Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service.
Activities & Interests
Upper Whitewater Falls, near Cashiers, North Carolina, drops over 411 feet and is the highest falls east of the Rocky Mountains. Lower Whitewater Falls, located just across the border in South Carolina, drops another 400 feet. The rugged terrain around these two waterfalls remains wild and undeveloped.
A paved, wheel-chair accessible walkway leads from the parking lot to the upper overlook which provides an excellent view of the upper Whitewater Falls. A lower overlook is located at the bottom of 154 wooden steps. Because of the difficult terrain surrounding Whitewater Falls, visitors are urged not venture off the established trails.
Wildflowers and salamanders abound in the cool, moist shade of the steep slopes and rock cliffs. The moist environment also supports a rich array of ferns, mosses, and fungi.
Picnic tables and shelters, flush toilets, and ample parking spaces are available at Whitewater Falls. Hikers seeking a more difficult challenge can continue down the half-mile spur trail that drops 600 feet in elevation to the Whitewater River and onto the 85-mile Foothills Trail which stretches along the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
Hours of Operation
The Whitewater Falls Recreation Area is open year-round from dawn until dusk.
Fees are charged for day use and for annual passes.
Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.
From Cashiers, NC: Drive south on NC 107 for 9.3 miles. Shortly after crossing the South Carolina state line, turn left at the sign for Whitewater Falls. Continue 2.3 miles to the intersection with SC 130, which becomes NC 281 at the North Carolina state line. Just beyond this point is a sign for the entrance to Whitewater Falls.
From Brevard, NC: Drive west on US 64. At Sapphire, turn left on NC 281 and go south to the Whitewater Falls entrance.
From Asheville, NC: Take I 240-West to I 26-West. Go to the Asheville Airport/Brevard Exit (exit 40) and take a right onto US 64. Drive to Brevard and follow above directions.
For more information, contact:
US Forest Service/National Forests in North Carolina
Nantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
- Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center (3 miles)
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center in Asheville, NC features an award-winning film and exhibits on natural and cultural heritage.
- Western North Carolina Nature Center (4 miles)
Voted "best place to take kids" in the region, the WNC Nature Center in Asheville appeals to grownups as well as children.
- Biltmore Estate (4 miles)
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC remains America's largest privately owned home and one of the state's most enduring attractions.