23 STUNNING Waterfalls Near Asheville You Shouldn’t Miss

Asheville is known for many enticing attractions – a thriving art scene, a foodie haven, breweries galore, and of course a treasure trove of accessible natural wonders, in particular, some stunning Asheville waterfalls.

This staggering scenery of Asheville is so alluring and so much that we must say, we strongly disagree with TLC and recommend that you go chasing all the waterfalls near Asheville.

There are hundreds of spectacular rushing rapids to visit in and around Asheville, so choosing your dream cascade destination can be challenging. The good news is that there are scenic falls for every fondness, and we’ve carefully handpicked our favorite waterfalls near Asheville for you to enjoy too.

Beautiful Waterfalls Near Asheville

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls
  • Distance From Asheville: 50 minute drive
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest
  • Hike Required? No

Looking Glass Falls is a spectacular sight that is easily accessible for all. Only 45 minutes from downtown Asheville, Looking Glass Falls is right off of the highway and even has a roadside observation deck for easy viewing. Nestled in the mountains of Pisgah National Forest, it’s a 75-foot fall of cool, clear, gushing water. 

If you choose to trek in for a closer look, you’ll find the water is shallow enough to wade in and splash around. It’s considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Asheville area and seeing this magnificent waterfall is one of the best things to do in North Carolina.

ULTIMATE Guide to Looking Glass Falls in North Carolina

Hickory Nut Falls

Hickory Nut Falls
  • Distance From Asheville: 40 minute drive // 25 Miles
  • Location: Chimney Rock State Park
  • Hike Required? Moderate hike at 1.4 miles round trip

The water at Hickory Nut Falls falls almost 400 feet from its apex to its base, making it one of the tallest Asheville waterfalls. You may even recognize it from its moment of fame in the classic film “The Last of the Mohicans.” 

The trail to reach the astounding vision of the rushing river is less than a mile long. It’s in Chimney Rock State Park, which offers a beautiful forest, plenty of wildflowers, and many scenic views.  

Triple Falls, High Falls, Hooker Falls 

Triple-Falls-Trail  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Asheville: 50 minute drive / 40 miles
  • Location: Dupont State Forest
  • Hike Required? 2.7 Miles Loop

Triple Falls is a frequented trailhead within the gorgeous Dupont State Forest, close to Hendersonville. About an hour from Asheville, many visitors make the trek to see three waterfalls for the price of one. It’s a beautiful North Carolina hike well worth the effort.

The hike is a moderate level path, with a few steep sections that is about two miles out and back to view all three Asheville waterfalls. The winding trails are full of old-growth fir forests for a fresh and crisp adventure. 

The first waterfall you will come across is High Falls, at 150 feet tall it is arguably the most impressive of the bunch. A covered bridge overlooks the High Falls, that offers an excellent vantage point and extra charm. 

Next is Triple Falls, a three-tiered 125-foot natural wonder and made famous for its appearance in the popular series “Hunger Games.” The last is Hooker Falls. It’s only about 12 feet high, but it has an impressive volume, and at the bottom, there are some rocks for resting and a pool for swimming. The current is feeble here, so it is one of the few spots safe for a dip. 

Biltmore Waterfall

biltmore waterfalls  - waterfalls near asheville
Michael Sprague, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Best Asheville Waterfalls
  • Distance From Asheville: 20 minute drive / 6 miles
  • Location: Biltmore Estate
  • Hike Required? No

Visiting the Biltmore Estate is one of Asheville’s best things to do, and a leisurely stroll through the iconic Biltmore Estate will lead you to one of the few waterfalls that lie within Asheville city limits. The Biltmore Waterfall is part of a dam located at Bass Pond on majestic grounds. 

For a short but magical stroll, take the Azalea Garden Trail. And for a longer hike, you can use the Deerpark Trail to end up at the same stunning site. There are plenty of great photo-ops from the bridge above or the viewing rocks below, but it’s hard to get a bad photograph anywhere on the Biltmore premises.

