Explore Cashiers, NC - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Cashiers, NC Map

I must see what an adventure

This trail offers a steep hike through a nice forest to a series of beautiful waterfalls. However, there is very limited space available for viewing these falls, and the crowds detract from any possibility of a wilderness experience. The falls are very popular and located just outside of the Highlands city limits. If you hike this trail and want a chance to enjoy the falls, get there very early.

bear encounter

Great hike especially with younger hikers. Awesome views and a real sense of you made it to the top for the young ones.

Have only done the upper portion from the parking lot to platform. Very easy. Post fire rebuild is excellent.

3 days ago

Down hill is easy. Uphill is hard. A series of falls with limited viewing.

Clockwise is the easier route.

Went after a heavy rain and waterfalls was amazing!!

7 days ago

A quick and short walk to view the falls and it was impressive. The area has received a lot of rain recently and the falls showed it. If you are in the area it’s definitely worth the trip.

This state park has a gorgeous waterfall. There is a very large paved parking lot ($2) with parking available for buses and RVs. A paved trail leads up an easy slope to the first viewing area and takes about 10 minutes from car to viewing area. A long staircase of well-made and reasonable new steps lead down to a second viewing area that offers an even better view. From there a trail leads down to the water but a sign warns that there are no waterfall views below that point.

This trail starts in Gorges State Park (but eventually leaves the park property). Drive past the Visitors Center and down the hill to the large, paved parking lot. Downhill from the trailhead the trail splits - left is the Raymond Fisher Trail and right is the Rainbow Falls Trail. Go right. On the trail there are two creek crossings. The first is a shallow and easy two stepper but the second is a deeper six stepper. I made it across without poles. Rainbow Falls has two nice viewing areas (one farther away to take in the full view and one up close to feel the mist). Turtleback Falls is where all of the swimmers go to slide down the falls. There is no formal viewing area there but the large boulders are easy to climb and navigate and afford great views. Both waterfalls are particularly picturesque.

The parking lot is big but fills quickly so arrive early. There is a short hike up switchbacks and stairs to get to the top quickly or a long gravel road to get there more easily but takes longer. I'm 60 and found the switchbacks to be easy and the best route. I went on an overcast day and found that visibility was 0 feet when I got to the many viewing areas along the SE face of the mountain. However, after lingering for 15 minutes the haze lifted and visibility stretched to the horizon after about 30 minutes. The main trail is well guarded by safety fences but the side trails are not so watch children. I'm posting the hazy pictures but also some unique photos of the mountain taken off-trail. There are many gated communities in the area but the shot of the mountain over the lake was taken on Whiteside Cove Road at 35* 04.035'N and 083* 07.194'W. The clear and sunny shots were taken at a place called "The Spa" along SR-64 between Cashiers and Sapphire. (It is a beautiful place that is not gated and the people were friendly.)

One of my favorite hikes. Busy in the summertime, but well worth it for how short it is!

Great hike to see two amazing waterfalls, Rainbow Falls and Turtelback Falls. Moderate to strenuous 3.9 mile trail beginning at Gorges State Park. Rainbow Falls is a super beautiful fall and incredible to see, while Turtelback is a great swimming hole area and water slide for the adventurous.

Great family hike! Moderate difficulty - mostly downhill to the falls so more difficult on the return. Bring water shoes if you plan to take a dip at the base of either falls . We slid off turtleback falls (which is not for the faint of heart) - and we swam at the base of rainbow falls. Lots of hikers and swimmers today.

Started near Lake Jocassee and hiked along the Whitewater River until we reached the falls. Very easy with clearly marked trails and stairs for some sections. 7.6 miles was a non-issue for this dominantly flat stroll through the woods.

The Rainbow falls trail was amazing. Plenty of waterfalls to be seen, a few are found off the main trail. The actual trail is wide enough to hike in groups. There are a ton of swim holes, as long as you are down from Rainbow. The main attraction is a great waterfall with a large cliff and high walls next to it. Trees appear to have been cut down to block the trail to the top of the falls, and signs are posted for safety. Over all a great day of hiking, swimming, and picture taking.

Nice family hike with our 15, 10 and 2 year old. A lot of hikers for A Friday morning. Easy hike up the gravel trail. Great views along the ridge line and nice hike down the other side. Once you reach the top, make sure you follow the trail to see the views along the ridge even if you come back down the gravel, easy trail.

After hiking the Foothills Trail four times I have seen this one enough. Besides I like Upper Whitewater Falls better..

Great short trail. We walked up via the gravel trail then back by way of the tougher trail. Gorgeous views! Definitely walk around Highlands and drive a short way (.5 miles) to see Dry Falls. Beautiful falls on the side of the road.

Great Short Distant hike! Beautiful views!! Read the informative signs. Very Cool!!

Beautiful falls, great hike!

Great short hike with beautiful views!

Panthertown is my home and is run by a great conservation group. This is a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. Don't be afraid to get your paws wet.

I took a guided hike led by the conservation group. A little steep in a few spots for my over the hill owners. They just took their time and stopped to breath a lot. The rest of the group had no problems. Those young bucks. Dog friendly.


Five woofs!

Nice paved path to go and see the overlook.
There will be few stairs to climb, otherwise fairly easy hike for all age levels.

So beautiful following the fairy dust trails! Views clear as day!

We got up there right as clouds/fog rolled in, so we couldn't see anything. Notthe first time hiking trail thankfully. Beautiful views if the weather is good. Relatively easy trail with great views so expect heavy traffic on weekends/holidays.

Trail is well marked,and maintained. No water access from viewing platforms, but nice area to spash around at the bottom. The trek back to the top is most challenging, and the last leg of the trail has a bunch of tree roots. Very diverse group on the trail, everyone was fine though, moderate.

1 month ago

An easy little hike with several different platforms to admire the falls. The last fall is not nearly as impressive as the first two.

Great hike. Kinda busy on a hot day but I wouldn’t have considered it crowded at any time. Falls were impressive. I definitely went over the falls for a nice refreshing 55 degree cooldown lol.
Tons of places to peel off and just sit by the rapids and find your inner zen.

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