Explore Whitewater Falls

Details

Distance

0.5 miles

Elevation Gain

100 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Edward Day

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.

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Know for

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Family Friendly
Forest
Handicap Accessible
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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Reviews

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Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

7 months ago

Great short hike!

This is a great place to take a break and have a nice short walk down a ton of stairs. The waterfall is incredible I just wish you could get closer.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

about 3 years ago

Beautiful accessible waterfall

If you are looking for a really impressive waterfall that is easy to get to and wont take up much of your time, this is it. The short walk is all paved or stairs. The end of the paved section even has a view of the waterfall, making it wheelchair accessible. The waterfall itself is very beautiful and grand, but as stated in some other reviews, you cant get all that close to it. For me, it was still cool to see, but I am not exactly itching to see it again.

Beautiful

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.

Tall Waterfall From A Distance

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)

571 total saves

4.0/5

Leave No Trace

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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