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1.5 hours // 82 Miles
  • Location: Dupont State Forest
  • Hike Required? 5 Miles / Moderate to Strenuous

This waterfall is also within Dupont State Forest, near Highlands, NC. It’s a bit farther out and requires some hiking, so if you’re up for a long and adventurous day, you can hit it with Triple Falls or make a separate trip just for this beauty. 

It’s a four-mile round trip route with several viewing options to witness the 120-footfalls from all angles. It is a particularly great trail for mountain biking if you prefer that exploration method.

After you complete the journey and get back to the city, make sure to eat at one of the best Asheville restaurants to refuel.

Catawba Falls

Catawba Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
Catawba Falls is one of the best Asheville waterfalls hikes
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 30 Minute Drive / 28 Miles
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest
  • Hike Required? 2.5 miles roundtrip

Catawba Falls are some of the best waterfalls near Asheville and feature 100 feet of glorious and gushing water. There is a three-mile round trip hike through the magical Pisgah National Forest, full of dreamy green moss and lichen-covered woodland. The hike is easy to moderate and ends at some of the most picturesque views in the region.

If you have a furry friend you’re in for a treat, as the trail is dog friendly! Much of the trail follows a babbling brook, making for a calm and tranquil nature-filled fun day. The trail is mostly shaded, which is good news for trail runners looking to beat the heat.

Pearson’s Falls

Pearson’s Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 50 Minutes / 38 Miles
  • Location: Tryon Garden Club
  • Hike Required? Easy, less than 1 mile total

Pearson’s Falls is an excellent option if you’re looking for Asheville waterfalls that are an easy and short hike. The trail is about half a mile through lush landscape finishing at a 90-foot cascading waterfall down a rugged rocky staircase. 

It’s a lovely stroll with a great payoff and doesn’t require all the exertion of some more strenuous treks. Pearson’s Falls is owned and maintained by The Tryon Garden Club, a non-profit organization and costs $5 to enter. However, it’s a small price to pay given how amazing the trail conditions are. The falls are in an ecological preserve, so plenty of beautiful flora and fauna to spot. Flower enthusiasts should remember their camera as their are many rare plants and flowers to spot along the way.

Keep in mind that Pearson’s Falls and Glen is a botanical park that houses numerous rare native plants. To ensure the preservation of this natural environment, they have a strict policy prohibiting pets of any kind, with the exception of registered service dogs that must be leashed at all times.

Dill Falls

Dill Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1 Hour 20 Minutes / 47 Miles
  • Location: Nantahala National Forest
  • Hike Required? 2 Miles to Both Falls

Dill Falls is a one-mile, round trip, easy hike to see both Upper Dill Falls and Lower Dill Falls. They are both 50-foot falls within the idyllic Nantahala National Forest, and are one of the most beautiful sights to see during fall in North Carolina.

The trails are simple to follow but are often not marked. Due to this, it is one of the less frequented attractions, so it’s a good chance for some uninterrupted photo-ops and to feel lost in nature, soaking up all the majestic sights and sounds. 

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow-Falls-Trail  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1 Hour 15 Minutes / 55 Miles
  • Location: Gorges State Park
  • Hike Required? 4 Miles Roundtrip

The 150-foot falls are a vertical feat of nature located in Gorges State Park, makes Rainbow Falls a gorgeous sight. To reach the falls requires hiking along a trail under two miles through giant trees and wildflower meadows.

You will hear the massive falls before you see them. Named for its propensity to create beautiful rainbows in its mist, be sure to view it from several angles to try and catch a glimpse of one. 

There are two smaller bonus waterfalls right nearby as well. Keep your eyes open for Hidden Falls on the way to Rainbow Falls for a lovely wading pool. Turtleback Falls is just a bit further and has an excellent spot for picnicking. It is a beautiful spot in the area, and there are even a few cozy Asheville cabins to stay nearby!

Courthouse Falls

Courthouse Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1.5 Hour Drive / 55 Miles
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest
  • Hike Required? Under 1 mile of easy walking

These Asheville waterfalls provide a verdant setting, tucked in a scenic cove surrounded by wild flora. It’s a 45-foot chute of cascading water that lands in a deep, clear pool perfect for a refreshing dip, so don’t forget a swimsuit!

