Cullasaja Falls is a 61-meter waterfall situated in southwestern North Carolina. The waterfall is a part of the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway and in the Nantahala National Forest of the Cullasaja River. The word Cullasaja comes from a Cherokee word that translates to honey locust. You can get a clear view of the waterfall from the side of the road on US Highway 64. The Cullasaja Falls makes perfect scenery for people going on a cliffside drive. Moreover, it is also the last major waterfall on the Cullasaja River. It is 0.2 miles (.3 km) long.
There are several interesting facts about Cullasaja Falls that you may want to know more of. Make sure to read till the end of this article!
What you need to know about Cullasaja Falls
Cullasaja Falls is a waterfall situated in America at Nantahala National Forest. It falls around 8.8 miles west along the Cullasaja River Gorge of the Highlands. As per Kevin Adams’ book, North Carolina Waterfalls, the height of the waterfall is 200 ft (61 m). NCWaterfalls.com suggests differently, with the said height being 250 ft (77.1 m).
While you can get a beautiful and scenic view of the waterfall from the driveway, it is almost impossible for you to do so conveniently and without a certain amount of difficulty. The risks are many, to be precise. The rock cliffs are both above and below the road, besides a series of blind curves on U.S. 64. The viewpoint in the Cullasaja Falls is very small and allows only a few visitors. The chances of catching even a severe accident are high when there are too many visitors at the viewpoint. Getting hit by a passing vehicle is probable, given there are too many on the road at almost all times.
It is not very common for people to be doing any sort of activities in the waterfalls. However, if accessible, you can swim or rappel in the water.
Trail of Cullasaja Falls
The trail to Cullasaja Falls is steep and dangerous. It is only right for trained hikers to opt for this trail, which is also often marked with a red cross while also being labeled an unofficial trail for the waterfall. You can use ropes and take along appropriate gear if you want to reach the waterfall through this path.
Accessibility of Cullasaja Falls
The Cullasaja Falls is accessible to all. It is located in the Highlands of North Carolina. While the waterfall is on the roadside, there is a trail that you can follow to the base of the Cullasaja Falls. The latter trail, whatsoever, is not known to all and is an unofficial one. In case anyone brings along pets or is physically disabled, they should not take the base route. Instead, they can opt to watch the waterfall from the roadside itself.
Speaking of the difficulty level of Cullasaja Falls, it is not very tough. You can easily drive to the waterfall and reach the viewpoint without having to hike or walk. However, if you take the base route, you won’t be able to access the trail as easily. Your vehicle possibly won’t reach the waterfall either. Hiking and walking to the base point is probable. In the case of handicapped visitors, the parking area is the only safest spot to view the Cullasaja Falls. The spot does not have any camping sites. You will only find a parking area and the waterfall when you visit Cullasaja Falls. Therefore, there won’t be a need for any fancy gear or equipment besides a camera, given you want to take a memoir of the place back home.
Another safety tip for people with children is to keep an eye on them at all times when they’re around the waterfall’s Highway 64. The highway is busy with rushing vehicles, and a small negligence may lead to major consequences.
Can you find fish in the Cullasaja Falls?
Yes, Cullasaja Falls is also home to different marine species. You can spot fish from the surface level as well. Bigger fishes are not seen as commonly but are present deeper into the water in the waterfall. You are likely to find fishes like rainbow trout, brook, and brown there. Brown and rainbow trout are the most common fishes you will find there.
For those interested, it is possible to fish in the Cullasaja Falls. And, good for a lot of people, fishing is open for all throughout the year except for March. The hatching regulations prohibit fishing only during the month. It is just as important to remember that fishing there is not recommended for beginners as the flow of water is not safe and assured in any way.
How do you reach the Cullasaja Falls?
If you are living anywhere around the Highlands in North Carolina, you will have the easiest time reaching the waterfall. Otherwise, you can simply go I-40 West and then drive 23/74 W towards Waynesville (Exit 27). From here, head towards Franklin and then to Highway 64 East. You will finally reach the Highlands. It will take you 8 miles from Franklin through the right of Highway 64 to finally reach Cullasaja Falls.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you see Cullasaja Falls from the road?
The Cullasaja Falls is only visible to you if you take along a car.
Where is Cullasaja Falls?
The Cullasaja Falls is located on the roadside on US Highway 64.
How do you pronounce Cullasaja?
You pronounce Cullasaja like cool-uh-SAY-juh.
Can you camp in Cullasaja?
While the Cullasaja River is common for camping, you can’t really camp in the Cullasaja waterfall due to several risky factors.
Where exactly is Cullasaja Falls?
Cullasaja Falls lies at U.S. 64, 11 miles east of Franklin and 9 miles west of Highlands in the Cullasaja Gorge.