Explore Whitewater Falls

0.5 miles 100 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

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.

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Family Friendly
Forest
Handicap Accessible
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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)

Stay Nearby

Tamassee, South Carolina

Cherry Hill Campground

Overview Open April 1 - October 31. Cherry Hill is near the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River, and many miles of hiking trails. Site amenities include centrally-located drinking water, cooking grill...

14014 Highlands Road

Van Hook Glade

Overview Van Hook Glade is a scenic, secluded campground in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest. Convenient for families and anglers, the campground is in close proximity to hiking trails, s...

Clayton, Georgia

Willis Knob Horse Camp

Overview Located in the northern Georgia mountains, far from civilization, Willis Knob Horse Campground is one of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests most beloved horse-lover hideaways. The c...

Tuckasegee, North Carolina

Balsam Lake Lodge

Overview Balsam Lake Lodge is nestled in the center of the 39,000-acre Roy Taylor Forest within the Nantahala National Forest. The lodge overlooks Balsam Lake and offers spectacular mountain views...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Lower and Upper Whitewater Falls via Foothills Trail

    The Foothills Trail runs a total of 76 miles across the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Highlights of the route include Sassafras Mountain (3,500 ft), the Chattooga River, and Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfall in the eastern US. The trail is well mai...

    9.4 miles

  • Hike to Silver Run Falls

    The hike to this waterfall is very short and well worth it. The waterfall is about 40 feet tall and has a large volume of water.  This makes for a great place to swim. The bottom of the pool is about 15 feet deep and offers cool mountain water. To...

    0.25 miles 100 ft gain

  • Hike to Rainbow Falls in Gorges SP

    Rainbow Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. The Horsepasture River swells in the rainy season, dumping a cascade of water 150 feet. The plume of mist at the bottom creates a distinct rainbow effect,...

    3.5 miles 800 ft gain

  • Explore Cashiers Sliding Rock

    This waterfall is located just outside of Cashiers, NC. The trailhead to the waterfall is right off of the road and has a good amount of parking. The trial itself is very nice and has new steps at the beginning of the trail. The trail is very wide...

    0.2 miles 70 ft gain