Accessibility – Average
Height – 25′
Distance – 0.2 miles (out and back)
Beauty – 8
Photo rating – 7
Solitude – 8
GPS Info: LAT 35.0674 LONG -83.0069
Last updated: 03/06/2016
John’s Jump Falls is frequently listed along with it’s nearby companions White Owl Falls and D.E.W. Falls as they all lie along the same stretch of NC281. The similarities don’t end there as all three are accessed via relatively short hikes. Both John’s Jump and White Owl Falls are audible from NC281 but both are well hidden. John’s Jump Falls is a 25 foot high waterfall on Mill Creek just downstream of NC281.
To get to John’s Jump Falls from the intersection of US64 and NC281 South not too far west of Toxaway Falls, turn left onto 281. If you’re coming from Cashier’s, make a right onto NC281 and start the odometer. One mile into the drive you will pass the entrance to Gorges State Park and at 3.6 miles from the turn you will reach Brewer Road, SR1189 and the roadside parking for White Owl Falls. Continue south for another 1.2 miles to a tight left turn. On the left after you complete the the bend in the road you will see a large grassy area on the left. You can park here for John’s Jump Falls (and D.E.W. Falls).
The short scramble path is located at the North end of the parking area (the downhill end). By the time you reach the telephone pole near the guardrail, you will probably hear the falls down below. The trail is steep in places but there are enough handholds that getting down to the falls isn’t a challenge. I was here in February of 2016 and there was a dusting of snow on the ground but getting down to the creek wasn’t very difficult for myself, my wife or my seven year old daughter. The scramble path ends at the left side of the falls but to get a good shot you can rockhop downstream to get a good straight on shot.
It is a very pretty setting and with the noise coming off the falls, you’re barely aware of the road being so close. It was a nasty cold day when we were down there but on a summer day, it would be a great place to hang out. The only reason not to stay all day is across the street, D.E.W. Falls.