Dill Falls Highly recommended waterfall for everyone!

Dills Falls

Dill Falls

Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35mm lens at 17mm, f/13, 1 second, ISO 200, polarizing filter.

Beauty Rating:
7
Accessibility:
Trail
River:
Tanasee Creek
River Basin:
Little Tennessee
Watershed:
Small
Elevation:
4,180 feet
Type and Height:
Short drop and then a steep, cascading slide; the total height is about 65 feet
Landowner:
Nantahala National Forest, Nantahala Ranger District
County:
Jackson
USGS Map:
Sam Knob
Hike Distance:
Less than 0.2 mile
Hike Difficulty:
4
Photo Rating:
6
Compass:
20°
Canopy:
Partial
Waterfall GPS:
Trailhead GPS:
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Driving Directions

From Beech Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway, head south on NC 215 for 2.65 miles and turn right on the gravel FR 4663, which goes between a couple of old residences with cluttered yards. FR 4663 is 14.4 miles north of US 64. At 1.9 miles, FR 4663B veers off to the left. A few years ago, this road was unsuitable for low-clearance vehicles, but the Forest Service has improved it. Follow it to the end at 0.55 mile.

Note: You’ll come to a gate on FR 4663 at 0.6 mile. The gate is typically closed between December 15 and March 15. If you visit during this period, you’ll have to add 1.85 miles to the one-way hiking distance.

Hike Description

Three old roads depart from the end of FR 4663B. One cuts sharply to the right and ascends. This is the access for Upper Dill Falls. One that is overgrown in briars continues straight. For Dill Falls, you want the one that goes to the right between these two. It descends to a crossing of Tanasee Creek a short distance below the falls. Trees and rhododendron have been cleared from the stream banks, so there is now an open view of the falls from the trail crossing.

Overview

Dill Falls is scenic and easy to reach, making it a good choice for waterfall enthusiasts. For people traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is a great side trip, especially when combined with a visit to nearby Courthouse Falls. You can view both waterfalls by taking a two-hour detour from the parkway. If you’re a hard-core waterfaller, you’ll want to add Upper Dill Falls and Cody Falls to the journey. You can easily visit all four falls during a half-day outing.

Dill Falls used to cause headaches for photographers because they had to shoot from so close. When they pointed a wide-angle upward to capture the entire falls, it created severe perspective distortion, making the falls look much smaller in the image. Now that the stream bank is cleared and you can shoot from farther downstream, this isn’t as big an issue. You can make great photos right from the trail crossing.

According to Lynn Hotaling of the Sylva Herald, Dill Falls is named for Ed Dills, a local resident. Hotaling postulates that the s was omitted on the USGS topo map in order to distinguish the waterfall from Dills Falls in the town of Sylva. I’ve observed that the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which has ultimate authority on determining official place names, has not always minded its p’s and q’s—or its s’s.

Dill Falls

Nikon D700, Nikon 17-35mm lens at 19mm, f/11, 1/13 second, ISO 200, polarizing filter.

Danger Will Robinson!

Nikon D700, Nikon 17-35mm lens at 17mm, f/11, 20 seconds, ISO 800, polarizing filter.