Upper Whitewater Falls Nantahala National Forest, NC
miles
LENGTH 0.5 MILES
DIFFICULTY 1.2 Easy
DURATION 20 minutes
ELEVATION GAIN
130
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Upper Whitewater Falls

Take in the view of the Upper Whitewater Falls in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. If you’re looking for a traditional hike this isn’t going to be for you, but if you’re looking for a short easy paved path to two observation points of a beautiful waterfall, this is exactly for you. Great for families with small children or as a leg stretcher if you’re passing through, the impressive multi-tiered falls drops over 400 feet along the Whitewater River.

The large 50 car parking lot is just .2 miles north of the NC/SC state line. There are several dedicated spots for RVs and buses. Restrooms can be found on the entrance side and picnic tables and pavilions on the opposite end. The trail begins at the end of the lot from the entrance. The path is paved the whole way to the first viewpoint, with wooden steps down to the second viewing platform.

Along the short gradual climb to the first view of the falls, several benches are positioned with views between the trees. At the end of the paved path a wooden fence guards the steep drop off for the first view of the falls. Heading down the steps to the right is a viewing platform with another similar view. Although about 600 feet away from the falls, the views are worth the short trip. If you want a slightly more difficult hike, follow the sign at the bottom of the steps for the Foothills Trail to form a short loop back to the other side of the parking lot.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length0.5 miles
difficulty1.2 Easy
duration20 minutes
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeNone
elevation gain130 ft.
park/forestNantahala National Forest
ranger districtNantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734
828-524-6441
parking fee$2
trailhead coordinates 35.030268, -83.016215 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°1.82, W 83°0.97 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°1'49'', N 35°1'49'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.030268, -83.016215 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°1.82, W 83°0.97 most GPS units use this one
N 35°1'49'', N 35°1'49'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
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Notes
Restrooms are in the building at the opposite end of the parking lot from the trailhead.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4 (1)
hikethesouth-4 months ago
Easy Waterfall View
Hard to really call this a hike but if you want a short paved path to an impressive waterfall, this'll do.
Easy | Hiked Summer 2018
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