Bust Your Butt Falls

Highlands, NC
  • Cullasaja River Highlands NC, 28741
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Directions: From NC 106 in Highlands, drive 6.35 miles west on US 64 to the pullout on the left; Waterfall GPS: N35.09268 W-83.26573

About: This is a rushing terrace of falls that empties into a deep pool that’s as close to the proverbial Ol’ Swimming Hole as we’re likely to see in 21st Century America. This popular swimming spot offers a deep plunge pool on the Cullasaja River near Highlands. Just be cautious or you will discover how the falls earned its name!  This is a stair-step series of cascades that demands to be photographed. It’s a terrific spot to sun yourself like a lizard on a warm day. During the busy season, you’re bound to see people in the water. The twin realities of geology and hydraulic force make this a dangerous proposition – stay out of the water! People have died!

Difficulty: Just pull your car over (at the safe, side of the road spots). Don’t stop on the road itself!


Whether you want to tackle a mountain or sit by a stream, you’ll find just what you’re looking for here. This is a premier golf destination, but there’s so much more available. There are streams to fish, public pools and tennis courts to enjoy and playgrounds, too. Winter sports include ice skating, skiing, tubing and hiking.


Recreation Activity