Hike to Catawba Falls

North Carolina Catawba Falls Trail

Added by Justin Costner

  • 100 foot waterfall
  • 3 mile roundtrip out-and-back hike
  • Elevation gain 465 feet
  • Possible camping at Catawba Falls Campground

This quick and relatively easy hike is located close to Asheville, NC. If you're looking to have the trail to yourself, it can be a little tough. It's best to get there as early as possible or on a weekday if you can swing it.

As you head out on the trail, the elevation gain is very gradual, but does increase as you get further in. Once you get to the lower falls, check to see if the trail to the upper falls is open. It's a little trickier of a hike to get to the upper falls, which is steeper and rockier, so use your best judgement.

If you want to make this adventure a little longer, there are private campsites available at Catawba Falls Campground.

If you went for a quick day hike, swing by Pisgah Brewing Co for a cold one. On occasion, they also have food trucks parked outside.

Pack List

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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Dog Friendly

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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Beautiful Hike That's Worth The Climb!

Just went yesterday to Crabtree Falls. It's a great fall pretty close to Asheville. We went early in the morning to avoid the crowd and it was stunning. The 1/2 mile climb to Upper Falls definitely kicks your butt! Always be cautious of your footing and use the surrounding rocks and tree branches for anchorage. They do have ropes to help you up some of the steeper parts. Once you come to the end of the ropes- veer left! Don't try to keep climbing up. Once left, you'll see the yellow and blue caution tape. The pool at Upper Falls is deep enough for swimming and wading in the water. So bring a swimsuit if you go in the summer! Trust me- after the climb you will definitely want to get in. Have a great hike! :)

about 1 month ago

3 months ago

Words Can't Describe

The waterfall is worth the bear crawl up the mountain and some of the areas.

3 months ago

7 months ago

A Hike Turned Into A Fun Challenge

This is the first time we took this hike and to put it in one word, it's Aweesomee!! We went to Asheville for a day trip and wanted to go for a short hike. Glad we went here. It started with a regular flat hike with gradual altitude gain with a river and fun short falls on the sides. Don't miss to claim to the top once you reach the big waterfall. It's little strenuous but it's worth it.

7 months ago

7 months ago

Great 3-mile hike with easy parking

We did this with two dogs and two babies. There is a stream crossing, but it's do-able for the whole family. The waterfalls are spectacular and there is plenty of creek splashing opportunities. Enjoy!

7 months ago

7 months ago

Great Short Hike

Beautiful falls. Great short hike. Not overly strenuous but still a good little workout.

7 months ago

7 months ago

Get Your Feet Wet

A pretty easy hike with a few river crossings. Would have been wise to wear my sandals though!

7 months ago

10 months ago

One Of My Favorites Near Asheville

Easily one of my favorite hikes near Asheville. Not too difficult and relatively short hike with awesome trails along the river/creek. The falls at the end are beautiful and not too hard to get to no matter what time of year. If you get a chance, check it out when the temp is below freezing. The icicles on the falls are awesome.

10 months ago

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