Top 10 Waterfalls in North Carolina

Published on October 19th, 2021

North Carolina is full of amazing waterfalls. From large cascades to smaller horsetails, there are so many popular waterfalls to explore. It was hard to narrow it down to just ten! The next time you’re taking a trip to North Carolina, be sure to stop by some of these breathtaking waterfalls.

Waterfalls in North Carolina

1. Whitewater Falls

2. Dry Falls

3. Silver Run Falls

4. Sliding Rock Falls

5. Linville Falls

6. Mingo Falls

7. Soco Falls

8. Catawba Falls

9. Crabtree Falls

10. High Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in North Carolina

Here are 10 popular waterfalls in North Carolina to visit on your next RV road trip.

1. Whitewater Falls

The first waterfall on our list is an impressive one! Whitewater Falls is a set of two waterfalls, each falling over 400 feet. Upper Whitewater Falls can be reached by a paved 0.5-mile round trip trail that takes you to an overlook of the falls. To get a better view of the bottom of the falls, head down the stairs to another viewing platform. Back at the parking area there are restrooms, picnic tables, and plenty of space to enjoy lunch before or after seeing the waterfall.

Things to do near Whitewater Falls: This waterfall is in Nantahala National Forest near the border of North and South Carolina. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only 60 miles away, and Asheville is about an hour and a half drive to the northeast.

2. Dry Falls

If you’re looking for a different way to view waterfalls, check out Dry Falls in Nantahala National Forest. The viewing walkway not only takes you up to the waterfall, but behind it! You can stay dry while following the path behind the water as it flows over a cliff overhang and splashes onto the rocks below. The 75-foot waterfall is impressive and there are many great places to view the falls along the walkway.

Things to do near Dry Falls: This waterfall is located right off of US Highway 64, which makes it an easy stop. Asheville is about 80 miles away, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is about 50 miles to the north. You’re also just down the road from Bust Your Butt Falls – another great waterfall that didn’t quite make our list!

3. Silver Run Falls

If you’re looking for a waterfall that’s also a swimming hole, be sure to check out Silver Run Falls. This 25-foot waterfall is just south of Cashiers and is located just a short quarter mile walk from the road. There’s a small parking area that fills quickly, so head out early to get a spot. Once you make your way down the easy trail, you’ll see the waterfall plunging into a pool that makes for the perfect place to cool off in the summer heat.

Things to do near Silver Run Falls: The previous two waterfalls on our list are nearby, which makes these easy to visit in a weekend. Asheville is just over 60 miles to the northeast and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just over 50 miles to the northwest. We have a guide to the national park to help you find the best things to do while visiting!

4. Sliding Rock Falls

Another great swimming spot in North Carolina is Sliding Rock Falls. This natural waterfall and waterslide lets you slide down the 60-foot rock face and splash into the water below. It’s a popular place and is even staffed with lifeguards from 9 am to 8 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are also restrooms that are open during that time. Don’t want to slide? Not to worry, there are two observation decks at the waterfall where you can watch others take the plunge.

Things to do near Sliding Rock Falls: Located in Pisgah National Forest, Sliding Rock Falls is near to other waterfalls to explore. Head to Looking Glass Falls or Moore Cove Falls for other great waterfall options if Sliding Rock Falls is too crowded. Asheville is also a quick drive away. We have you covered with a local’s guide to the city for the best things to see and do.

5. Linville Falls

Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway is the popular Linville Falls. This three-tiered waterfall can be reached from several trails that range from easy to strenuous and all start at the Linville Falls Visitor Center at mile marker 316. There are 4 different overlook areas of the falls located along the trails, which means there are plenty of opportunities for epic photos.

Things to do near Linville Falls: Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway! Take some time to drive this gorgeous stretch of road and take advantage of all the hiking trails, overlooks, and activities that are easily available. If you’re up for an adventure, take the Blue Ridge Parkway south to Great Smoky Mountains National Park or north to Shenandoah National Park.

6. Mingo Falls

Located just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Cherokee Reservation sits Mingo Falls. This 120-foot tall cascading waterfall is one of the tallest and impressive falls in the southern Appalachians. While the quarter mile hike to this waterfall is short, it’s somewhat strenuous and includes 161 steep steps to get to the viewing area.

Things to do near Mingo Falls: Check out Great Smoky Mountains National Park! You’re literally right around the corner from the national park, so be sure to spend some time exploring this amazing region. We have a guide to the park to help you plan your trip, and we’ve got a great selection of local RV rentals as well.

7. Soco Falls

Another beautiful waterfall located on the Cherokee Reservation is Soco Falls. This double waterfall is near the Blue Ridge Parkway and can be accessed by a quick hike from the road. There’s a small parking area and a trailhead that leads to a viewing deck that overlooks the falls. If you want a closer view, you can follow a steep trail down from the overlook to the base of the waterfall.

Things to do near Soco Falls: It’s easy to also see Mingo Falls since it’s nearby. You’re also on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway. And Asheville is 42 miles to the east.

8. Catawba Falls

This next waterfall requires a bit of a hike, but it’s an easy trek and worth it to see the cascading falls! Catawba Falls is a 100-ft tall waterfall located just east of Asheville. The flat trail takes you along the Catawba River and passes several small cascades on your way to the main falls. Fun fact, this trail was once a wagon route! The trail takes you right to the base of the falls for a great photo spot.

Things to do near Catawba Falls: The waterfall is just east of Asheville, which makes it a popular destination. Looking for what to do in town? We have a local’s guide to Asheville as well as great local RV rentals. And if you’re looking to venture further out, Charlotte is just over 100 miles away.

9. Crabtree Falls

Another great waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Crabtree Falls can be reached by several trails. You have your choice of an easy out and back trail or a more difficult 3 mile loop, but both will take you to this beautiful cascade. The water flows over a sheer cliff and falls over 70 feet to a pool at the base. It’s particularly beautiful in early summer when all the flowers in the meadows are in bloom. And there’s even a campground where you can stay and enjoy the area for a few days!

Things to do near Crabtree Falls: The waterfall is located at milepost 339.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. While you’re there, be sure to explore more of the gorgeous parkway and all the outdoor opportunities it offers.

10. High Falls

Located in Dupont State Recreational Forest, High Falls is an impressive waterfall that flows down 120 of inclined granite rock. You can hike directly to the waterfall, but if you take the 3.3 mile loop trail, you’ll also pass another waterfall, Triple Falls, located half a mile beyond. It’s easy to see why this is a popular waterfall, so head there early or during the week to avoid the crowds.

Things to do near High Falls: This waterfall is in the same region as several others on our list like Dry Falls and Whitewater Falls, so why not take some time to explore all the waterfalls in the area? Asheville is located 40 miles to the north, and Great Smoky Mountain National Park is 65 miles to the northwest.

Planning an RV Trip to North Carolina

There are so many fantastic waterfalls to discover in North Carolina, and an RV is a great way to explore them. We’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect vacation. As you explore, be sure to check out our resources on traveling in the state.

Here are guides to some of the best state parks in North Carolina, as well as all the national parks in the country. RVshare is also the perfect one-stop-shop to help you find an RV rental and get all the information you need for your trip.

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