Waterfalls Near Cherokee, North Carolina

Waterfalls Near Cherokee, NC (+ How Far They Are)

By Olivia Williams

Are you ready for a splashy adventure? Waterfalls near Cherokee, NC, are calling your name!

Nestled in the beautiful landscape of Western North Carolina, Cherokee is surrounded by a waterfall paradise. Be it majestic waterfalls or serene waterfalls, there is a waterfall to match the spirit of every visitor. Whether you’re ready to rock out on an award-winning journey or a casual outing, a spectacular show is just waiting for you. Are you all set to rock the thrilling world of waterfalls? This guide is your tiki entry to experiencing waterfalls near Cherokee, North Carolina

So start your hiking trip and bring along your thirst for exploration ‚Äď nature’s water creations will surprise you!

List of 9 Best Waterfalls Near Cherokee, NC

  1. Mingo Falls (Approx. 6 miles away)
  2. Soco Falls (Approx. 11 miles away)
  3. Juney Whank Falls (Approx. 9 miles away)
  4. Indian Creek Falls (Approx. 9 miles away)
  5. Tom Branch Falls (Approx. 9 miles away)
  6. Dry Falls (Approx. 50 miles away)
  7. Bridal Veil Falls (Approx. 50 miles away)
  8. Cullasaja Falls (Approx. 40 miles away)

Now let‚Äôs dive into the details. 

Here’s the list of the best waterfalls located within a reasonable distance of Cherokee, North Carolina

Surrounded by natural beauty, Cherokee, NC, boasts an array of enchanting waterfalls, each offering a unique outdoor experience. From easily accessible roadside views to hidden gems deep within the forest, let’s start our journey with the spectacular cascades right in town before venturing out to uncover nearby treasures.

Waterfalls Right in Cherokee, NC

Mingo Falls

Mingo-Falls-near-Cherokee-North-Carolina‚Ā†-Image-by-Eifel-Kreutz-from-Getty-Images.jpg
Mingo Falls near Cherokee North Carolina‚Ā† Image by Eifel Kreutz from Getty Images

Mingo Falls is just 6 miles from downtown Cherokee, located on Big Cove Road. This spectacular waterfall is 120 feet high and is one of the tallest and most awe-inspiring waterfalls in the Southern Appalachians. It’s a short hike, about 0.4 miles each way, but it’s also quite steep, with 161 steps to reach. This climb may be challenging for some, but its reward is the unforgettable view of the waterfall plunging down the rocky cliffs into a tranquil pond below. 

Additionally, a viewing deck at the end of the track is a wonderful place to take photos or just sit back and enjoy the natural surroundings. Thus, for a quick and simple excursion with something refreshing, Mingo Falls is hard to beat!

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 6 miles

Hiking Difficulty Level: Moderate (due to stairs)

Best Time to Visit: Spring through fall, when water flow is higher

Waterfalls close to Cherokee, NC

Soco Falls

Soco Falls in Cherokee, N.C.‚Ā† Image by skiserge1 from Getty Images
Soco Falls in Cherokee, N.C.‚Ā† Image by skiserge1 from Getty Images

One of the most unique places in the region is Soko Falls, which is a combination of two separate waterfalls flowing in the same place. Only 11 miles from Cherokee, the falls are accessible by a short trail down from a parking area off US Highway 19. Although descending this route can prove somewhat challenging due to the steepness and sometimes slippage, most people are able to manage it without any problems, and it takes just a few minutes one way. 

From the viewing platform, one can see the waterfalls and during the rainy season, they are quite powerful. Soco Falls is for those who want to see the beauty of the Appalachians without having to trek very far, and thus, it is a great stopping point for families and tourists.

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 11 miles

Hiking Difficulty Level: Easy

Best Time to Visit: Late spring when the waterfalls are most robust

Juney Whank Falls

Juney Whank Falls (Great Smoky Mountains National Park) Deep Creek
Juney Whank Falls (Great Smoky Mountains National Park) Deep Creek

Junee Whank Falls is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is accessible via a 0.8-mile loop trail from Deep Creek Campground, just 9 miles from Cherokee City. A short, moderately easy walk through a rich forest, you will find yourself in front of an 80-foot high waterfall that falls all at once and continues flowing as a stream. 

