Cullasaja Falls

Height: 200 feet
Trail Type: None
Hike Distance: None
Difficulty: 0
Beauty: 7

Overview:

UPDATE: I tried visited Cullasaja Falls in August 2018 and there is so much overgrowth at the pullout that you can’t see the bottom portion (the best part) of the falls. There are a couple of side paths behind the guardrail that give you different vantage points, but the trees and brush on the cliff have grown up tall enough to obstruct the full view of the falls, which is really disappointing. The only way this gets fixed is if the state cuts that growth back, which I highly doubt will happen.

If you’re driving west from Highlands, Cullasaja Falls is really easy to miss. If you’re driving east from Franklin, you could possibly catch a glimpse of it, but you’re better off keeping your eyes on the road. The stretch of US 64 near Cullasaja Falls is incredibly dangerous. On one side you have jagged rocks that jut out almost into the roadway. On the other side is a rusty guardrail and a gorge hundreds of feet below.

The falls begin as a series of zigzagging cascades before culminating in a large final drop over a dome-shaped rock. There’s no safe way down to the base unless you hiked upriver from another location. Even more, it’s entirely possible that Cullasaja Falls could disappear from public view forever if the state chooses to let the trees and bushes continue growing up the slope.

Directions:

From the intersection of US 64 and NC highway 106 in Highlands, drive west on US 64. Drive 8.75 miles to a narrow pullout on the left side of the road. If you’re coming from Franklin, head east on US 64 for about 8 miles to one of the two narrow pullouts on the right.