Elk Falls Area-Elk River Falls (Big Falls)

Area Status: Open

This is a rocky trail to a popular scenic spot that has a 65 foot high waterfall along the Elk River. **Use extreme caution near the falls as fatalities have occurred at this site.**

Total Length: 0.5 mile

Total Elevation Change: 40 feet

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate

Beginning Point: Elk Park Parking Lot

Ending Point: Big Falls

Average Hiking Time: 15 minutes (one way)

Amount of Use: Heavy

Blaze Color: Yellow

Area Trail Map: None

USGS Quad Map: Elk Park

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Elk River Falls on the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest is a beautiful scenic attraction. It’s also one of the deadliest scenic attractions in Avery County, NC. Deaths and very serious injuries including paralysis have occurred when people jumped from the top of this waterfall. Don’t be the next victim and don’t put emergency responders at risk.  This area is closed from 10:00PM until 6:00AM. See the Forest Closure Order at this link. This order is in place until rescinded. 


Day Hiking

Viewing Scenery