The hike is about one mile long and stays at a relatively easy level. The fall’s mist keeps this spot cool, even in the warmest parts of summer. It’s even likely you will have this hidden retreat all to yourself, as this is one of the less frequented waterfalls near Asheville.

Little Bradley Falls

Little Bradley Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 45 Minute Drive / 36 Miles
  • Location: Green River Game Lands
  • Hike Required? 2 Miles Round Trip

Little Bradley Falls stands as a remarkably scenic multi-tiered waterfall, boasting a height of 50 feet, located in the vicinity of the small NC town of Saluda. This 50-foot waterfall is multi-tiered, adding exceptional beauty to its fast-flowing streams. Viewing it on a relaxed trail with lots of tree canopy cover is a two-mile round trip.

It’s located on Cove Creek and has a charming swimming hole with a small beach area at its end. It may seem enticing to climb here, but the rocks are very slippery, so it can be pretty dangerous, and we don’t recommend it.

Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1 Hour / 40 Miles
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest
  • Hike Required? 4-mile loop

Daniel Ridge Falls is located in Pisgah National Forest and can go by the other monikers of Tom’s Spring Branch Falls or Jackson Falls. At 150 feet, it’s a remarkable display of sheer power. There are two different trails, with tiny waterfalls and sweet streams along the journey. 

One is a four-mile loop, and the other is just a mile out and back if you’re looking for a more leisurely adventure. About an hour outside of Asheville, these trails are favorites of the locals and less frequented by visitors in the area.

Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls  - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1 Hour Drive / 50 Miles
  • Location: Crabtree Falls Recreation Area
  • Hike Required? 2.5-mile loop trail

Crabtree Falls is a famous and pretty waterfall an hour from downtown Asheville, not far from the town of Little Switzerland. There is an easy trail that’s two miles out and back and a more difficult two-and-a-half-mile loop that travels along a ridge above the waterfall.

Both trails tend to be a bit muddy, so bring shoes that you don’t mind getting a bit mucky. The water flows from a 60-foot rock cliff creating a dramatic cascade. Photographers should bring their camera and tripod to snap the perfect photo of these gorgeous waterfalls. Best part is there’s a small bridge that is perfect for viewing the falls. 

Dry Falls

Dry Falls - waterfalls near asheville
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1.5 Hour Drive / 80 Miles
  • Location: Nantahala National Forest
  • Hike Required? Easy .5 mile out and back

Located in Nantahala National Forest this 75 foot waterfall is a sight to see. Dry Falls offers a unique feature that most do not, making it one of the more popular waterfalls near Asheville. The falls flow directly over a cliff at a high volume, creating its unique characteristic where you can walk inside the waterfall and stay dry.

Its roadside location makes it easily accessible and has an observation deck for effortless and excellent viewing. It’s a great waterfall attraction for those who are less mobile and not able to hike.

If you are looking for a more intensive experience, there is a longer eight-mile trail that takes you along the Cullasaja River to several other falls in addition to Dry Falls. 

Skinny Dip Falls

Skinny Dip Falls
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 50 Minute Drive / 33 Miles
  • Location: Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Hike Required? Less than 1 mile

Skinny Dip Falls is just the spot if you’re hoping for a more interactive waterfall experience. Multiple cascades and pools allow plenty of swimming, climbing, and jumping off rocks into deep pools of clear, cool water. Though if you don’t want to get wet, there are several dry places to rest and relax near the falls. 

Despite the name, we do recommend bringing a bathing suit, as you likely won’t be alone as you wade in the water. It’s at the end of a short trail right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a spectacular year-round sight. 

Upper Whitewater Falls

Upper Whitewater Falls
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1 Hour 20 Minutes / 60 Miles
  • Location: Nantahala National Forest
  • Hike Required? 1.2 miles

The Whitewater Falls are the highest east of the Rockies, at a whopping 811 feet. The Lower Falls is accessible from South Carolina, but the staggering Upper Falls are less than an hour from downtown Asheville. They are nestled in the Nantahala National Forest and plummet 411 feet. 

