Visible from U.S. 64, in Cullasaja Gorge, 11 miles east from Franklin, 9 miles west from Highlands. "Cullasaja" comes from a Cherokee word meaning "honey locust place".

Height: 250 ft.

Accessible by foot trail, a half-mile through steep, rough terrain

Due to the location, there is only a small pull-off for 2-3 cars along the road. Be careful! There is no signage, so you need to drive slowly and look for the pull-off.


Located near U.S. 64, 3.5 miles west from Highlands, 16.5 miles east form Franklin. Paved walkway leads to falls from parking area. Walk safely behind the falls, staying "dry" (during rainy spells, when the water volume is higher, the spray will prevent you from staying totally dry).

Height: 75 ft.

Accessible by paved walkway from parking area. Includes relatively steep stairways.

Fully accessible observation area is adjacent to the parking area.

Due to the location, there is only a small pull-off for 2-3 cars along the road. Be careful! There is no signage, so you need to drive slowly and look for the pull-off.


2.5 miles west of Highlands on US 64. Visible from the highway, which at one time routed traffic under the falls.

Height: 60 ft.

There is roadside parking and is very accessible to all (including wheelchairs, scooters and strollers).

Not a large volume of water, unless it's right after a big rain, making it safe and fun to stand behind.


From Highlands, travel 3 miles south on NC 106. Turn left on to U.S. Forest Service Road with "Glen Falls" marker. One-mile trail to falls is steep and rough. Consists of three large falls, each dropping approximately 60 feet.

Height: 60 ft.

This is roughly a 2 mile round trip hike. The upper and middle cascades are the most beautiful. We suggest not stopping until you get to the middle section since it's downhill all the way. Then, you can stop at the upper section and other vantage spots as resting stops on your hike back uphill!


At 411 ft, Whitewater Falls is the highest falls in Eastern America. From Cashiers, take US 64 East 10 miles to Whitewater Road. Falls are located 10 miles south on Whitewater Road, near the NC-SC state line.

Height: 411 ft.

For an excellent view, follow the paved 1/4 mile walkway to the upper overlook. The walkway begins at the end of the parking lot and is accessible to wheelchairs. A lower overlook, with an even better view, is located at the bottom of 154 wooden steps. The only full views of the waterfall are from these two overlooks. Please stay on the trails!

Note: Open Dawn-Dusk, year round. $2 per vehicle with 7, or fewer, passengers. On the honor system! No camping. The parking area for Upper Whitewater Falls is large and includes picnic tables and restrooms.


Head towards Highlands on NC 28 South/Highlands Road. After about 7.4 miles, turn right onto Walnut Creek Road. Continue 6 miles onto Pine Creek Road. After 6.9 miles, turn right onto NC 107 South. Continue 6.4 miles, turn left onto US 64 East. Drive 10.1 miles and turn right onto NC 281 South. Turn left onto Grassy Ridge Road after 1 mile. Keep right. Follow signs. Address for GPS: 976 Grassy Ridge Road, Sapphire, NC 28774

Height: 150 ft.

Rainbow Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfall settings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This 150-ft. tall waterfall is impressive, especially after rainy weather that swells the Horsepasture River. The best feature of Rainbow Falls is the ability for visitors to experience the falls from the front, bottom, side and top! Located in the Pisgah National Forest, adjacent to Gorges State Park, Rainbow Falls is just one of a series of cascades and waterfalls on a two-mile stretch of the river. When the water is low, there are plenty of rocks for picnics.

Be careful! Please use common sense and do not climb up the rock face, jump from the cliff or wade in water above the falls. Someone dies about every year doing one of those. See more waterfall safety tips.

Just a quarter-mile upstream is Turtleback Falls, a popular natural water slide. And less than a quarter-mile downstream is Hidden Falls, a serene swimming pool.

The Hike: To reach Rainbow Falls, you'll need to hike 1.5 miles from Gorges State Park at the Grassy Ridge Parking area (drive about 2 miles after entering the park). Look for the cluster of information boards at the end of the parking lot. The trail to Rainbow Falls begins there, blazed with orange circles until you reach the National Forest - about half way. Then the trail is easy to follow with a creek crossing that can be a wet one when the water is high. This section is gradual downhill, so the trek back will mostly uphill.

When you near the river (about 2/3 of a mile), be sure to follow the trail up river (toward your right). Hike by the many cascades with a few steep sections with stairs. Hidden Falls is just a few steps from the trail, before the last hill up to Rainbow Falls. Enjoy a full view of the Rainbow from the trail. Plus, there are side trails that take you for a closer view from the base and side of the falls. Just past the main view of the falls, look for a side trail to the left that takes you to a wooden platform viewing area. It's a rare treat to get this close to a big waterfall. Overall, I would rate the hike difficulty as "moderate".


Head towards Asheville on US 23 North/US 441 North. Travel 16.5 miles and use the right lane to merge onto US 23 North/US 74 East/Great Smoky Mountain Expressway. Travel 13.1 miles and turn left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Continue 20.1 miles and turn left onto the NC 215 ramp. Turn right onto NC 215 South (Signs for Rosman). After 6.7 miles, turn left onto National Forest Road. About 2.8 miles, your destination will be on the left.

Height: 45 ft.

What a gorgeous setting! Courthouse Falls descends into a lush, picturesque cove in the Pisgah National Forest. The waterfall plunges about 45 ft. from a narrow chute into a deep pool, perfect for a dip on a hot summer's day. It's an easy hike (about 7/10-mile round-trip) from the forest service road. It's located 6.7 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Located off NC Highway 215 (Forest Heritage Scenic Byway), the trailhead to Courthouse Falls hike is three miles up a gravel, one-lane forest service road (FR140). There are some bumpy spots, so the drive is not recommended for low cars. But, you don't need four-wheel drive. This road is often closed during winter months into early spring.

Just after a bridge at three miles, you'll see a pull-off for parking. On the left near the bridge is the start of the Summey Cove Trail. The trail follows the cascading Courthouse Creek and has some wet and muddy areas, and wooden bridges/steps could be a little slippery. After about 1/4-mile, you will hear the falls and begin seeing them below you on the left. Don't take one of the "cut-through" trails that are very steep. If you keep walking, a side trail takes a sharp left that takes you safely to the base of the waterfall (look for the multiple red blazes on the trees).

The mist from the falls keeps this area cool, even in the middle of the summer, which makes it a delightful retreat on a hot day. The waterfall is on the "backside" of Devil's Courthouse on the Blue Ridge Parkway.


From the intersection of NC 107 and US 64 in Cashiers, follow NC 107 south for 1.9 miles to Whitesides Cove Road. Turn right onto Whiteside Cove Road and follow it 2.8 miles to the bridge over the Chattooga. Park and follow a short trail to the river.

Height: 10 ft.

This natural waterslide, created by the Chattooga River, glides over a 10-ft. 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.