Explore the most popular waterfall trails near Highlands with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful! Definitely worth the stop.

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.

hiking
8 days ago

Recent monsoons have made the flow twice the normal flow!

hiking
8 days ago

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

Good shady trail. Good amount of flowing water at various points along the trail. The falls are great and a nice cool break before finishing up the hike.

peaceful and very well maintained trail.

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked 5 days before today and after 3 days of intense rain. Easy hike to enjoy the pool at the base of the falls.

Heavily shaded. Took about 1.5 hrs counterclockwise.
Stopped to read trail markers and enjoy ranger falls.

hiking
12 days ago

I have no clue how on earth this “trail” is easy. Extremely subtle entrance, as in, hop the rail or you’ll miss it. Not for the faint of heart, but 100% worth risking your life along the slippery slopes for that jaw dropping view!

on Dry Falls Trail

walking
12 days ago

If you are in the area, this is a must stop! There are steps down to the falls but it is so worth it. My 8 year old loved it and said it was his favorite of all the falls we have visited. Being able to walk behind it, is definitely fun. The recent rains made it very full and beautiful. I’m sure it’s that way even without the rain and would highly recommend this stop.

Relatively short hike, rocky near the water, but well worth it

walking
12 days ago

Hardly any walk, well defined, and beautiful scenery!

hiking
14 days ago

Dry Falls is located along SR-64 / Highland Road just NW of Highlands, NC. I was VERY impressed by this trail. there was ample paved parking, facilities, a cement trail with guardrails down to and behind the falls, an amazingly pretty waterfall, and no admission. From car to falls is about 10 minutes and the views along the trail of the falls are breathtaking. I went just after a rain so the falls had more flow but I suspect that this waterfall is beautiful year 'round.

hiking
14 days ago

Cullasaja Falls is on the Cullasaja River that flows alongside SR-64 / Highland Road. It is on the south side of the road and is not marked so you won't see it unless you're looking for it. There is room for only 2 cars along the road at the viewpoint. As the day was rainy and the step hillside was wet I decided not to try climbing down the hill but am posting a few pictures taken from the roadside. (In my opinion your time is better and more safely spent at Dry Falls just up the road.)

Good, quick loop. The falls are worth the trip and the diversity of trees along the way made for a pretty enjoyable time. We went right at the loop junction, and we were glad that we did. Either way, this is a good loop.

100% worth the stop on the side of the road

Beautiful forest walk for the first 1.7 miles. The final 1.1 miles wind through a wildflower packed field. We parked in the flat mountain lot which made this hike a 2.8 mile loop. Saw a few others on the trail on a Saturday.

Total of 91 steps each way. Beautiful gorge and falls. fun to walk behind

91 steps down, 91 steps up. Beautiful gorge and falls. Fun to walk behind.

hiking
29 days ago

This was a very challenging and very short distance hike/climb. Well worth it, but don’t climb over the rail if you have doubts about doing some minor scrambling along loose rock and balancing and traversing large boulders on a steep incline. Take your time and the view at the bottom is great. View from that bottom that 99% of tourists won’t ever see.

This is a great trail with so much to see and so many places to explore. Our family of five with two teenagers and a standard poodle had a great time but we managed to get off the trail by half a mile by taking a fork in that appeared to be the correct direction but wasn’t. Still a beautiful, fun hike.

We absolutely LOVED this hike. Very lush, several waterfalls and great exercise coming back up.

1 month ago

We visited with 2.5 and 3.5 year old boys, who loved being able to walk behind the falls. Beautiful and easy. Definitely not a “hike” but a lovely outing.

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice easy trip down. Beautiful falls. Make sure you continue down to see all of the viewing areas. Saw a black snake tumble down the falls only to find rest on a rock a little shaken but fine. Nice to see from afar.

hiking
1 month ago

See Andrew Coorr and Vicki Shepard reviews. Good for what it is. Expect heavy traffic given ease of access.

This was a nice quick hike but the service road is easy to miss. Falls were pretty and a great spot to swim and have lunch.

The trail that starts off the highway is not marked, with no “actual” parking spots. Right at the start is a creek that you’re going to have to cross. Either get your feet wet (not advised this early on in the hike) or go across barefoot. BRING EXTRA SOCKS!! The entire trail is covered in mud, brambles, fallen trees, spider webs, and ticks! Bug spray is also a necessity. When you get to the main fork that starts the loop, GO RIGHT then slightly left to stay on track. You’ll follow the trail down through more downed trees and brambles, then through a “mini loop” to the water. The converging rivers are beautiful! There’s some rocks to sit on and take a break, right at the center of the rivers. When you head back up, GO BACK THE WAY YOU CAME!!!!! I know it’s a “loop trail” but the back side of the trail is completely destroyed! All the trees are down, making the tiny trail literally invisible. We ended up bushwhacking our way out of the mess, nearly getting lost in the process. I wasn’t so judgmental on the rest of the trail after that. Overall, the hike was rough. Sure, it’s flat, but the lack of maintenance made the trail exhausting. The view at the water really is beautiful, “a little Montana” as we called it. I just wouldn’t advise taking kids, dogs, or anybody who isn’t ready to “rough it” a little.
Take-away points:
1. Extra socks
2. Bug spray
3. DO NOT take the backside of the loop! Go right at the fork then come back up the way you came to get back to the highway!!!!

Perfect for what it is. A short jaunt off the side of the road. You might get a little wet if you go behind the falls. My 4 year old made it on the climb back up.

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