Whitewater Falls

Area Status: Open
Whitewater Falls

Whitewater Falls owes its existence to the Blue Ridge Escarpment, a sharp drop in elevation between the mountains and the Piedmont.

With a 411-foot plunge, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. South Carolina’s Lower Whitewater Falls falls another 400 feet.

Because of the escarpment’s difficult access and rugged terrain, much of the area receives few visitors and has remained wild and undeveloped over the years.

In the cool, moist shade of the steep slopes and rock cliffs, wildflowers and salamanders can be found. This wild land is also a perfect haven for a rich array of ferns, mosses and fungi. Enjoy the beauty of blooms and berries throughout the seasons.

Whitewater Falls experiences extremely high visitor volume during the middle of the day and on holidays. It is recommended that visitors plan their visit for the morning or evening hours. 

Passes can be purchases online at recreation.gov

Check out the brochure.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Fees: $3/vehicle; $15 annual pass (usable at Dry Falls, Whiteside Mountain, and Whitewater Falls)  Online passes can be purchases a recreation.gov
Permit Info: Self service fee stations, or purchase before you go online at recreation.gov
Open Season: Year Round
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Highlands and Cashiers
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush toilets
Operated By: Nantahala NF, Nantahala Ranger District, 90 Sloan Road, Franklin, NC 28734, (828)-524-6441

General Information

Directions: From Cashiers, take NC 107S for 10 miles to NC-SC line. Drive 1 miles, take first road to left. Follow signs.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Viewing Scenery



Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
Falls drop 411 ft

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