Nantahala Outdoor Center is located on US 19/74, southwest of Bryson City. From NOC, From Nantahala Outdoor Center, go 7.5 miles south on US 19/74, turn left on Wayah Road (SR 1310), and continue driving through Nantahala Gorge along the river. At 4.1 miles, turn right on Old River Road (FR 308). Drive less than 0.1 mile to the bridge over Whiteoak Creek and look upstream to see the falls. The view from the bridge is fair. For the best view, walk up the river-right side of the creek to the base. A pullout is just beyond the bridge.
There is also a pullout on Wayah Road right beside the waterfall, from which a short path leads down to the top. However, you’ll find no safe way to get from the top to the base.
Whiteoak Falls is one of the more geologically interesting waterfalls in the region. The rock here is stratified and jagged, not worn smooth like most river rock. In typical flows, all the water is channeled through a chute on the river-left side of the falls and drops into a large, deep pool. The river-right side is a sheer rockface. In high water, the creek flows over the entire cliff, creating a powerful scene.