Natural historyThe waterfall is protected by the Nantahala National Forest. Although some claim that Whitewater Falls is simply the tallest East of the Mississippi, that title may belong to Crabtree Falls in Virginia, depending on how one defines “waterfall”. In fact, there is debate as to whether Whitewater falls is the tallest waterfall in North Carolina, as there are some in the state which may lay claim to being even taller, such as Glassmine Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There is a Lower Whitewater Falls in South Carolina about 2 miles downstream from Upper Whitewater Falls. Visiting the FallsVisitors to the falls must pay a $2 fee to view the falls. There are several viewing platforms at varying heights that offer different views of the falls.
The area surrounding the falls is sufficiently treacherous that hiking off-trail in the area is strongly discouraged by park rangers.
The Foothills Trail passes through the base of the falls.
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