Summer is one of the best times of year to explore Asheville, North Carolina. This is mostly because of the incredible watery wonders that await you. The Asheville area is home to tons of gorgeous waterfalls of all shapes and sizes.
Today, we’re highlighting some must-see cascades so you can create your own summer waterfall tour. Some are easily accessible from the roadside and others require a bit of a hike, but we guarantee the view will be worth the effort. Read on to discover the most stand-out waterfalls in the Asheville region.
At Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 339, is the gorgeous 70-foot Crabtree Falls. These falls are accessed by two options of woodland hiking trails—an easy 3-mile hike to and from on the same trail or a more strenuous 3.5-mile loop. The loop brings you along a ridge above the falls offering breathtaking views.
In the summertime, you’ll enjoy plenty of wildflowers and you may even spot some foraging wildlife! You’ll love the bridge that runs of over the creek and in front of the falls for ideal views and photographs.
Located just down the road from Crabtree Falls at Milepost 316, Linville Falls has become one of the most photographed waterfalls in North Carolina. This gorgeous waterfall is accessible by a 1.6 mile round-trip hike. Along the way, you’ll find four different overlooks to get the best views possible.
This 90-foot tall waterfall is located in Burke County, 66 miles north of Asheville. The falls dumps into the 12-mile long Linville Gorge with impressive cliffs towering above. The trail to Linville Falls is also accessible from a second parking area located near the village of Linville Falls in the Pisgah National Forest.
Looking Glass Falls
This roadside waterfall is one of the most popular and easily accessible. It is the most easy to view for those with mobility and walking challenges due to its proximity to the road. Looking Glass Falls got its name from Looking Glass Rock, which is where water freezes on its sides in the wintertime and shines in the sun like a mirror or looking glass.
Looking Glass can be easily found off U.S. 276, Forest Heritage Scenic Byway near Brevard. You’ll find a quick and easy parking area along the road. From here, you’ll take a short stroll to get a closer look at this incredible 60-foot tall cascade. In the summertime, you can cool off in the stream below the falls. This spot is a favorite for family photos and is just 36 miles from Downtown Asheville.
Triple Falls Trail
Triple Falls Trail offers an unforgettable three in one experience! This trail gives you access to three different Asheville area waterfalls including: Hooker Falls, Triple Falls and High Falls. This trail is home to some recognizable scenery including filming locations for The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.
The best way to start your scenic hike is at the Hooker Falls Access parking lot. Here, you can begin on the Hooker Falls Trail where you’ll hike through a shady evergreen and hardwood forest for a quarter of a mile. You’ll soon come across the peaceful 12-foot Hooker Falls. After taking in the views, head back the way you came and cross the pedestrian bridge under the highway. The trail to Triple Falls is a bit steeper with an elevation gain of 120 feet. Continue on alongside Little River and take the trail to the left which leads you to the middle section of the falls. Here, you can admire the impressive 120-foot total drop of Triple Falls.
From here you can venture on to High Falls by returning to the trail. The trail to High Falls climbs for about a quarter of a mile and then splits. Take Riverbend Trail to the left and continue to the base of High Falls. After this hike, you’ll have gained about 160 feet in total elevation!
For a majestic view, check out Catawba Falls. Surrounded by lush forest and lined with green algae, this waterfall looks like something straight out of a fantasy novel. This 1.5-mile, relaxing hike follows a gentle stream and dogs are welcome!
This 100-foot waterfall is located in Old Fort, just 26 miles east of Asheville. During the summer, you’ll notice that the upper section of the falls is shaded by trees, but in the winter, it is fully visible. There is a nice parking lot and restroom facility at the head of the trail.
Soco Falls is an easily missed double waterfall located between Maggie Valley and Cherokee, North Carolina. Just a short 1.5 mile drive south of Blue Ridge Parkway, this location is often overlooked due to its shortage of signage. Don’t let this fool you though, this one is a must-see as it is the only double waterfall in the area.
Take a less than 5 minute walk to the observation deck to the view the incredible 120-foot falls. For a closer look, continue down the steep trail from the deck to access the base of the waterfall. This area was once used by the Cherokee in the 1700’s as the main entrance to their land. This historic location is a 40-mile drive from Downtown Asheville.
A truly stunning sight, Rainbow Falls pours down a 150-foot rock face! To access this incredible spot, head to Gorges State Park near the Nantahala National Forest. The trail to access Rainbow Falls is a moderate 1.7-mile hike that offers gorgeous views along the way. In the summertime, you’ll enjoy the luscious trees and fields of wildflowers that surround.
Once you arrive, you’ll see that this waterfall empties into a boulder-filled pool where you can take a refreshing dip in the summer months. Wondering how it got its name? On most sunny days, you’ll be able to see a rainbow in the mist of its cascades. This one-of-a-kind waterfall is located in Sapphire, 55 miles from Downtown Asheville.
These are just a few of the incredible waterfalls that are sprinkled throughout the Western North Carolina region. With so many to see and discover, we know you’ll be coming back for more. If you’re interested in making Asheville your full-time or part-time residence, consider working with a qualified and well-respected Asheville area REALTOR®. For over 26 years, Troy Flack has been helping people just like you find their ideal Asheville home. Offering decades of result-oriented experience in the Asheville real estate market, we know what it takes to find the home of your dreams. Contact us today with any questions you may have and we will be happy to help you move forward in making Asheville your next home.