Upper Whitewater Falls Trail

EASY 17 reviews
#14 of 64 trails in

Upper Whitewater Falls Trail is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.7 miles
574 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


Currently closed due to fire damage. Hoping to re-open by July 2017.

10 days ago

This is a beautiful waterfall The hike down to the platform is awesome everyone should go see this at least once in their lifetime

11 days ago

This is NOT an easy hike if you go all the way down to the river. We only made it half way.

16 days ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

3 months ago


5 months ago

5 months ago

Fee parking lot, paved access to overlook and then stairs to a wooden landing. Great view. Some alternate trails, e.g. the lower Whitewater Falls trail which takes you away from the view. If you are near Cashiers worth a trip.

8 months ago

Easy access. Paved and steps to overlook.

9 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

Very pretty, falls were slow but loved the setting. Nice little pave road up to the falls and take the stairs to get an even closer view. Falls with the colors was quite relaxing, quite a few people on Sunday mid-morning.

11 months ago

The Whitewater Falls Trail hugs the Sumter and Nantahala National Forests as a part of the larger Foothills Trail for around two miles out and back. The trail here is well maintained, and there are plenty of obstacles to make a fairly short section of the Foothills Trail feel more intense than the distance might suggest. My daughter was able to handle even the toughest parts of the hike with little help.

We started our hike from the Sumter National Forest side, since parking there was free. After a short downhill, we steadily dropped in elevation over the next mile or so as we made our way to the river below.

The rock outcrops here are gorgeous, and the river is wild. Despite the rapids, there were plenty of places to wade into the water and relax our tired feet in the cool water. We ran into a handful of hikers along the trail here, and only two Foothills Trail thru hikers, but there was a nice crowd of day hikers at the river below.

The hike took about four hours, including quite a bit of time lounging around the river, exploring the boulders, snacking and conversing with fellow hikers.

The trail was very clean and well maintained. I had a fantastic time and highly recommend this hike to anyone in the area with a few hours to fill. I only wish it were longer!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Very beautiful trail! We did end up taking the gravel road back to the parking area however due to the weather that day!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The short walk to an upper viewing area is handicap accessible but could be difficult to push due to slight incline, there is also a viewing deck down a ways accessible by stairs. The trail on down the mountain is strenuous but a nice hike if you aren't only looking for a better view of the falls, you won't see much from down there. Unless you just enjoy the challenge, enjoy the view from the top side.

Thursday, July 17, 2014