Dill Falls NC, located in Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina and is a real hidden gem and “off the beaten path”.  The falls are located just a short half mile hike from the parking area, and the drive to the falls from NC Highway 215 is really nice, especially in the fall.  From the parking area there are two access trails, one to lower Dill Falls and one to upper Dill Falls.

Location:  In the Nantahala National Forest, about 4 miles off NC US Highway 215
Roundtrip Distance: 0.5 Miles
Dog Friendly: Yes
Handicap Accessible: No
Difficulty: Easy
Features:  Waterfall, Forest
Directions: From The Blue Ridge Parkway, take NC Highway 215 exit and go south on 215 (you’ll turn right).  Go about 2.5 miles, and turn right onto gravel road SR4663.  Watch closely for it, as it will sneak up on you.   There is a house at the intersection of SR4663 and 215.  Follow SR4663 out through the woods for about 2 miles.   Take SR4663B to the left (in will go down).  Follow SR4663B for about 3/4 of a mile to the end and parking area.
Recommended Gear: Digital camera and be sure to bring a bathing suit, towels and water shoes if you think you might want to wade below the falls.

Dill Falls NC

Dill Falls NC

Dill Falls NC is officially a 50′ waterfall, located in the Nantahala National Forest.  I say officially, because it certainly looks taller than 50 feet when you’re standing below it.

The waterfall is accessible via a short 1/2 mile roundtrip trail from the parking area.  You’ll hear the waterfall before you reach it, and when you finally see it, you’ll have that “Wow” moment.  Dill Falls is absolutely gorgeous and surrounded by gorgeous foliage.  Dill Falls is gorgeous year-round, but exceptionally so during the Summer and Fall.

The trail emerges below the base of the falls along Tanasee Creek.   The creek itself is beautiful and crystal clear.   The view of the falls from the creek is absolutely outstanding.   See below for more information on the trail.

During our most recent visit here, it had rained considerably, so the flow was heavy, and the spray from the falls near the base was  really refreshing.

Accessing Dill Falls

Getting to Dill Falls is a bit of an adventure.  I’ve provided directions above, but wanted to provide a little more information.

Dill Falls NCAs you turn off of Highway 215 onto SR4663, the road is in good shape, and wide enough in most places to accommodate two vehicles passing each other.  You’ll pass a number of side roads, some campsites, and a few trails.  Just keep going.

You’ll continue down about 2.5 miles, and SR4663 will Y, SR4663B will go to the left.  There is a small brown post sign here marking SR4663B. It will go down and to the left.   There is a pretty large “hump” to enter SR4663B, enough that you’ll need to look up over your hood to see the road.

SR4663B is narrow, and will often have tall grass growing in the center.  We have a 4×4 Jeep, but the the road is accessible in a two wheel drive vehicle, just go slow.   Watch for oncoming vehicles too, as there are only a few turnouts where two vehicles can pass each other.

As you drive back through the woods towards the falls, you’ll begin to wonder whether you took the right turn or not (or at least we did).  But keep going, and enjoy the beautiful drive.  

Note, that the SR4663 is closed in the winter.  The falls are still accessible, but you’ll need to park at the National Forest gate and hike the 2 miles down to the parking area to see it.

After about 3/4 of a mile, the road will widen and you’ll reach a wide dead-end with two trails heading off from the parking area, one down and one up.   You’ll park here, watch for mud so you don’t get stuck.

The two “trails” are actually old logging roads.  The forest service has dug out a series of trenches along the trail to not only help with drainage but to also inhibit any vehicle traffic along the trails.  

The trail leading up goes to upper Dill Falls, a smaller waterfall but still beautiful.  The lower trail takes you to lower Dill Falls NC, the larger and more beautiful of the two.  Both trails are only about .5 miles, however the trail to upper Dill Falls is a bit steep.

Lower Dill Falls and Trail

Trail to Dill Falls
Trail to Dill Falls in the Fall

The trench in front of the trail to Dill Falls NC is pretty big, so look for the small trail that goes around it to the right.   Follow the beautiful trail downhill, and you’ll soon begin to hear the rushing water of Dill Falls, and see the creek in front of you.  As you approach the creek, look right and you’ll see the 50′ tall Dill Falls.

Dill Falls NCThere is a small trail just prior to the creek on the right that leads up to the falls.   You can also “rock hop” a bit to reach the base of the falls.  Just be careful, the rocks can be really slick!  

This is where a good pair of non-slip [easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”hiking boots” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”blueridgemountainlife-20″]hiking boots[/easyazon_link] or [easyazon_link cloaking=”default” keywords=”water shoes” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”blueridgemountainlife-20″]water shoes[/easyazon_link] really help.  

There is a pool below the falls that isn’t very deep.  There are a number of large rocks to sit and lay on and just enjoy the wonderful sounds of the falls.

The climb back up to the parking lot isn’t too steep and fortunately not very long.   Take the trail to the left that heads up to reach upper Dill Falls.  

While in the area, be sure to checkout nearby Courthouse Falls as well.

Dill Falls NC

Upper Dill Falls

Upper Dill Falls

To reach upper Dill Falls, take the trail from the parking area that is to the right of the trail leading down to Lower Dill Falls.   This trail will head up.  The trail is a bit steep, but short.   To reach the falls, head up, and once the trail levels off, begin listening for the falls and look for a small trail heading down.

The trail down to the falls is very steep, so be careful!

Upper Dill Falls is 20 – 25 foot tall, and simply gorgeous.

Upper Dill Falls  

Dill Falls NC Photo Gallery

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Dill Falls NC Video


About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.


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