Dry Falls

Area Status: Open
Dry Falls - Cullasaja Gorge

Dry Falls is located along the Mountain Scenic By-Way (Hwy 64 between Franklin and Highlands) in the Cullasaja Gorge. Dry Falls is a 75-foot waterfall. From the parking area venture out the accessible walkway for a beautiful view of overlooking the falls or follow the trail that leads you right behind the waterfall.

Dry Falls experiences extremely high visitor volume during the middle of the day and on holidays.  Please be patient if traffic is being directed.  It is recommended that visitors plan their visit for the morning or evening hours and if the parking lot is full, come back later - DO NOT BLOCK THE ROAD! 

Passes can be purchased on recreation.gov

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Fees: $3/vehicle fee, $15 annual pass (usable at Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain, and Whitewater Falls)  Day use and Annual Passes can be purchased on Recreation.gov
Open Season: Year Round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Waterfalls can be fatal attractions. Wet rocks are slick, and a slip above a waterfall can be fatal. Stay on the designated trail. Avoid shortcuts, climbing on the rocks or walking above the waterfall. Avoid walking on plants near waterfalls.  During winter the rocks do not look icy, but beware they are coated with ice and are extremely slippery. 
Closest Towns: Highlands, NC
Water: None
Restroom: Vault
Passes: There are Fee boxes at the location or you can purchase your pass online at recreation.gov  (Cell service is spotty at location so may want to purchase before you go while you have service.)
Operated By: Nantahala NF, Nantahala Ranger District, 90 Sloan Road, Franklin, NC 28734, (828)-524-6441

General Information

Directions: Dry Falls parking area is approximately 2 miles west of Highlands on Hwy 64.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Viewing Scenery


Difficulty Level: Easy

Scenic Driving