Bridal Veil Falls

Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA

About Bridal Veil Falls

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2012-10-16
Date last visited: 2012-10-16

Waterfall Latitude: 35.07181
Waterfall Longitude: -83.2287

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Bridal Veil Falls was certainly one of those roadside waterfalls we couldn’t have missed even if we tried!

For starters, it was a roadside waterfall right next to a busy highway.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_022_20121016 - Looking out from behind Bridal Veil Falls against bright blue skies and Fall colors
Looking out from behind Bridal Veil Falls against bright blue skies and Fall colors

However, it also had that rare distinction of having a short spur loop road that allowed us to drive behind it!

I don’t think we had ever driven behind a waterfall that neither wasn’t modified by man nor wasn’t passing through a manmade tunnel.

So I guess given this rather rare quirk about it, perhaps it shouldn’t have been surprising that it was not only memorable but also immensely popular!

During the nearly half-hour that we spent at this 45ft waterfall, I couldn’t count how many people drove their cars behind it.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_013_20121016 - Frontal look at Bridal Veil Falls with a truck that drove behind it
Frontal look at Bridal Veil Falls with a truck that drove behind it

There were even a couple of folks who did the loop twice, and another guy with a guilty look making eye contact with me with his hands up in the air as he passed by.

Maybe he was feeling a bit embarrassed that his wife made him do it!

Fortunately, drive-thru waterfalling wasn’t the only way to experience Bridal Veil Falls.

There was a large pullout just beyond the small loop going behind the falls.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_002_20121016 - Broad contextual look at the sign fronting the Bridal Veil Falls and its alcove deep enough to support vehicular traffic
Broad contextual look at the sign fronting the Bridal Veil Falls and its alcove deep enough to support vehicular traffic

That allowed us to park our car and do that loop by foot.

The only real hazard for us was making sure not to become roadkill as well as not fill our lungs with too much soot from the particulates of the exhaust from vehicles slowly passing by.

We also happened to show up in an early Autumn afternoon when there was a rainbow in its mist as well as lots of Autumn colors.

Indeed, it was definitely a fun waterfall and certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area.


Bridal Veil Falls resides in the Nantahala National Forest near Highlands in Macon County, North Carolina. It is administered by the USDA Forest Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_006_20121016 - Frontal look at the Bridal Veil Falls with a rainbow going across its base
Bridal_Veil_Falls_014_20121016 - Another look at the Bridal Veil Falls from its front side but this time in long exposure given its delicate flow
Bridal_Veil_Falls_016_20121016 - Colorful trees atop Bridal Veil Falls as I positioned myself further past the waterfall in my attempt to walk the loop that people were driving
Bridal_Veil_Falls_020_20121016 - Context of the highway and the small loop from behind the Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_026_20121016 - A horizontal view showing a little more of the recessed area behind the Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_036_20121016 - All focused in on the brink of the Bridal Veil Falls as I looked up to the deep blue sky from its backside

Highlands was the nearest town to Bridal Veil Falls so we’ll describe the driving directions from there.

So from the Hwy 64/106 junction (where Main St turns into Franklin Rd) in the town of Highlands, we continued northwest (towards the town of Franklin) on Hwy 64 for about 2.4 miles.

The loop and pullout was on our right.

For context, Highlands was about 38 miles (roughly an hour drive) west of Brevard on Hwy 64. Brevard was 35 miles (under an hour drive) south of Asheville, 47 miles (90 minutes drive) northwest of Greenville, South Carolina, and 126 miles (2.5 hours drive) west of Charlotte.

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Right to left sweep ending at falls with a car parked behind it

L-shaped sweep starting with the hwy then panning from bottom to top of the falls itself with a nice rainbow fronting it

Slow bottom up sweep of falls with an SUV driving passing behind it

L-shaped sweep from behind the falls

Filming what it looks like when we drove behind the waterfall ourselves

Tagged with: nantahala, national forest, macon county, highlands, north carolina, waterfall, brevard, asheville, autumn

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Bridal Veil Falls Highlands, NC USA July 25, 2012 3:23 pm by Betty Davis - This is a waterfall you can drive under. A few years ago it froze over and the ice dropped onto the road, closing if for weeks. It's a beautiful fall. ...Read More

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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