© 1999 Jon Binder
Ratings (ratings explained)
Ease of Access: 9/10
Dry Falls, despite its name, has a good amount of water year-round. Actually, the name comes from the fact that you can walk behind this 80 foot waterfall - although staying completely dry might be difficult. The falls is accessible by an easy, short walk.
Dry Falls is located near Highlands, in southwestern North Carolina. Take U.S. route 64 (also NC route 28) west approximately 3.5 miles from Highlands. Here, on the left (south) side of the road, there will be a sign and parking area for Dry Falls. This point is about 16.5 miles east of Franklin. There is a $2 per vehicle fee. Take the short (no more than a few hundred yards), paved walkway to the falls.
This area has an incredible amount of waterfalls. For example, on your way to Dry Falls from Highlands, you'll pass 120 foot Bridal Veil Falls. This falls, about 1 mile east of Dry Falls, is unique in that you can actually drive underneath it. In addition, Cullasaja Falls is about 5.5 miles west of Dry Falls (9 miles west of Highlands, 11 miles east of Franklin). It is a 250 foot series of cascades, most of which is visible from the side of US 64 (but the road is busy, so be careful). A steep trail also leads down to the base of the falls.
Dry Falls itself is very popular. Of course, this is easy to explain by the fact that it is both easily accessible and beautiful. The trail from the parking area leads along the Cullasaja River for a few hundred yards, with a fence along it to prevent people from scrambling (or falling) down to the river. As you walk along it, Dry Falls is directly in front of you. The closer you get, the harder it is to stay dry! The path actually continues behind the falls, again with a fence along it, to the other side. This is the vantage point from which I took the picture on this page. In fact, you can see the fence behind the falls in the picture. The water free-falls about 40 feet, and then cascades over rocks the remaining 40 feet. The walkway behind the falls is about 30 feet below the top of the falls. Keep in mind that the area behind the falls might be closed off if conditions are unsafe.
Overall, Dry Falls is definitely a must see, especially because it is so unique and easy to get to. However, the crowds and fences do take a little away from the experience.
Glen Falls is also in this area.
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Page Last Revised: March 31, 2002