There is also a footbridge along the walk that passes directly in front of the falls ‚Äď a great place to listen and feel the splash on your face. This hike is perfect for a family outing or people looking for an easy and enjoyable outing.

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 9 miles (via Hwy 19 W/U.S. Hwy 19 S)

Hiking Difficulty Level: Moderate

Best Time to Visit: Early summer for full water flow and vibrant green scenery

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Indian Creek Falls

Indian Creek Falls in North Carolina Image by JillLang from Getty Images

Another waterfall in the Deep Creek area, Indian Creek Falls, is located about 9 miles from Cherokee. The most direct route to the 25-foot-high waterfall is a 1.5-mile round trip along well-maintained trails. The waterfall falls into a pond surrounded by dense trees, making for an attractive picture for nature lovers. The trail is generally flat and easy and, therefore, suitable for old, new, and young hikers.

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 9 miles (via Hwy 19 W/U.S. Hwy 19 S)

Hiking Difficulty Level: Easy

Best Time to Visit: Spring and early summer for the best water levels

Tom Branch Falls

Tom Branch Falls in North Carolina Image by JillLang from Getty Images

Tom Branch Falls is a short hike; The 0.6-mile round trip from the Deep Creek Trailhead is an enjoyable trail. The waterfall overlook is 60 feet long and can be easily viewed from a nice bench, making it an ideal place to sit back and enjoy the surrounding view. It is ideal for those who want to see the waterfalls without any hassle due to accessibility and difficult paths, i.e., older people and parents with small children.

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 9 miles (via Hwy 19 W/U.S. Hwy 19 S)

Hiking Difficulty Level: Easy

Best Time to Visit: Spring for optimal water flow

Waterfalls within a reasonable driving distance of Cherokee, NC

Dry Falls

Dry Falls – North Carolina‚Ā† Image by Bruce Wilson Photography from Getty Images

Dry Falls is about 50 miles from Cherokee, offering a unique summer experience. A short, well-paved path leads to the falls, which can be reached by almost anyone, no matter which path you choose. This area is ranked by far as one of the coolest waterfalls because you can stand behind a curtain of water and not get completely drenched.

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 50 miles

Hiking Difficulty Level: Easy

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, though spectacular when frozen in winter

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls North Carolina Image by Highlands Chamber of Commerce

Bridal Veil Falls, about 50 miles from Cherokee, allows visitors to drive behind the falls, offering a unique and convenient way to enjoy this 60-foot-tall natural wonder. The accessibility of Bridal Veil Falls makes it perfect for those who prefer to experience nature’s beauty from the comfort of their vehicle, making it ideal for individuals with mobility issues or those who prefer not to hike.

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 50 miles

Hiking Difficulty Level: Very Easy (viewable from the car)

Best Time to Visit: Year-round accessibility, with fall providing a colorful backdrop

Cullasaja Falls

Cullasaja Falls‚Ā† Image by jlwhaley from Getty Images

Cullasaja Falls is a dramatic and powerful 250-foot waterfall located about 40 miles from Cherokee along the Cullasaja River. The waterfall is visible from the road, making it an easy stop for those who want to enjoy stunning views without the need for a hike. The accessibility and impressive height of Cullasaja Falls make it a must-visit for anyone traveling through the area.

Average Driving Distance from Cherokee: 40 miles

Hiking Difficulty Level: Very Easy (roadside view)

Best Time to Visit: Year-round, particularly vibrant during the fall color season

Map of Waterfalls Near

Insider Tips for Visiting These Waterfalls

Cherokee, NC, has a variety of waterfalls that can refresh your body and soul with the splendor of nature. Visit the waterfalls on weekdays and early morning to avoid crowds. Remember to wear appropriate footwear, as the paths can be slippery. And always remember to take photos during your adventure! 

Anyone who finds joy in the natural world will find something to love at waterfalls near Cherokee. Cherokee, NC, waterfalls can energize even the most accomplished nature lover and provide a pleasant escape for the more casual explorer. Have fun finding the ideal waterfalls for your travel needs!

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