If you love to find waterfalls in western North Carolina, the Asheville area is the place for you! While there are hundreds of cascades in the "Land of the Waterfalls", these are our 60+ favorite waterfalls (each with full page guides, photos and videos) in our Blue Ridge Mountains. They are both beautiful and easy to find. Most of the waterfalls in the national forests are not signed, so take our directions with you! Be careful and stay on the trails - see safety tips at bottom of the page. (Pic above: Soco Falls.)
Waterfalls Near Asheville in the NC Mountains
Watch our featured waterfall video of Rainbow Falls (from early 2016)!
You can also narrow your search above 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 (also see our Top 12 Parkway Waterfalls)
Waterfall Safety Tips
- Most of the North Carolina waterfalls require a hike. All the waterfalls we feature have well-maintained, safe trails that are not overly 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!
- 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 use good common sense. The mist from the falling water creates 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).
- Practice "Leave No Trace" practices by removing any trash and respecting all plant and wildlife.
- Be aware of the time for sunset and get back to your car before night.
- 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 and videos of winter waterfalls.