NORTH CAROLINA WATERFALLS
STAIRWAY FALLS (4)
PHOTO BY CHRISTIE W.
Driving Directions: From the intersection of N.C. 281 north and U.S. 64
west, turn left onto N.C. 281 north and drive 2.5 miles to N.C. 281 south. Turn
left onto N.C. 281 south and drive 0.9 mile to the entrance to Gorges State Park
on the left. Follow the paved road past the Visitor’s Center to the Frozen Creek
Access Area, the first parking area, on the right.
Directions: The blue blazed Raymond Fisher trail and the orange blazed Rainbow
Falls trail begins here. Follow the trail for 0.28 mile to where the Raymond
Fisher trail turn lefts and the Rainbow Falls trail turns right. Turn right and
hike 0.71 mile to a small stream crossing. In another 0.11 mile, reach a sign
that indicates that you are leaving Gorges State Park and entering the Pisgah
National Forest. At 0.99 mile from the trailhead, a brown carsonite steak marks
the side trail on the left for Stairway Falls. Turn left and follow the obvious
trail to where it seems to end at the river and a campsite. Walk through the
campsite, crossing a small stream, and follow the trail downstream to the base
of the falls.