Whitewater Falls, Sapphire

#1 of 7 in Things to do in Sapphire
Upper Whitewater Falls is a waterfall in North Carolina on the Whitewater River. As with most of North Carolina's waterfalls, it is in the mountainous area of the state. There is a cluster of falls in the area where the borders of Georgia and the Carolinas come together. Whitewater Falls is part of that group, very close to the South Carolina border.
The waterfall is protected by the Nantahala National Forest. Although some claim that Whitewater Falls is simply the tallest East of the Mississippi, that title may belong to Crabtree Falls in Virginia, depending on how one defines "waterfall". In fact, there is debate as to whether Whitewater falls is the tallest waterfall in North Carolina, as there are some in the state which may lay claim to being even taller, such as Glassmine Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There is a Lower Whitewater Falls in South Carolina about 2 miles downstream from Upper Whitewater Falls.
Visitors to the falls must pay a $2 fee to view the falls. There are several viewing platforms at varying heights that offer different views of the falls.
The area surrounding the falls is sufficiently treacherous that hiking off-trail in the area is strongly discouraged by park rangers.
A visit to Whitewater Falls represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Sapphire trip itinerary planning site to plot your vacation.
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Whitewater Falls Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
396 reviews
  • A bit on the challenging side. Lots of roots and distance. The signs telling the distance seemed to be off by quite a bit. Be sure to wear good shoes and stay hydrated. The falls are beautiful and wor...  more »
  • There is ample parking and the walk to Whitewater falls is pleasant. The falls are amazing. There are steps down to a lower level viewing area which I did not take on this trip.  more »
  • My teenage son and I had a great time and enjoyed the scenic views and trails. The hike to the main waterfall overlook was very short so we continued up river and the less travelled trails led to some amazing views and overhanging/tunnel type paths.
  • This was such a wonderful stop on our trip. It's a short walk to the upper observation area, all on side walks. The lower observation area is down a few flights of stairs (154), but it gives a great view of the waterfall and the lake. At the upper observation area, there's a trail behind the sign. It takes you to the top of the waterfall, and along the river. Going over there was amazing, but please be careful and don't fall.

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