The wilderness that encompasses North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park is revered for its world-class whitewater rafting, remarkably peaceful fly fishing, and some of the prettiest hilltop cabins in North America. There are several methods of exploration in this rolling, dense forestry, including hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding. During these serene, undeniably beautiful excursions, you may stumble upon a rumbling backcountry waterfall or two. The many waterfalls near Cherokee, NC, are frequented by photographers, nature enthusiasts, and backpackers alike. In fact, most of these picturesque destinations are a short trek from our Great Smokys Cabin Rentals near the towns of Bryson City, Whittier, Almond, and Sylva.
The 5 Prettiest Waterfalls near Cherokee, NC
To ensure that your upcoming escape into the Great Smoky Mountains is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled a handy list of our favorite waterfalls near Cherokee, NC. You may have already heard all about Deep Creek and Mingo Falls, but, hopefully, there’s more than enough useful information found below. Without further ado, let’s start the “countdown” with one of the most-visited waterfalls in Western North Carolina: Deep Creek.
Deep Creek features a trifecta of famous Nantahala waterfalls: towering Tom Branch, slippery Indian Creek, and cascading Juney Whank. Because of the sheer popularity of these waterfalls near Cherokee, NC, expect quite a bit of foot traffic during peak seasons. We recommend arriving in the morning and hiking the beautiful, 4.9-mile loop in its entirety.
While the ultra-brief, five-minute trek to Mingo Falls requires 161 steep steps down into a gorge, most folks have no problem whatsoever visiting this picturesque roadside attraction. At approximately 120 feet tall, Mingo remains one of the largest waterfalls near Cherokee, NC (and the Appalachians, for that matter).
A trip to Mingo Creek should include a 30-minute stop at Soco Falls, yet another roadside distraction for outdoor enthusiasts. The meandering, unmarked trail down to the waterfall requires some mid-level athleticism, especially after rainfall. Soco is fun because you can practically shake hands with the water as it spills from the creek into a shallow bed of boulders and long-forgotten leaves from the previous autumn.
Nearly a dozen Nantahala National Forest waterfalls rest just southeast of Franklin, NC, approximately an hour’s drive from Bryson City and Cherokee. Aptly-named Cullasaja Falls remains one of the prettiest waterfalls near Cherokee, NC, primarily because it surges down a river, rather than a patient creek. This 250-foot-long cascading waterfall lies in the heart of a breathtaking gorge, making it a quick pit stop for most. But don’t be afraid to explore its many intricacies down below.
Yes, Dry Falls is an hour south of Bryson City, NC, but how often do you have the opportunity to stroll underneath a rushing waterfall? It’s big, loud, and a whole lot of fun for the entire family. If you plan to make the trip to Cullasaja, then we highly recommend adding Dry Falls to the itinerary.
Luxurious Great Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of your upcoming trip into the awe-inspiring Smoky Mountains is the overnight lodging. Luckily for you and your family, we boast a fleet of luxurious, pet-friendly cabin rentals in Bryson City, NC, where you’ll be a short drive, bike ride, or walk from many of the area’s wildest outdoor adventures. We mentioned earlier that the region is known for its fishing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. But you’ll also be surprised to discover a diverse culinary scene, the premier railroad expedition on the East Coast, and mountains of historical significance. To learn more about a late-spring or early-summer getaway with Great Smokys Cabin Rentals, please give us a call today at 800-655-9771. We cannot wait to match you with a vacation rental that perfectly suits your family’s size, style, and budget!