• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    0.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    100 Feet

Family Friendly
Forest
Handicap Accessible
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Whitewater Falls with 400 feet of stunning falls is the tallest waterfall in North Carolina.

Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains with the upper falls alone dropping over 400 feet. The walk to the falls is very short and friendly for all ages and abilities - the path is paved so the falls are wheelchair accessible. The falls are beautiful in all seasons but particularly stunning in the fall and winter with the contrast of colorful leaves or snow and ice.

Follow the pathway to the upper overlook where you can view the falls from the top, then follow the 154 wooden steps down to the lookout at the base. From the base of the falls there is the option to follow the spur trail down another 600 ft to the Whitewater River. This is nice spot to lay on the wide flat rocks, soak in some sun, and have lunch.

To get to the trailhead parking lot from Asheville, drive west on I-240 to I-26 East. Take exit 40 for Asheville Airport/Brevard and turn right onto NC 280. When you reach Brevard, follow the junction to U.S. 64 West towards Lake Toxaway. At Sapphire, make a left onto NC 281 and drive for about 8 miles until you reach the well marked turnoff on the left for Upper Whitewater Falls.

Pack List

  • Walking shoes
  • Camera
  • Picnic supplies
  • Swimming gear
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

It's great but it's closed due to the fire that ran through in fall 2016. You can "park" outside the gate and walk down to it though. There is a way to the top of the falls but idk how to get to it.

12 months ago
12 months ago

The waterfall truly is huge, but you can't get very close to it. There is a ~.75 mile hike down where you can cross the rapids, but you can't see the main waterfall from there. Other trails let you be near the top of the falls (which is super dangerous, and has warning signs saying people have fallen to their death on said trails). TLDR; Nice waterfall but you are looking at it from pretty far away. (Probably 150 yards away)

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Edward Day Explorer

Explorer. I like going places with my camera.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

3 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves