Hike to High Falls

Cullowhee, North Carolina

based on 2 reviews



1.5 miles

Elevation Gain

600 ft

Route Type



Added by Caleb Adcock

If you're looking for a big waterfall and up for a challenging hike, this is a sweet place to check out.

This is an awesome hike if you're up for a challenge! The hike in isn't bad at all and the trail itself isn't super long but the climb back out will be a little more difficult due to the rock steps and lengthy uphill.

This hike starts from a parking lot, just across the road from Lake Glenville and the beach recreation area. There is a hut that provides some information about the hike, as well as the surrounding wilderness. The trail begins by walking down a gravel road that will eventually turn into a trail. This is one of those hikes where its all downhill going in and all uphill coming out. Don't let this challenge deter you from going, anyone can do it, just take some breaks along the way! The trail isn't marked by blazes or signs but it is very well maintained, making it very easy to see where the trail leads.

Once you reach the falls there are several different places to hangout, take a swim, or snap some pictures. It is a large area so even if there is a crowd, there should still be plenty of room to hang out.  Depending on when you decide to go, the water levels could be different, creating different currents and water pressure. Because this waterfall is located just below the Glenville dam, it may be moving faster on some days than others, depending on if they have released the dam as well as the amount of rain that has recently fallen. 


Be super careful when climbing on wet rocks. Because this is such a big waterfall, the surrounding rocks also get covered with water due to the constant mist. Being wet for long periods of time can cause them to be extra slippery so if you're climbing around, double check your footing. 

Know when to swim and when not to swim. It should be pretty easy to tell if its not a good idea to jump in. The current will be visibly fast and the amount of water passing by each second should be an indicator. There are many different objects down stream such as fallen trees or piles of rocks that you could easily be trapped under if the current is strong.

Let someone know where you're going before you head out or take a friend! There isn't much cell service once you're down at the falls, and even for the most advanced outdoor enthusiasts, one slip on a wet rock could you leave hurt and in the moving river. 

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole

Hike to High Falls Reviews

I hiked this once with my husband and two little dogs and I won’t do it again as there are too many steep spots where a curious dog might slide down the hill. I have heard about another route from HWY107 - does anyone know where to find the alternate trail?

Very short, easy, fun hike. I’ve been here multiple times and have taken lots of friends here. The trail gets pretty steep, but nothing crazy. 10/10 recommend

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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