13 of the Best Waterfall Hikes Near Asheville, NC

Is there anything better than hiking to a waterfall? There’s something so magical about walking through a forest area to come upon a powerful surge of water cascading over rocks. These combined elements create the perfect opportunity for outdoor adventures that are both fun and good for the body and mind. 

Since we’re always out in the area leading yoga hikes and tons of other outdoor wellness activities, you bet we have a number of favorite waterfall hikes near Asheville! 

Whether you’re local or visiting the Asheville area, we highly recommend you check out some (or all!) of these spots. After all, we think it’s totally okay to go chasing waterfalls! But, if you’d rather just stick to the rivers that you’re used to, maybe you’d prefer some SUP yoga instead. (Oh c’mon, we had to slip in at least one TLC reference into a waterfalls post! We’re done now, though, we promise.)

Know Before You Go: Tips for Asheville Area Waterfall Hikes 

Many of our favorite waterfall hikes can get pretty busy, especially in the summer when the Blue Ridge is a popular getaway destination. If you’re heading to some of these popular spots, get there early to avoid crowds (I’m talking 9am at the latest!). You’ll also have a better chance to park easily! 

Some of these hikes are a little more challenging, while others really don’t even qualify as “hikes” since they’re just a few steps from the road or parking area. But they’re still popular waterfalls near Asheville so we think they’re worth checking out!

Always remember that these are places of natural beauty that should be treasured. Leave no trace and always be respectful of wildlife, other visitors, and the environment.

We definitely recommend heading to these waterfalls for a moment of serenity to practice mindfulness. Being surrounded by nature and the indomitable power of constantly flowing water can set an ideal scene for meditation and mindfulness. If that sounds interesting, then you would probably enjoy forest bathing, too. Need some more details about any wellness activities? Contact us and we’d be happy to chat with you about venturing out into the Asheville area for outdoor wellness and fun!

Without further ado…our favorite waterfall hikes near Asheville, NC!

1. Whitewater Falls

Let’s start with the highest waterfall in North Carolina! Whitewater Falls cascades down a jaw-dropping 400 feet. It’s also quite a short hike to get there to see it, so it’s more accessible and time-sensitive if you’re going waterfall chasing all day long!

2. Looking Glass Falls

Located in Pisgah National Forest, Looking Glass Falls near Asheville is one of the easiest waterfalls to get to from the roadside. It’s a 60-foot falls and can be quite popular given its easy accessibility, so head here early if you go!

3. Catawba Falls

Also located in Pisgah National Forest, Catawba Falls is a rather easy hike, clocking in at only around 1.5 miles one way. The 100-foot falls is impressive and beautiful! It’s also only about a half-hour drive from Asheville.

4. Tom’s Creek Falls

If you’re visiting Asheville in autumn, Tom’s Creek Falls is a beauty! It’s a two-tiered waterfall offering about 60 feet of cascading water. And it’s a very easy half-mile walk to get the views.

5. Pearson’s Falls

You need to pay the $5 entrance fee to get to Pearson’s Falls, but it’s a very easy half-mile walk to get lovely views of the 90-foot cascading waterfall.

6. Dry Falls

A conflicting name for a waterfall, Dry Falls is a unique waterfall to visit near Asheville! You can walk along the boardwalk that actually goes behind the waterfall, so you can stay dry while listening to that powerful surge of water! This is another very accessible waterfall, with just a short walk from the parking lot required. That also means it gets very busy at peak times, so try to get there early.

7. High Falls (at Lake Glenville)

These High Falls (a common name, confusingly) are a stunning 150-foot cascade that is your reward after a fairly challenging 4-mile hike. For these beautiful waterfall views, the strain is worth it!

8. Upper Creek Falls

A popular waterfall in the Asheville area for families with kids, Upper Creek Falls is a longer trail for the little ones but it’s also a perfect spot for swimming. There’s even a rope swing! This is another one located in Pisgah National Forest, which can make for a fantastic day out.

9. Big Shoals Falls (a.k.a. Secret Falls)

Big Shoals Falls, or Secret Falls, is an excellent option for families hoping to do waterfall hikes near Asheville. You’ll follow a fairly easy half-mile trail to get to this 50-foot beauty, and the pool at the bottom is great for dipping your toes in on a warm-weather day!

10. Triple Falls 

Located in DuPont State Forest, the hike to Triple Falls actually includes three falls — and you might recognize one if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games franchise! The first is Hooker Falls, which is short but very easily accessible and a nice welcome to the hike. Then, you’ll enjoy the stunning Triple Falls. At 125 feet with three tiers, this is a truly stunning sight! It’s been used for filming in The Hunger Games, as well as The Last of the Mohicans. Finally, High Falls is your third reward for this beautiful day out in nature!

11. Bridal Veil Falls (at DuPont State Forest)

There are two Bridal Veil Falls near Asheville, but the one at DuPont State Forest is incredibly beautiful and definitely worth the hike! It’s about 4.5 miles round trip, or you could actually tack this onto the Triple Falls hike you did previously! The falls were also used in filming and offer an incredible serenity for those who make the effort to get there.

12. Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls can be reached via a scenic 2.5-mile trail that’s considered to be moderate to strenuous for its steep incline and rocky terrain. You can carry on after enjoying the 60-foot falls and complete the trail loop instead of doubling back. This is definitely a favorite waterfall hike in the Asheville area!

13. Graveyard Fields Falls

While it sounds dark and ominous, Graveyard Fields is actually a beautiful area filled with wildflower-covered meadows in the summer and autumn colors in the fall. Getting to the Upper and Lower Graveyard Fields Falls is a fairly easy hike along the loop trail. It’s a very popular spot for locals and visitors alike, but it’s also beautiful throughout the year! Try to go during less busy times to really enjoy the tranquility.

With hundreds of waterfalls in the Asheville area, we could go on and on with recommendations! Instead, we’ll leave it here for now and encourage you to get outdoors and experience the beauty and wonder of nature. And, if you’re ready for an adventure focused on wellness and fun, we would love to take you on one of our North Carolina wellness tours! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about our experiences.