A short paved walkway leads to an overlook for a dazzling view above the falls. There’s a staircase that meanders down to a lower vantage point that’s just as wonderful. The rest of the trail will take you down to the bottom of Upper Whitewater Falls for a rest with a view or a revitalizing swim. 

It’s good to know that Whitewater Falls draws a substantial number of visitors, particularly in the midday and on holidays. It is advisable for guests to schedule their visit during morning or evening hours. There is a $3 parking fee.

Linville Falls

Linville Falls
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 1 Hour / 55 Miles
  • Location: Linville Gorge Wilderness
  • Hike Required? Moderate 1.6 mile round-trip walk

Linville Falls requires a bit of a longer hike and is farther out, at an hour and a half from Asheville, but these falls are well worth the drive. There are two trails about four miles long with one being more strenuous than the other. The falls plummet down 90 feet, and you will find several incredible vistas to take it all in throughout the hike. 

It’s one of the more famously photographed sites in the area, and it’s obvious why. The flowing, sparkling water jutting out from the mountain rock formations surrounding foliage creates a magical scene. 

Soco Falls

Soco Falls
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 50 Minutes / 40 Miles
  • Location: Cherokee Indian Reservation
  • Hike Required? No

Soco Falls is the site of the rare twin waterfalls located on the edge of the Cherokee Indian Reservation, located between the towns of Maggie Valley and Cherokee. It’s only about half an hour from Asheville and has several short trails for viewing both falls at different points. The observation deck is just a 5 minute walk from the parking area, making it another nice waterfall near Asheville to visit if you don’t want to hike.

Follow the steep trail from the observation deck down to the waterfall’s base for a more intimate perspective. Exercise caution, this segment is equipped with ropes to assist with balance and can become quite slippery. We recommend hiking boots with good grip!

It’s right off the highway, and there are only a couple of minor signs for it, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled, so you don’t miss it. 

Tom’s Creek Falls 

Tom’s Creek Falls 
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 50 Minutes / 40 Miles
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest
  • Hike Required? Less than 1 Mile

This waterfall is a hidden gem of the waterfalls near Asheville. It tends to be more serene and less frequented than the others, but Tom’s Creek Falls is just as breathtaking. This double-tiered, 60-foot fall and perfect for easy photographing. 

The trek is less than a mile, and you can stop to see the old mica mine along the way. If it’s sunny enough, you can see the brightly-colored rock really glitter here. With dense forest and several small streams, this is a perfect choice for those craving to commune with nature.

Moore Cove Falls

Moore Cove Falls
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 50 Minutes / 40 Miles
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest
  • Hike Required? 1.2-mile out-and-back trail

Set near the town of Brevard in Pisgah National Forest, these freestanding falls provide a pristine and rugged peek into the natural wonders of North Carolina. Often overlooked at only 50 feet tall, the magic of Moore Cave lies in beautiful cliffs and secret cave just behind the falls. That’s right, Moore Cove Falls is one of the only waterfalls near Asheville you can enjoy from behind!

Venture in to explore and enjoy the experience of listening to the gentle cascade echoing inside, a magical escape from reality into the wonderful world of waterfalls. 

Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock
  • Distance From Downtown Asheville: 50 Minutes / 40 Miles
  • Location: Pisgah National Forest
  • Hike Required? Very short walk

Part scenic waterfall and part thrill ride, Sliding Rock is perfect for adventure seekers who want to slide on a natural rock. Not far from the town of Brevard, this waterfall is one of the most popular waterfalls in state.

Sliding Rock is a 60-foot flat yet sloping mountain waterfall in Pisgah National Forest, which likely wouldn’t attract too much of a crowd, expect it has a unique feature. Quite the attraction, this site receives many visitors from all over waiting to slip and slide down this natural phenomenon. 

Eleven thousand gallons of water rush through every minute, and it’s undoubtedly the most exciting way to beat the heat in the area on a hot summer day. It’s less than an hour from Asheville, and there are several spots to view the falls and cheer on the sliders if you prefer to stay dry.

