Silver Run Falls Highly recommended waterfall for everyone!

Silver Run Falls

Nikon D700, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 lens at 26mm, f/22, 0.6 second, ISO 200, polarizing filter.

Beauty Rating:
Silver Run Creek
River Basin:
3,320 feet
Type and Height:
Combination free-fall and near vertical slide; the total height is about 40 feet
Nantahala National Forest, Nantahala Ranger District
Cashiers NC/SC/GA
Hike Distance:
215 Yards
Hike Difficulty:
Photo Rating:
90° (Looking from directly in front)
Waterfall GPS:
Trailhead GPS:
Google Earth Waterfall Download View waterfall on Google Earth. Link is for a Google Earth file. Click file after download and Google Earth will open and fly to the waterfall. Don't have Google Earth on your computer?

Driving Directions

From US 64 in Cashiers, drive south on NC 107 for 4.05 miles and park in the pullout on the left.

Hike Description

An obvious path starts beside the American holly tree at the lower end of the pullout. The path goes about 500 feet to a footbridge over the Whitewater River. From there, it’s a short distance to the base of the falls.


Everyone loves Silver Run Falls. It’s not big or high, it’s just pretty. And it has one of the finest pools of any waterfall in the state. Typical summer flows expose a sandy beach that’s perfect for the youngsters.

When I first visited Silver Run Falls in the late 1980s, a huge hemlock tree stood at the base of the falls and overhung the pool. A few years later, the tree fell along the edge of the pool. For years, I used it to cross the creek to get to a frontal view of the falls. I thought it would be there forever, but the hurricanes of September 2004 had other plans. Anyone who knows the tree I’m talking about will find it scary to think how powerful those floods were.

If you want to see the falls from in front, you can cross the creek on a pile of rocks at the downstream end of the pool. In normal flows, you can rockhop, but it’s a wade if the water is up.

My favorite aspect of the waterfall is the superb photo opportunities it provides. You can shoot it well from the side or in front. It also works wonderfully as a night-photo subject. You can include a good portion of the night sky in the composition. And the waterfall is close to the road, so you won’t have to hike far in the dark.

Silver Run Falls

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm, f/3.2, 4 minutes, ISO 200. Stack of 55 exposures. Light painted the waterfall during a couple of exposures using an LED flashlight with a 3206 Third Blue gel filter mounted in a GelGrip™.

Silver Run Falls

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm, f/3.2, 20 seconds, ISO 2000. About 40 exposures stacked. Light painting in pool done with an underwater LED flashlight with a 3152 Urban Vapor gel filter wrapped around the head. I attached the flashlight to a handle and waded the pool for 45 minutes getting the exposures. The light painting on the waterfall was with a different LED flashlight and the same gel filter. Shot in winter when the temperature was 20 degrees.

Silver Run Falls

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm. Exposure for the sky was f/4, 20 seconds, ISO 1600. Shot separate exposures for the light painting at ISO 800. Lighting painting on the waterfall was with an LED flashlight and 4360 CalColor 60 Cyan gel filter. Light painting on the trees and pool was with a 388 Gaslight Green gel filter. I shot this while filming Episode 12 on Season 4 of Wild Photo Adventures with Doug Gardner.

Silver Run Falls

Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm, f/3.5, 20 seconds, ISO 1600. I shot this on the same night as the horizontal photo above. For this one, I did not use a gel filter on the flashlight.

Silver Run Falls

Nikon D700, Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 lens at 17mm, f/4.5, 90 seconds, ISO 200. Shot 51 separate exposures and stacked them together to create the star trails. The Moon was half full, which created the illumination on the falls.

Nikon D2X, Nikon 12-24mm f/2.8 lens at 12mm, f/22, 5 seconds, ISO 200, polarizing filter. This is the photo I shot from the extension ladder while filming Episode 10 on Season 1 of Wild Photo Adventures.