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NC Mountain Waterfalls

There is something peaceful and inspiring about waterfalls and Western North Carolina has no shortage to explore. Staying at one of our Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals you will have access to dozens of popular waterfalls to visit. The only limit is time as you can literally spend days exploring all the mountain waterdalls throughout the region.

Mingo Falls
  • Mingo Falls – At 120 feet tall, the waterfall is one of the tallest and most spectacular in the southern Appalachians. The hike to the waterfall is only 0.4 miles in length, but is considered moderate in difficulty.

    • Directions from Sunset Farm Cabins – Drive west on 74 and continue north on 441 towards Cherokee for 5.2 miles. When it dead ends at US 19 turn right for 0.4 miles, turn left at traffic light (US 441 N) towards the Smoky Mountain Park, continue 2.3 miles and turn right on Big Cove Road. Continue 5.2 miles turn right crossing a bridge over the river, straight ahead is a parking lot and trail. Keep an eye out for signs. Climb 170 steps to Mingo Falls.

  • Tom’s Branch Falls, Indian Creek Falls, and Juney Whank Falls (At Deep Creek) – An easy 1.6 mile roundtrip hike will allow you to enjoy two beautiful waterfalls in the Deep Creek area. Walk Deep Creek Trail 0.7 mile to the junction with Indian Creek Trail. On your way you can view elegant Tom Branch Falls located on the far side of Deep Creek. Turn right at the junction with Indian Creek Trail and proceed approximately 200' to Indian Creek Falls. The falls are 25 feet in height. Juney Whank Falls is divided into an upper and lower section. Both can be viewed from the footbridge which crosses Juney Whank Branch at the falls. Together they drop 90 feet from top to bottom. The trail to the waterfall is 0.8 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty

    • Directions from Sunset Farm Cabins – Drive west on highway 74 to exit 67 (Bryson City) and turn right on Spring Street, Continue through 1st traffic light and follow directions to Deep Creek Campground. Enter Deep Creek entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains national Park, and continue for 0.6 miles, pass the picnic area, and turn left into parking area. The trail, an easy hike to Tom’s Branch Falls and Indian Creek Falls, starts at the far end of the unloading area and parallels Deep Creek. Tom’s Branch Falls is visible across Deep Creek, 0.2 miles from parking lot. Continue for 0.5 miles along Deep Creek, crossing a bridge. Just before the next bridge, take the trail to right, 200 ft. on your left is Indian Creek Falls. Back at parking lot, on the right, is a sign and trail leading to Juney Whank Falls, 0.3 miles up the mountain.

  • Lower Cullasaja Falls, Upper Cullasaja Falls, Dry Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls - The Cullasaja Falls is the last major waterfall on the Cullasaja River. The falls is a long cascade over the course of 0.2 miles. Dry Falls, also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls, is a 65-foot waterfall located in the Nantahala National Forest. Bridal Veil Falls flows on a tributary of the Cullasaja River through the Nantahala National Forest. The falls flows over an overhanging bluff that allows visitors to walk behind the falls and remain dry when the waterflow is low. During periods of drought, the stream may nearly dry up, though visitors will get wet if the waterflow is moderate or high.

    • Directions from Sunset Farm Cabins – Drive east on highway 74 to exit 81 Dillsboro US 23/441 south. Continue south on US 23/441 to Franklin and turn left on US 64/NC 28. Continue towards Highlands for 8.3 miles and after passing Nantahala National Forest, Cullasaja River Gorge sign pull off to right onto blacktop for view of Lower Cullasaja Falls. Continue on US 64/NC 28 for 2.4 miles and pull off to right onto gravel for a view of Upper Cullasaja Falls. Continue on US 64/NC 28 for 3.3 miles and after passing Dry Falls sign turn right into parking lot. Go down stone staircase to Dry Falls, which roars overhead. Exit parking lot to right still following US 64/NC 28 for 0.9 miles and Bridal Veil Falls is on the left.

  • Glen Falls – This is probably the most beautiful waterfall setting in the Highlands area - and one of the least visited since it's not on the main highway and it requires a 1.5-mile roundtrip hike.

    • Directions from Bridal Veil Falls – Continue on US 64 to Highlands, then turn SW on NC 106 for 1.8 miles to the Glen Falls sign. Turn left and take gravel road 1 mile and park. Take trail straight ahead. When ou reach narrower trail, go left. View the valley, then cascades. Hiking down the mountain you pass three strikingly different 80 foot falls and travel 1.4 miles. The return hike is uphill and strenuous.

    White Water Falls
  • Cashiers Sliding Rock, Silver Run Falls, and Whitewater Falls – Cashiers Sliding Rock Falls is a natural waterslide, created by the Chattooga River gliding over a 10-foot high rock face with a few large potholes. It's a popular local spot during the summer because the water is quite cool. You can slide down the rock, cannonball into one of the potholes or just wade in the pool below the rock. The lower portion of Silver Run Falls cascades over a rock ledge into an enchanting tree-lined pool. There is also a sandy beach, making this a fun swimming and picnic area that is popular with both tourists and locals. Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall falling at 411 feet in the eastern U.S. and is something spectacular to view.

