on a very scenic portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Licensed & Insured
(3 miles roundtrip, moderate) This powerful 150-foot waterfall in the Nantahala National Forest can be reached via a hiking trail 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.
Just two miles from Sliding Rock is this roadside 60-foot waterfall in Pisgah National Forest with a pool for wading (but not the best for swimming).
This 150-foot waterfall is in the middle of an amazing 10,000-acre nature sanctuary. One of the most powerful waterfalls in the North Carolina mountains, High Falls is an easy hike from the parking area (1.2 miles roundtrip) and you walk or bike to see additional waterfalls nearby.
(3 miles roundtrip, moderate) This gorgeous 70-foot waterfall along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 339), near Linville Falls, is accessed by a loop woodland hiking trail.
Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway via a 1/2-mile hiking trail, Skinny Dip has beautiful waterfalls, a jumping off rock and several areas to soak and wade in very cool mountain waters.
This rare twin waterfall is located roadside near Maggie Valley and Cherokee. You can easily miss it since there are few signs! The observation deck is a short walk from a small parking area. You can also hike down to the base of both falls.
This unique three-tier watefall offers a chance to safely get a close-up view right in the middle on three cascades (great picnic spot!). It's only a one-mile roundtrip hike - and an half mile from High Falls and Hooker Falls.
Located 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.
This popular hiking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway has two waterfalls. Second Falls (in pic) is just 1/3 mile walk from the Parkway. Upper Falls is on a four-mile loop trail in the mile-high meadow.
This cascade in Pisgah National Forest is about 1.5-mile roundtrip 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 three waterfalls with one stop 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.
(2 miles roundtrip, easy) Located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland (near Milepost 334), a gentle hiking trail takes you to a beautiful collection of cascades. (There is also a Grassy Creek Falls in DuPont State Forest near Bridal Veil Falls.)
Located just two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (exit near Milepost 344) and five miles from Crabtree Falls in Pisgah National Forest at the base of Mt. Mitchell. It's an easy mile roundtrip hike, and near Setrock Creek Falls.
(1.5 miles roundtrip, easy) This 404-foot waterfall at Chimney Rock Park is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. The trail takes you to a platform at the bottom of the cascade featured in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans. Especially impressive after a good rain.
Hike to two waterfalls, Upper and Lower Dill Falls, with easy walks from the end of a forest service road deep in Nantahala National Forest.
This 80-foot, two tier waterfall, is accessed via an easy hike in Pisgah National Forest (near US Highway 221) north of Marion. It's a great hike for families. One of the few waterfalls with an accessible trail and observation deck for those with walking challenges.
Located near Looking Glass Falls, this waterfall is often missed since it's off the beaten path. But it's an easy 1-mile hike to enjoy this and the impressive nearby "Kissing Falls."
This 80-foot waterfall in Pisgah National Forest is 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.
Located near Beech Mountain and Banner Elk is a 50-foot waterfall that cascades over a rock cliff into a picturesque oval pool. Just below the oval pool is a popular summer spot for swimming and sunning on the rocks. Formerly called Big Falls, it's in Pisgah National Forest and reached via a short walk.
A 2-mile roundtrip hike takes you to this waterfall in the Highlands area, deep in the Nantahala National Forest. You'll see two separate cascades, so you get two waterfalls for one.
This modest 25-foot waterfall in Pisgah National Forest is a short walk from the road, located 1.8 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway on NC 215, between Wildcat Falls and Sunburst Falls.
Located 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. Nearby is Roaring Fork Falls.
This is the only waterfall in North Carolina that you can drive behind! It's located near Highlands, about a mile from Dry Falls, along US Highway 64.
(4.4 miles roundtrip hike, moderate) This beautiful waterfall can be enjoyed from many angles. You can even walk behind the top section! Take a picnic since there are many spots by the waterfall to relax and enjoy the view. You can also mountain bike to it.
This beauty in the South Mountains State Park near Morganton is a spectacular 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.
This skinny 200-foot waterfall is located near Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's a short hike up a long staircase.
This 150-foot waterfall cascades 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.
This 25-foot waterfall 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. A popular summer swimming hole.
Located near Moore Cove Falls and Looking Glass Falls, this 150-foot cascade in Pisgah National Forest is also known as Tom's Spring Branch Falls. Accessed by an easy one-mile roundtrip hike.
Also known as Cullowhee Falls, this 150-foot waterfall at Lake Glenville near Cashiers 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.
This remote area of the national forest is home to many waterfalls. In addition to the popular Schoolhouse Falls, see our hikes to Greenland Creek Falls, Wilderness Falls and Frolictown Falls.
This roadside waterfall can be viewed from the top on a walkway along US Highway 64 at Lake Toxaway, located between Brevard and Cashiers.
(6.5 mile loop, strenuous) This twin waterfall near Looking Glass Falls features two 100-foot cascades 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 guided horseback rides to the falls.
(2.5 mile roundtrip hike, easy) The cascade in Panthertown Valley in Nantahala National Forest is small, but really big on beauty with a great pool for a splash.
This beautiful waterfall setting has multiple cascades and a swimming hole with a rope swing for diving! Located in Pisgah National Forest along NC Highway 181, about 13.5 miles north of Morganton. It's about a half mile hike from the parking area.
This majestic waterfall 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 and with leaves are off the trees.
(3 miles roundtrip, easy) This waterfall in the Pisgah National Forest is just three miles from I-40 in Old Fort. Hike to the lower falls, a 100-foot cascade. Experienced hikers and rock climbers continue on a challenging hike to the stunning Upper Catawba Falls in the photo.
This 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.
This 20-foot waterfall is 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.
Located 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.
This beautiful waterfall setting is an easy hike in Pisgah National Forest. It's located in a lush cove off NC Highway 215, about 10 miles north of Highway 64 and 6.7 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
See this 250-foot waterfall from along 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.
This 90-foot waterfall is privately owned by a garden club and requires a small admission fee. 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 three waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Deep Creek area with a two-mile hike. Deep Creek is also a popular tubing spot each summer.
(3 miles roundtrip, easy) This 20-foot waterfall is tucked away in DuPont Forest in a beautiful setting. The hiking trail is gentle - and you can also mountain bike or horseback ride.
This 60-foot gentle cascade is very easy to enjoy with a short walk. It's on private property in someone's back yard, 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 the upper section of the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi, plunging 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.
This cascade near Cove Creek Falls flows across an overhanging cliff in Pisgah National Forest. It's a short walk from the road. You can walk behind it when water is not too high. Located near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
This hidden waterfall flows beneath 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.
(1.5 miles roundtrip, easy) Walk behind this 50-foot waterfall located near the popular Looking Glass Falls. Beautiful hike along the way. While the water flow is not impressive, it's a beautiful setting that is overlooked by many since there are no signs.