268 – Whiteoak Falls

Accessibility – Easy (Getting to a good picture vantage – Hard)

Height – 20′

Distance – 0.1 (out and back)

Beauty – 6

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 5

GPS Info: LAT 35.2509 LONG -83.6399

Last Updated – 08-12-2018


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Starting at the bridge over the Nantahala River right before the Nantahala Outdoor Center, head South on US19/US74 for 7.6 miles. The road will parallel the Nantahala on one side or the other for most of the drive. At 7.6 miles, Wayah Rd intersects from the left. Turn here and cross over a small bridge. Very soon you will be paralleling the river again as you make your way upstream. Just over four miles from US19/US74 Old River Road forks to the right and crosses the river. The road is partially washed away before the bridge over the Nantahala and no vehicle traffic is permitted. Park at the end of the road and walk toward the bridge.

From the end of the bridge on river right, a path leads upstream to the base of the falls and a better vantage. You can take shots of Whiteoak Falls from anywhere along the mostly open bank on river right. The creek is deep and fast-moving so getting to river left isn’t something to be undertaken without a word of caution. The current will take you off your feet and below the falls it is really moving. I managed to cross and while the view was good, the best vantage was in the spray zone. For most, a view from river right is the way to go.

While you’re parked at Old River Road, you can take a minute and check out Jagged Rock Falls, which is directly across Wayah Rd from Old River Road.

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Flood stage water – February 2019

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