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Dry Falls NC

Dry Falls NC is a very popular and beautiful waterfall near Highlands, NC that you can visit and walk behind.  This 75 foot waterfall cascades over a large cliff that allows you to walk under and behind it.  

Location: Highlands, NC
Roundtrip Distance: The waterfall is roadside
Difficulty: Easy
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Features:Walk behind Waterfall, Observation deck, Bathrooms
Directions:Take I-40 West take 23/74 W towards Waynesville (Exit 27). Take 23/74W to Franklin. At Franklin Highway 64 East toward Highlands. Dry Falls is on the right on Highway 64, a little before reaching Highlands, NC.  There is a large and clearly marking parking area.
Recommended Gear: No special gear, the waterfall is roadside. Just bring your camera!

Dry Falls NC

Dry Falls NC

Dry Falls NC is one of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina, not only due to it’s beauty, but due to the fact that you can easily walk down to and behind this waterfall.   You’ll even stay mostly dry, walking behind it, which is how it gets it’s name.  

Note, we said mostly … If the flow from the falls is heavy, which is common in the Spring and early Summer, you will get wet.  The mist from the falls is pretty significant, but fun and refreshing!

Dry Falls NC Behind the falls  

The waterfall is literally right next to Highway 64 going towards Highlands NC, and requires just parking in the parking lot, and taking the very short walk to the handicap friendly observation deck, or walking down the very short walkway to and behind the actual falls.  

Dry Falls NC Observation Deck

There is even a small cave behind the falls, making this a fun adventure for kids and adults!  

From the parking lot, the observation deck and path down to the falls are on the right side.  The observation deck is just a short walk, and provides an amazing view down on the waterfall, as seen in this photo:

Dry Falls NC Observation Deck

For a much closer view, head down the short and paved walkway to the left of the observation deck.  This will take you down to the Dry Falls, and behind it if you want.  This path provides some absolutely gorgeous and amazing views, as you face Dry Falls on the way down.  You can also walk past the waterfall for some additional viewpoints and photo opportunities.

The Dry Falls Parking area was fairly recently redone.  They made it larger and on the same level as Highway 64.  They additionally added restrooms (outhouse style, no running water), and the observation deck.   Dry Falls is one of the nicer waterfall facilities.

Dry Falls NC

Nearby Waterfalls

Dry Falls is part of the Cullasaja River, which flows alongside Highway 64, and includes a number of other waterfalls, including Cullasaja Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Bust Your Butt Falls, and numerous other unnamed cascades and waterfalls.  There are numerous pullovers along the road on this stretch of highway between Franklin and Highlands.   Also nearby are Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls.

>> See our full list of waterfall guides on our Waterfalls Page

Highway 64 in this area is a scenic byway and clings to the side of the cliffs beside the Callasaja River through Callasaja Gorge.  You are literally just feet away from cliffs as you travel the narrow, but beautiful highway through the gorge.   This stretch of Highway 64 is very popular, especially with sports car enthusiasts and motorcyclists.

Dry Falls NC Photo Gallery

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Dry 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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