Bust Your Butt Falls

Categories: Waterfalls, Swimming Holes, Senior Friendly Waterfalls


  •  Cascading waterfall near Franklin & Highlands, NC with multiple tiers 
  •  Popular swimming hole 
  •  Jump from rock cliff into deep pool 
  •  Plenty of large boulders to "sun" on 
  •  Fishing above and below falls 
  •  Nice photo opportunity 
  •  Busy Highway, use caution

The Local Scoop

Bust Your Butt Falls is one of several waterfalls near Highlands & Franklin, NC are a popular destination for Summer travelers to stop by for a dip in the very deep pool at the bottom. This has been a favorite spot for locals to come cool off. If you like an adventurous thrill, then climb up the rock face at the bottom of the pool (you'll see a rope tied off to a tree) to the ledge above it. This is, of course, at your own risk. I have personally jumped into the pool several times, but I always made sure that the water level is at an acceptable height, and always made sure that I jumped "out" from the ledge as far as possible. I have only touched the bottom a couple of times and it was very lightly. People have been seen climbing even further up on the cliffside to jump from higher up, but I would not recommend this at all. These falls can be very dangerous when played on. There are "holes" in each tier of the falls that you can be trapped in. In '09 there was a fatality when a man got his foot/leg trapped between rocks and drowned. My recommendation would be to stay off of the falls and keep to the large pool.

The Local Directions

From the intersection of U.S. Hwy-64 East and U.S. Hwy-23/441 North in Franklin, NC take Hwy 64 East towards Highlands, NC for approx.10 miles. There is a pull-off on the Right hand side of Hwy 64 traveling East. If you have handicapped folks with you, they will have a nice view of the falls from a passenger's side seat. If coming from Highlands, take U.S. 64 West from red light @ intersection of U.S. 64/N.C. 28 in Highlands for 6.5 miles and parking on your Right and Left.

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Difficulty Levels

  • Hike5What's this?
  • Waterfalls1What's this?
35.09275, -83.26650
Easy via US Hwy-64/28
Hike Distance
Roadside or Bouldering on the river
Nearest City
Macon County
Distance From
Franklin, 10.3 miles
Highlands, 6.5 miles

35.092750, -83.266500