    • Directions from Cashiers – From intersections of US 64 and NC 107 drive south on NC 107 for 1.9 miles. Turn right (west) on Whiteside Cove Road and continue for 2.8 miles. After crossing bridge pull off onto dirt on right. Follow trail to right for 100 yds to Little Sliding Rock. Swimming holes are above and below waterfall. Please Supervise Children! Return to NC 107, turn right (south) and continue for 2.4 miles. Pull off onto gravel on left. If you pass an Entering Nantahala National Forest sign, you have gone too far. Follow trail for 50 yds, cross stream on fallen log and continue another 100 yds to Silver Run Falls. Continue south on NC 107 for 5.3 miles into South Carolina, passing a roadside picnic area. Turn left (east) on SC 413 and continue for 2.3 miles until it dead-ends at SC 130. Turn left (north) on SC 130 and continue for 1.2 miles. After passing Nantahala National Forest, Whitewater Falls sign, turn right into parking lot. Short walk to lookout. There are trails to top and bottom of Whitewater Falls.

  • Turtleback Falls and Rainbow Falls (Not for young children or the less than physically fit)

    • Directions from Whitewater Falls – Exit parking lot to right (north) and continue on NC 281 for 7.5 miles. Turn right into Gorges State Park. The park has a parking lot, picnic area, a self-guided Nature Trail Loop and a trail to an overlook. There is no connecting trail between Gorges State Park, Turtleback Falls and Rainbow Falls in the adjacent national Forest. Walk back to NC 281, turn left and walk approximately 150 yds. along the highway. Enter the woods at an old jeep trail, descend the trail for approximately 1 mile. It will intersect a trail which parallels the river. To your front is Turtleback Falls. Travel left along the trail to view Turtleback Falls from the bottom. Continue hiking another quarter of a mile in the same direction to Rainbow Falls, a 150 ft. waterfall that boasts rainbows on sunny mornings.

    Looking Glass Waterfall
  • Sliding Rock, Moore Cove, Looking Glass and Courthouse Falls – Managed by the US Forest Service, Sliding Rock is a natural rock slide with a pool at the bottom to catch those who take the plunge. Cool rushing water flows at 11,000 gallons per minute over the smooth granite face of the rock. Lifeguards and staff are on duty during the busy summer season. Located in Pisgah National Forest, Sliding Rock is a thrill for kids of all ages.

    • Directions from Sunset Farm Cabins – Drive east on highway 74 and continue past Sylva (exit 85) for 8.9 miles. Turn left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and proceed in the direction of Asheville. Exit at US 276 and continue south on US 276 for 7.5 miles. Turn right into the Sliding Rock parking lot (admission fee, lifeguards often on duty). Exit parking lot to the right (south) and continue on US 276 for another 1.1 mile. Immediately after crossing a concrete bridge, park on the left. Cross the wood foot bridge next to the concrete bridge, it is an easy and beautiful 0.7 mile to Moore Cove’s twin falls. Continue south on US 276 for another 1 mile and park on left. View Looking Glass Falls from roadside, or descend a stone staircase to the 50 ft. falls. Continue south on US 276 for 5.9 miles and turn right (west) on US 64. Continue on NC 64 for 12.7 miles and turn right (north) on NC 215. Continue on NC 215 for 10.7 miles and turn right on Forest Service Rd. 140 (gravel) just before bridge. Go 3.1 miles over mountain and park on right near bridge that crosses Courthouse Ck.. The trailhead for the Summey Cove Trail is on left next to bridge, hike 0.2 miles and turn left on Courthouse Falls trail, which descends 0.1 miles to the 60 ft. falls. Return to NC 215 , turn right and continue 6.9 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enter parkway, turn south in the direction of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and exit at US 23/74 to return to Sunset Farm Cabins.

  • Rufus Morgan Falls and Wayah Bald (Vista) - It might have an unusual name, in an out-of-the-way place, deep in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest, but Rufus Morgan Falls is a little gem of a trail that is worth the trek. Wayah Bald has a vantage point 5,342 feet in elevation in the Nantahala National Forest, near Franklin, North Carolina. On a clear day, you can see north to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and south into the rolling hills of Georgia. Take a short hike from the summit parking area to climb an old stone fire tower, built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, to witness panoramic views of the southern Appalachian mountain chain.

    • Directions from Sunset Farm Cabins – Drive east on highway 74 to exit 81 (Dillsboro) and continue south on US 441 towards Franklin. Continue to US 64 in Franklin and turn right (east) on US 64. Continue on US 64 for 3.8 miles and turn right at the Wayah Bald sign onto a two-lane road. Continue 0.3 miles, turn left on Wayah Road (NC 1310). Continue on Wayah Road for 6.4 miles. Turn left onto Forest Service (gravel road) #388. Continue 2 miles to the Rufus Morgan Trail parking lot. Hike 0.5 miles up a moderate grade to Rufus Morgan Falls. For a breathtaking 360 degree view from the old stone firetower, return to Wayah Road. Turn left for 2.6 miles to the Wayah Bald sign. Turn right onto gravel road and continue until parking lot is reached at end of the road (approximately 2 miles). To return the way you came, turn left. [or], turning right takes you past Nantahala Lake into the Nantahala Gorge (US 19/74)

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You may find additional helpful information at - a comprehensive online guide to hundreds of waterfalls in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee with detailed directions and photos.

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