The Waterfalls of Transylvania County

Avery Creek Falls
Bridal Veil Falls
Cathedral Falls
Catheys Creek Falls
Cedar Rock Falls
Chestnut Falls
Courthouse Falls
Cove Creek Falls
Drift Falls
Eastatoe Falls
French Broad Falls
Glen Cannon Falls
Grassy Creek Falls
Grogan Creek Falls
Hidden Falls
High Falls (Dupont)
High Falls (Toxaway)
Hooker Falls
Key Falls
Laughing Falls
Log Hollow Branch Falls
Looking Glass Falls
Merry Falls
Moore Cove Falls
North Log Hollow Falls
Rainbow Falls
Shoal Creek Falls
Slick Rock Falls
Slippery Witch Falls
South Log Hollow Falls
Stairway Falls
Triple Falls
Turtleback Falls
Twin Falls
Upper Bearwallow Falls
White Owl Falls
Whitewater Falls

Waterfall Index


Height: 50 Feet
Latitude: N 35° 05.152
Distance: 1.9 Miles
Longitude: W 82° 57.439
Elevation Change: 710 Feet

Stairway Falls

More Photos

Directions to the falls:
  1. From the Junction of US 64 and NC 281 in Sapphire, NC, drive south on NC 281 for 0.9 mile to Gorges State Park.
  2. Turn left into the park and park in the parking area.
  3. Walk back out to the NC 281 and bear left and follow on the edge for 75 yards.
  4. There is a gated forestry service road here, go around the gate and follow the road for approximately 0.8 mile to the Horsepasture River.
  5. At the T-Junction, bear left and follow the path downstream for 0.1 mile to Turtleback Falls.
  6. Continue on the path downstream for another 0.1 mile to Rainbow Falls.
  7. From Hidden Falls, continue downstream for another 0.4 mile to an open campsite.
  8. Just beyond the campsite, there is a small creek to cross.
  9. About 50 feet past the creek the trail splits. The shortest route to the falls is to the right, the easiest trail is to the left.
  10. If you continue left, follow the trail and ascend to the second left curve. Just around the ridge is a faint path leading down to another campsite.
  11. The other path meets up here on the right.
  12. Continue following the path downstream to a view of the falls from the bottom.
  13. There are several downed trees on this stretch of trail and the going is slow and difficult!