Easy to access Mingo Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
On the north side of the Cherokee Indian Reservation of Western North Carolina, is the very tall and extremely picturesque Mingo Falls. At 120ft tall, this beauty is one of the tallest in the Southern Appalachians. It is spectacular to view this treasure up close which is accessed via a short, but moderate, hike of only 4/10’s of a mile.
The trailhead for Mingo Falls is located next to the Mingo Falls Campground at 71 Big Cove Road in Cherokee North Carolina. Coming from the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Highway 441, take your first left. At the stop sign, turn left on Big Cove Road and drive about 4.5 miles. Look for the sign pointing to the parking area to the right just over the Raven Fork. The parking area isn’t huge and can fill up quickly on popular days. Your best bet is to arrive early. There are restroom facilities at the parking lot via two porta-potties. Mingo Falls is only about 15 minutes from downtown Cherokee or about 75 minutes from Asheville.
The trailhead starts at the corner of the parking area with a long series of stairs. There are a lot of stairs and the hike to the falls is mostly uphill, but it isn’t too strenuous or very long. When you reach the top of the stairs, the trail levels out and there is a bench to rest on if you need it. From here it is only a short distance through a beautiful forest with only a very slight incline along this section of the trail. Before you know it, the viewing platform for the falls comes into view and you are there.
The viewing platform is large and spans Mingo Creek just below the falls. It is the perfect spot to sit back and listen to the roar of the water as it flows beneath your feet while you admire the beauty of this wonderful waterfall.
As stated earlier, this is a very popular spot and the viewing area can get crowded at times. If you really want to have the best viewing experience, get to the falls early. Whenever you come to view Mingo Falls, you are really going to like this mountain side gem.
This is an out and back hike so when you have finished viewing Mingo Falls, hike safely back down the trail to the parking area.