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Dry Falls

A short walk to an impressive waterfall you can walk behind!

Hiking Easy

368 m
11 m
11 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1 km
High Point
1 km
Dry Falls Map

Dry Falls is a breathtaking waterfall in Nantahala National Forest and a great short hike for anyone visiting Franklin or Highlands, North Carolina. The trailhead is located along Highway 106, a paved two-lane road through the Cullasaja Gorge. A fee is required to access the falls, and a self-pay station is available in the parking lot.


This is less of a hike and more of a brief walk down to the waterfall. Most of the path is along a flight of stairs that descend to the falls, which is well worth the trip since you can walk behind it! Hiking poles are not necessary, and during the warmer months, sandals would suffice instead of boots.

There is no drinking water available at the trailhead, and only two vault toilets. There are also several waterfalls further down the gorge worth stopping it should you find the time. Not all are named, but you will find plenty of swimming holes and roadside pull-offs to enjoy a picnic as you drive towards Franklin. The aptly named Bust-Your-Butt Falls is also just down the mountain, a (humorously) popular swimming hole with no signage.



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area