Explore Whitewater Falls
North Carolina › Upper Whitewater Falls
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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 particulary 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.
Photo: Matt Barnett
- Walking shoes
- Picnic supplies
- Swimming gear
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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)
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