For those that want to get wet and wild, bring a bathing suit, but preferably one that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty and scratched up!

Guide to Visiting Sliding Rock Falls in North Carolina

Waterfalls Near Asheville FAQ

What is the most accessible waterfall to see in Asheville?

Looking Glass Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to view, you can see the falls in under 10 minutes with just 0.3-mile round-trip hike. Other waterfalls that are easy for viewing are Dry Falls and Soco Falls.

What is the largest waterfall near Asheville?

Upper Whitewater Falls are the highest east of the Rockies, at 811 feet

What waterfalls can you walk behind Asheville?

Moore Cove Falls in Pisgah National Forest is one of the few waterfalls near Asheville you can walk behind.

What state park near Asheville has waterfalls?

DuPont State Recreational Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and Nantahala National Forest all are ripe with waterfalls!

What is the prettiest waterfall in North Carolina?

A subjective question, some of the prettiest waterfalls in North Carolina are Looking Glass Falls, Hickory Nut Falls, and Crabtree Falls.

What are the most popular waterfalls near Asheville?

The most famous waterfalls near Asheville are easily Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls.

Tips For Visiting Asheville

Our Favorite Asheville Restaurants

best things to do in asheville

There are some wonderful restaurants in Asheville. That comes in a wide variety of price points and cuisines. The city makes for one of the best vacations in North Carolina and the East Coast. Asheville residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining, but it can be a little overwhelming for visitors.

  • Jargon — Jargon is housed in an intimate, cozy space with an upscale, modern feel. They boast detailed dishes inspired by a variety of international cuisine with a gourmet American base.
  • Bouchon — Bouchon serves up all the French favorites. Asheville is known as the Paris of the South, and what better way to celebrate this apt moniker.
  • Tupelo Honey — When visiting Asheville, it’s important to partake in the scratch-made Southern comfort fares of the region.

Our Favorite Asheville Hotels

Asheville Sidewalk Downtown

Various accommodation options in Asheville will be sure to work for any visitor. The right place to sleep at night only makes a trip to one of America’s best mountain towns even better. Everything from luxury resorts to boutique hotels and romantic cabins in Asheville.

  • Private Island Cabin: Want a romantic cabin in Asheville on a small secluded private island in the French Broad River? This Asheville VRBO is the ultimate unique glamping getaway.
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn: The historic Omni Grove Hotel is the quintessential place to stay in Asheville. It provides legendary guest service in an unforgettable setting that offers some of the best views in Asheville. It’s worth a visit even if you don’t stay here!
  • Foundry Hotel Asheville: This hotel features upscale decor, modern with a nod to the historical context of the building and district.
  • Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville: Modern hotel with a fantastic location in downtown Asheville.
14 Unique Asheville Glamping Sites to Get Cozy in

Our Favorite Asheville Breweries

Beers At Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville

Asheville is considered one of the beer capitals of the United States so after you are done exploring these Asheville waterfalls it’s best to hit a brewery up! Its craft brewery scene has been thriving for decades now, and with all that competition, the brewers here really step up their game.

There are a ton of new breweries in Asheville that have popped up around the city, but if you’re looking for the three OGs in Asheville, it is Green Man, Wicked Weed, and Highland Brewing Company.

  • Highland Brewing Company — When investigating the best breweries in Asheville, it’s essential to pay homage to the original brewmasters, Highland Brewing Company, who paved the way for the rest. Their Highland Gaelic Ale is a fixture on the craft beer scene and one of my favorite beers of all time.
  • Green Man Brewery — Green Man Brewery was one of the original beer halls of Asheville in 1997, but they are always bringing something new and exciting to the beer scene in honor of their namesake. 
  • Wicked Weed — Wicked Weed has four separate facilities in the city – a brewpub, a production facility, a fine-dining space, and, of course, the Funkatorium. They have been pushing the envelope of unique craft flavors since 2012.

The Best Waterfalls Naer Asheville Map

About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and seven continents. After, many years of international travel they settled down a bit and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

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