Spring 2023 Update: Due to damage caused by Tropical Storm Fred in 2021, Skinny Dip Falls is closed and poses a risk to visit.
Skinny Dip Falls is a refreshing swimming hole and soaking spot on a hot summer day with clear, cold water. And it's a beautiful waterfall setting to enjoy any time of the year without getting wet with multiple cascades and pools. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway (at Milepost 417 at Looking Glass Rock overlook), it's easy to find at the end of a 3/4 of a mile hiking trail from the Parkway overlook.
Sorry, Skinny Dip Falls is not clothing-optional (unless you are there very early or late in the day when no one else is around!). And there are some semi-secluded spots. In addition to a nice "jump off rock" into a deep pool (about six feet deep), there are several places to wade or have a seat in the cool mountain water. There is no lifeguard on duty, so be careful!
The trailhead for Skinny Dip Falls is across the Blue Ridge Parkway from the parking area (there is no sign directing you to the waterfall) at the "417" milepost. There are a few side trails, but follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (climb steps near the start, then bear left). The trail has a few climbs and rocks, but not challenging at all. The trail ends at a bench and staircase that takes you down to the waterfall and swimming hole.
You may feel like you have been transported to the tropical paradise in Hawaii. It's a gorgeous setting to visit all year (unless the Parkway is closed for snow and ice in the winter). Peak fall color is mid to late October.
There is no admission fee. The parking area is often overflowing on hot summer days, but there is usually plenty of room at the waterfalls since there are several areas to explore. See our full list of 20 Swimming Holes Near Asheville.
Check out this 360 video of Skinny Dip Falls by our friends at Hike NC With Me:
Watch our Video of Skinny Dip Falls
Driving from Asheville: The Looking Glass Rock Overlook at Milepost 417 is about 23 miles south on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Highway 191 intersection in Asheville (at the NC Arboretum). See other Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls.