Waterfalls in the United States are some of the most breathtaking in the world. Their scenery inspires photographs, dips in the water, and intense hikes just to catch a glimpse. Located close to many major tourism areas, include some of the best waterfalls in the US during your next vacation.
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Tips for Visiting Waterfalls in the United States
- Some of these beautiful waterfalls can gush into unstable, natural areas. So, there are several safety precautions to take while visiting.
- Research the waterfall before visiting. Learn exactly how to reach the cascade. Some may be right next to the parking lot, and others might be a multi-day trek through the wilderness.
- Pack accordingly. Do you have the right shoes? Enough water? Snacks for the day trip? A Swimsuit?
- For your safety, if the waterfall requires a longer hike into untouched wilderness, consider traveling in groups.
- Read any signage and follow the instructions on these signs. They may let you know about a trail closure, hazard, or dangerous bacteria in the water.
- Monitor the weather.
- Bring bear spray!
Lastly, always leave no trace. This is an important practice, as it allows our most beautiful areas to stay that way for years to come. Take with you whatever you brought in, and be sure to take only pictures.
When to Visit the Best Waterfalls in the US
In this list of waterfalls in the US, we will include amazing falls located around the nation. So, each geographical area will have its own specifics on when is best to visit. However, these general rules of thumb are good to keep in mind.
In the summer, waterfall areas that allow a dip in their waters are perfect for swimming. But, because of the nice weather, some areas might be very crowded, especially on weekends. Some areas may be dangerously hot at this time, too. Again, researching your destination is key, and our guide is the best place to start.
When chasing waterfalls in the autumn, you will be stunned to see the colors change around the cascades you find. This is especially true at some of the best waterfalls in the USA, hidden in New York.
During winter, don’t discredit waterfalls as a worthwhile attraction. Winter provides unique views of snow-covered and frozen falls in some places. A tour like this snowshoeing experience to frozen waterfalls in Michigan may be one of the best ways to see icy scenery, unfettered by thick grown leaves and springtime brambles.
When spring arrives, you’ll see another kind of changing colors around many waterfalls in the United States as new buds and flowers bloom in the fertile environment. There will also be fewer people around, making it a great time to explore before the summer crowds come back.
Impressive & Best Waterfalls in the United States
Arizona’s Best Waterfalls
We have a full guide to the best waterfalls in Arizona, but here are a few standouts:
1. Havasupai Waterfalls
The Havasupai waterfalls might have the most famous waterfalls in all of Arizona, if not the entire United States. This highly protected and remote location typically brings crowds throughout the year. There are actually five breathtaking falls here- the centerpiece of which is 100-foot Havasu Falls.
To reach these pristine waters hidden within the Grand Canyon, you will need to plan and prepare for a strenuous 10-mile hike there AND back. The terrain is extremely remote wilderness, with no roads and dangerous desert weather. The trailhead is located 4-5 hours from the biggest cities nearby- Phoenix and Las Vegas. All this makes the trek logistically difficult, but a true adventure nonetheless.
NOTE: You also need a permit to visit Havasupai. You can purchase these through the Havasupai Indian Reservation, but are usually gone within minutes of going live online.
2. Grand Falls
If you can’t get to Havasupai, Grand Falls might be one of the best waterfalls in the US for you. Lovingly known as Chocolate Falls, these dark, muddy waters are famous for their countless tiers and wide layout. To reach Grand Falls, visitors must drive just thirty miles east of Flagstaff to Navajo Nation land.
To see the falls, you won’t need to hike. However, you may want to consider a 4×4 vehicle to make the wild drive easier for your passengers. Once there, a hike down to the water is less than a half-mile long.
Colorado’s Best Waterfalls
3. Bridal Veil Falls
Near Telluride, Colorado is the Bridge Veil Falls, the tallest waterfalls in Colorado at 365 feet. Even though the hike is about 2 miles each way, the difficulty getting there is moderate over uneven ground while gaining an elevation of 1,650 feet. Be careful during certain seasons or the water crossing section can be dangerous. That means it’s not for beginner hikers. But done safely, it’s definitely a fun adventure!
4. Hanging Lake
Moving north to Colorado, you will find gorgeous waterfalls in alpine-like settings. Hanging Lake’s emerald waters and vegetation makes it feel like another world. It’s only ten miles away from Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and requires a steep but short hike to reach. Once you get there, you will glimpse delicate falls over crystal clear waters. You can download the hike here.
You can take as many pictures as you’d like, but there is no swimming here. Also, no dogs are allowed on the trail. Hanging Lake also requires a permit. These measures keep the area in as natural a state as possible for other people to enjoy.
5. Rifle Falls
While you wait for Hanging Lake to clear, consider a trip to Rifle Falls. These three 70-foot waterfalls cascade in front of hidden caves, which are possible to explore. To reach the falls, you’ll only have to hike one mile, and this trail is both paved and wheelchair accessible. So, bring the whole family along for a picnic and day of discovery.
Camping at Rifle Falls is a popular and exciting pastime, too. There are thirteen drive-in campsites and seven walk-in sites. Many have electric hookups, including walk-in sites for comfortable winter camping. Summer is Rifle Falls’ busiest time, so consider a trip during another season to find more solitude.
New York’s Best Waterfalls
When they hear New York, many people only think of the urban metropolis of New York City. But our vast state actually has thousand of beautiful waterfalls. In fact, even if you are living in NYC, you don’t even have to go far to visit a ton of waterfalls and hiking trails near NYC. Both near or beyond the city area, you can enjoy several waterfalls in New York State. Below are just a few.
6. Niagara Falls, New York
There’s no way we could make a list of the best waterfalls in the USA without mentioning Niagara Falls. Most people picture Horseshoe Falls when they hear Niagara Falls, but really the area is comprised of three cascades: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. You will be able to view Horseshoe Falls from the US, though it is technically a Canadian waterfall. American Falls is 180 feet tall and over 800 feet wide. Bridal Veil Falls, directly to the right of American Falls, has an initial drop of 78 feet, and another cascades into the Maid of the Mist Pool over 100 feet below.
Visitors can experience this area in countless ways, from boat rides to the bottom of Horseshoe Falls, to nature hikes on Goat Island, the Three Sisters Islands, and the Niagara Scenic Parkway Trail. For the full experience you could go on the all attractions tour that includes all the above plus the observation tower, American Falls, Horseshoe falls and more.
7. Letchworth State Park
If you can’t get to Havasupai, go to the Grand Canyon of the East at Letchworth State Park. Here, you’ll see three waterfalls from the Genesee River, some as high as 600 feet tall.
To see Upper Falls, the second tallest at 70 feet, park in the Falls Area parking lot. The hike along Trails 1 and 2 is short, and you will be able to see the railroad bridge above the horseshoe-shaped falls below. Middle Falls is the highest waterfall in the park at 107 feet. Continue to follow Trail 1 to see it. Finally, Lower Falls requires a half-mile hike and over 100 steps to the stream. This is fairly easy, but difficult for anyone who is out of shape or has knee problems.
Before leaving the park, stop at Inspiration Point and see Upper Falls and Middle Falls from above. These three falls and overlook make Letchworth one of the best places to visit in upstate New York.
8. Taughannock Falls, New York
The Cayuga Lake region has many beautiful natural wonders to visit, and Taughannock Falls State Park is one of the most popular and easiest. Water rushes down from a height of 215 feet here, cutting through rocky cliffs of almost 400 feet.
You can easily drive up to the waterfalls and see them from far above. Or, you can hike to the falls, and also see it easily from an upper viewing area. If you do choose to get up close to the falls, be careful. Don’t enter the water or a park ranger will come out and scorn you publically (I saw this happen with my own eyes; it was pretty funny). This is due to the falling rocks. But there are areas where we saw people swimming in peace along the riverbed.
The park also offers campsites, cabins, and also many miles of trails. In the summer, the beach and swimming area come to life; in winter, ice skaters twirl on the skating pond, and tubers hit the sledding hill.
9. Lower Falls (Robert Treman State Park)
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States is Lower Falls at Robert Treman State Park in Ithaca, New York. This waterfall is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. This region has hundreds of waterfalls due to its large glacial lakes and gorges that were formed millions of years ago by glaciers.
There are many beautiful waterfalls to see in the area, however, Lower Falls at Robert Treman State Park is one of the best waterfalls in the Finger Lakes. This waterfall is unique because it is one of the only waterfalls in the region that permits swimming. There is a diving board installed as well as active lifeguards on duty. There are showers and bathrooms on site. Located in the same state park is another beautiful waterfall called Lucifer Falls, as well as 10 other small waterfalls which are accessible via beautiful hiking trails.
Robert Treman State Park has two different entrances/parking locations: the upper entrance and the lower entrance. To go swimming at the lower falls, I recommend parking at the lower entrance. If you feel up for a moderate 4.3-mile hike, you can park at the lower entrance, and then hike the Rim Trail and Gorge Trail Loop in order to see the other waterfalls at the park. If you prefer a shorter hike, you can first park at the upper entrance and do a 1.1-mile hike to see Lucifer Falls, then drive down to the lower entrance to go swimming at the Lower Falls.
In addition to beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails, the Finger Lakes region is well known for its incredible wineries and wine-tasting tours. Either the city of Ithaca or the town of Watkins Glen make a great home base for exploring the region. – Shannon of Traveling Teacher Girl
10. Buttermilk Falls
Hands down, this hidden gem is one of our favorite waterfalls in New York State! Not only is it an easy hike but you pass through rock formations reminiscent of Jurassic Park or a jungle in the Caribbean. Who knew this was in New York?!
Once you enter, you can see a swimmable waterfall from the entrance road into the park but if you continue walking along the trail, you’ll pass some of the most beautiful swimming holes and waterfalls along the 2-hour loop hike. Bring a towel and swimsuit to enjoy a refreshing swim.
11. Kaaterskill Falls
Another epic waterfall in New York State that’s easy to hike to and breathtaking to see in person. And best of all? You can also swim here! So bring your swimsuit and towel.
At a majestic 260 feet over two massive plunges, Kaaterskill Falls towers in the Great Northern Catskills. Kaaterskill Falls is very popular- so popular in fact, that the trail to the falls is sometimes closed to the public. So avoid the weekends or be sure to get there early and follow any parking guidelines provided by city signage.
Best Waterfall in Wyoming
12. Yellowstone Falls
Yellowstone is one of the most famous National Parks in all of the United States, and part of that notoriety comes from its magnificent falls. Upper Yellowstone Falls is 109 feet high, but Lower Yellowstone Falls are the crowned jewel. At 308 feet tall, it’s almost twice as high as Niagara Falls.
Visitors can see Lower Falls from Lookout Point, which is a short 1.2-mile hike from Canyon Village. Many of the hikes are not ADA accessible, and are steep or include stairs. You can also drive to the brink, and see the falls from four different views. Even though Yellowstone is a popular place, you do not need reservations to see the falls.
California’s Best Waterfalls
13. McWay Falls, Big Sur, California
One of the best things to do in Big Sur, California, is a visit to McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. McWay Falls is one of just two waterfalls in the Golden State that are also tidefalls: during high tide, the waterfall plunges directly into the Pacific Ocean!
McWay Falls is beautiful at low tide as well, when the thin sliver of water from McWay Creek falls onto a lovely white sand cove. The result is a spectacular sight if you visit on a clear day.
Big Sur is one of the most scenic parts of California, so you can make your visit to McWay Falls part of a larger exploration of the coast. With hikes, photogenic bridges, and stunning ocean views, Big Sur is a must on any California itinerary.
Because the cliffs around McWay Falls are fragile, you cannot get close to the waterfall or access the cove. What you can do is walk a very short and easy trail to an overlook for an unobstructed view of the falls and surroundings. The walk takes just 10 minutes, less if you walk briskly.
There is a parking fee of $10 dollars if you park inside Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Alternatively, you can park for free on the side of California Highway 1 and walk a short distance to the start of the trail. – Dhara from Roadtripping California
A great way to visit McWay Falls is as part of a tour. You could go on this 1-day tour that departs from San Jose and stops at Santa Cruz, Big Sur, McWay Falls and more. If you’re staying in Monterey Carmel theres also a 1-day tour that visits Pfeiffer State park, Big Sur, Monterey, Nepenthe, McWay Falls plus loads more stops.
14. Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls is part of the Devil’s Postpile National Monument, located in Mammoth, California. It’s the highest waterfall on its section of the San Joaquin River, with a plunge of just over 100 feet. To reach these falls, anticipate a 2.5-mile hike from the Devils Postpile Ranger Station. When you get there, you will most likely see where Rainbow Falls gets its name- from the rainbows that form in its spray. Buses take visitors back to their starting point or to other sites within the monument, like Mammoth Lakes. Note that the through-hike John Muir Trail cuts across this area, too.
15. Lower Yosemite Falls + Vernal Falls (Yosemite National Park)
Yosemite Falls is split into three parts: Upper Yosemite Fall (1430 feet), the middle cascades (675 feet), and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 feet.) The trail is easy to walk at just about a mile long. This is just one of many gems in Yosemite National Park like Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. You can come here to admire the beauty during any season. Pictured above is a beautiful winter hike in Yosemite.
You could also consider this full day tour of Yosemite, where you’ll get to visit Yosemite Falls, Tuolumne Grove and the Half Dome.
Oregon’s Best Waterfalls
16. Multnomah Falls
Next, let’s head to the Pacific Northwest, where Multnomah Falls stuns in the winter. As a part of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, these gorgeous falls are the most visited natural recreation site in the entire Pacific Northwest. These 620-foot falls make up the sixth highest waterfall in the United States.
You will share your adventure with over 2 million others who take pictures on the iconic bridge overlooking the falls. In the winter, however, the lush, fairytale greenery here is replaced by misty spray and shocks of black rock against white snow. This, on top of lighter crowds, makes winter the best time for you to see this area.
A great way to explore Multnomah Falls is as part of a day tour that also includes a ride on the Hood River Excursion Train plus wine tasting in the Columbia River Gorge National Science Area. Book the tour here.
17. Proxy Falls, Oregon
The beautiful cascades of Proxy Falls can be seen on the 1.6-mile Proxy Falls Loop Trail through the Three Sister Wilderness. As you travel, you will walk over an old lava flow and enter a thick forest. Once at Proxy Falls, two separate falls cascade 226 feet from a stream above. Then, the water pools on the ground, and sinks into the porous lava rock below.
While it’s best to use this trail from March through November, you can also visit during the winter months if you have good snowshoes. Also, you will need a Recreation Pass to access the trailhead.
18. Tumalo Falls, Bend, Oregon
Bend is Central Oregon’s adventure capital, drawing nature-lovers from around the country. Just a 30-minute drive west of the town lies one of the region’s most picturesque sights – Tumalo Falls. Tucked within Deschutes National Forest, this 97-foot waterfall plunges into Tumalo Creek and is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
While visiting the waterfall itself is free, parking requires that you have an annual Northwest Forest Pass or a $5 day-use pass. From the parking lot, it is a short and easy walk to the first viewpoint. If you’d like to get up close and personal, you can continue on the well-marked path that heads gradually uphill for about .25-miles. From here, you’ll have sweeping views of the forested valley below as well as a nice view directly above Tumalo Falls. For those looking for more adventure, there are hiking and biking trails that continue onward.
Tumalo Falls can be visited year-round. However, for those coming during the winter months, it’s worth noting that the road will be closed about 2.7 miles from the falls. This means you’ll need to hike about 5 miles round trip to see the waterfall. Depending on how much snow has fallen, you may want to strap on snowshoes or cross country skis, both of which can be rented in Bend. If you’re up for the extra time and effort, you may just be rewarded with some epic wintry views. – Katie Diederichs of Two Wandering Soles
You can download a 10.3km hike to Tumalo Falls that passes through the Tumalo Creek here.
19. Middle Falls in Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Silver Falls is so beautiful that it has brought Oregon a worldwide reputation for spectacular waterfalls. When you visit, follow the Trail of Ten Falls. This 7.2-mile loop takes you past ten waterfalls with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet. Even though this is a long hike, you will be endlessly amazed by the scenery of the surrounding areas. Just a few sights you’ll see include:
- South Falls
- South Falls Lodge
- Old-growth forest
- Winter Falls
- North Falls
- Upper North Falls
- Grottos behind waterfalls
- Twin Falls
- Drake Falls
- Lower North Falls
- Double Falls
- A footbridge
- Lower South Falls
- South Falls
- Frenchie Falls
You could combine your trip to Silverfalls with a visit to two boutique wineries with this guided hiking tour. The tour takes you along the Trail of Ten Falls, then afterwards you’ll visit two different wineries and enjoy a picnic lunch. Book here.
20. Toketee Falls, Umpqua National Forest, Oregon
Umpqua National Forest has almost 1 million acres of mountainous wilderness, rapids, ponds, and high mountain lakes. In addition to all that, it also has some of the best waterfalls in the US. Toketee Falls is incredibly easy to hike to, as the walk is less than a half-mile. It leads to a platform with the perfect view of both falls, one cascading at 40 feet and the other at 80 feet.
Nearby, the Toketee Lake Campground can turn your adventure into a weekend of rustic fun. Spend your days swimming in the reservoir, or visit nearby Umpqua Hot Springs. To round out your adventure, stop by 293-foot Watson Falls, too.
21. Abiqua Falls
Abiqua Falls was formed from the same geographical formation as Silver Falls State Park. But, while Silver Falls is a popular spot, the Abiqua Falls Trailhead is not advertised. There is no sign, and the trail is unkempt and steep. However, the distance- less than one mile- is perfect for a more wild hike. It ends at the pool where the falls collect, and you will be able to see the roar of the powerful 102-foot falls.
Be careful here for two important reasons: the rock gets slippery, and people can fall fairly easily. Also, this is located on private land. Be sure to respect the owners’ gracious generosity by packing out whatever you pack in.
Tennessee’s Best Waterfalls
22. Ozone Falls, Tennessee
Ozone Falls can be reached by a rocky 0.1-mile walk or moderate yet long 14-mile day hike. The 110-foot waterfall is nestled in its own 43-acre State Natural Area, which guarantees the feeling of being away from it all. Around the falls is a naturally formed amphitheater that is open for exploration. Beneath the waterfall, you’ll see a mixed forest and a stream with boulders the size of houses.
Ozone Falls is just about a two-hour drive west of Nashville.
23. Virgin Falls, Tennessee
Virgin Falls is almost midway between Nashville and Gatlinburg. Also within its very own State Natural Area, Virgin Falls cascades from an underground stream that bursts from a cave. Like Ozone Falls, the drop is 110 feet, but the water disappears into another cave. Both caves are closed to public exploration, because of a disease among the resident bats. However, you will want to visit Virgin Falls to see the sinkholes unique to the Cumberland area.
To reach Virgin Falls, you will need to hike about 9 miles total along rocky and uneven footing. There are remote camping spots available along the way. This is just one of many beautiful waterfalls in the Gatlinburg area.
24. Burgess Falls, Tennessee
If you are looking for another Tennessee waterfall close to Nashville, head an hour and a half west to Burgess Falls. These popular waterfalls have their own state park and natural areas, so they are very protected. When you visit, be sure to enter the State Park, as the Natural Area does not have any hiking trails that connect the two.
Get to Burgess Falls by following the 1.5-mile River Trail. The cascades are 250-feet tall in total. But, they are broken up into a 20-foot cascade, 30-foot upper falls, 80-foot middle cascades, and 136-foot lower falls. Bluffs frame the waters on each side. Once there, we highly recommend the half-mile Ridge Top Trail.
25. Ruby Falls, Tennessee
Ruby Falls is the least remote of all the waterfalls on our list. In fact, it’s a popular Chattanooga tourist attraction. Ruby Falls’ most unique feature is that it is located underground, inside Lookout Mountain. To access it, you will have to purchase tickets online.
Your ticket will get you a guided tour to the Falls that begins with a 260- foot elevator descent. When you get to the bottom, you will see the largest waterfall located underground open to the public in the entire United States. It is surrounded by amazing natural wonders, like rock formations. You can also experience this on a Lantern Tour, where the only lights in the cavern are the handheld lanterns of tour participants.
Utah’s Best Waterfalls
26. Lower Calf Creek Falls, Escalante
Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument is a massive and breathtaking area that holds two waterfalls, Upper and Lower Calf Creek. Lower Calf Creek Falls should definitely be on your USA Bucket List. It is a little off the beaten path near Escalante, Utah but can get busy in the summer. The trailhead is easily found off Scenic Byway 12, which is a spectacular drive that will have you constantly stopping to take photos.
The Lower Calf Creek Falls are 124 feet high and can be reached by a 6.7 mile out and back hike down a well-marked path that takes 2-3 hours. The elevation gain is listed as 866 feet but the overall hike feels mostly flat and is easy enough to bring children.
Along the hike, you are surrounded by massive canyon walls that look like Zion National Park. There is a creek that creates a lush environment in the canyon with beautiful trees and plants that reflect the season. It’s the chance to get the National Park experience without all the tourists.
Reaching the falls is the prize at the end of this gorgeous hike. You can take a dip in the pool at the base, weather permitting. It’s a picture-perfect spot for a picnic and a break before you head back.
There is a $5 fee for parking that can be paid on site. Overnight camping is permitted for a $10 fee if there is space available. You can also stay nearby at Escalante Escapes to explore more of this amazing area. Weather conditions can be harsh so bring sunscreen and water in the summer. A warm jacket and hat in the winter. – Jenifer from The Evolista
27. Kanarra Creek Waterfall ★
To reach Kanarra Falls, you will need to hike in the water, climb a ladder with no handrails, climb a boulder, and squeeze through a slot canyon. Needless to say, this is not an adventure for small children or dogs. There is also significant flash flood danger. But, the payoff is worth it, as you will see a natural water slide, a pool, and a second waterfall. The cascades aren’t very high, at only 15 feet, but the scenery of the surrounding area and high canyon walls is unlike anything else on this list.
Washington State’s Best Waterfalls USA
28. Snoqualmie Falls
Back to the Pacific Northwest, keep Snoqualmie Falls on your bucket list. The falls are named for the Snoqualmie Tribe who believe this is where humanity began. You might believe it too after you see the beauty of this sacred area.
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in North America, it is also one of the most accessible. Families, pets, and hiking beginners will all enjoy the 0.7-mile interpretive trail to viewpoints of both the upper falls and lower falls. More adventurous folks can choose to descend about 250 feet towards the river’s edge to feel the falls’ spray.
You could consider this guided hiking tour that’ll take you to the Twin Falls, Upper Falls and Snoqualmine Falls.
29. Palouse Falls, Washington
To visit Palouse Falls, you will have to enter Palouse Fall State Park. The park is 94-acres large and has three outstanding viewpoints from which you can see the falls. The trail to see them is a tenth of a mile, and is ADA accessible. There is also a campground, but check to see if it is open before planning your stay there.
The Falls were formed thousands of years ago and are now Washington’s state waterfall. It falls at 200 feet in a canyon that is 337-feet deep. It’s also a part of the Palouse River, which connects to the Snake River just four miles downstream. (The Snake River flows through Yellowstone National Park and Shoshone Falls.)
But the beauty of this canyon is no secret. If you visit in the summer, anticipate extreme heat and very large crowds.
30. Sol Duc Falls, Washington
Olympic National Park in Washington State encompasses nearly 1 million acres and spans several distinctly different ecosystems. Within this outstanding park is Sol Duc Falls, which is dubbed the most beautiful falls in Olympic National Park. It’s a must-see for any Washington State road trip.
The falls are reached by a very easy 1.6 mile, out and back hike. This hike is suitable for all hiking levels. It is also quite a scenic hike, as you will walk through a lush rainforest landscape to reach the falls. Once you reach the falls, you will view them from above, on a gorgeous bridge, as they fall nearly 50 feet into the canyon below. There is an entrance fee to enter Olympic National Park. The rate varies depending on the type of vehicle you are driving and how many passengers are in the vehicle. Please check the National Park Service’s website for the latest rates. It is also advised to buy your pass online via the National Park Service website before entering Olympic National Park.
The closest accommodation to Sol Duc Falls is the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, which has access to the natural hot springs of Sol Duc Falls. Another great option for accommodation is the Lake Crescent Lodge in Olympic National Park. Be sure to book your stay in advance, as these accommodations fill up quickly. – Lindsey Puls
Hawaii’s Best Waterfalls
31. Wailua Falls, Kauai
A visit to Hawaii has to warrant a trip to some of the best waterfalls in the United States. These tropical locations are unlike any other. Dramatic Wailua Falls is on the island of Kauai. Depending on the amount of rainfall, Wailua can fall 80 feet or 200 feet.
Wailua Falls might be the easiest falls to access on our list. Visitors can see it from Maalo Road. Not many other waterfalls in Hawaii have this kind of accessibility, so make sure to add this easy stop to any itinerary. If you do want to get closer, there is a dangerous steep trek from the road. However, because this is not very safe, the best way to experience Wailua is to capture amazing photographs from the road.
A great way to see Wailua Falls and the rest of Kauai is from the sky. You could opt for this air tour that’ll take you on a 60-70 minute flight over the whole island. You could also opt to see the falls as part of a tour along the South & East coast of Kauia, where you’ll get to see the Wailua Falls, Old Koloa Town, Spouting Horn and more.
32. Kahiwa Falls
Kahiwa Falls are on the island of Molokai. These tiered waterfalls cascade a whopping 2,165 feet. In fact, it’s so tall, that if it wasn’t for its tiers, it would be the fourth tallest waterfall in the United States.
The falls flow from high seaside cliffs along the northern coast of the island. They are very thin but get thicker as more rainfalls. The best way to see them is from the sea, and local boat tours are available to take you along the breathtaking coastline.
You can see the Kahiwa Falls as part of a helicopter tour that takes you over both Molokai and Maui.
Idaho’s Best Waterfall
33. Shoshone Falls
Found 3 miles north of Twin Falls, Idaho, the Snake River cascades into 212 feet of roaring waters at Shoshone Falls. It is not a thin wisp of water, either, as it is 900-feet wide. It’s also the second-largest waterfall in the United States and is taller than Niagara Falls. Spring is the best time to see Shoshone Falls, as the melting snow adds to its volume at this time of year.
This is another waterfall that is exceedingly accessible to the public. In fact, you will only have to walk about 75 feet from the parking lot to view it. There are also trails that allow you to view it from different angles. Below, you can swim in the blue waters, kayak, and paddleboard. Admission to Shoshone Falls Park is $5.00.
Minnesota’s Best Waterfall
34. Pigeon River Falls
Minnesota may be the great white north of the Midwest, but it has its own majestic scenery that makes it unique. It even has its fair share of waterfalls. After all, the land of 10,000 lakes is bound to have some cascades.
The best waterfalls in all of Minnesota are in Grand Portage State Park along the Pigeon River.
It’s a part of the spectacular North Shore. There is a visitor center and picnic areas here, too. Waterfalls along the Pigeon River include High Falls at 120 feet and Middle Falls at 20 feet. (Note that while High Falls is in Minnesota, Middle Falls is technically in Ontario). Of course, High Falls is the main attraction, and it’s an easy 1.1-mile trek in and out to see it. This location is very close to Lake Superior, and just across its waters to Isle Royale National Park.
Best Texas Waterfall
35. Hamilton Pool, Texas
When people think of Texas, they don’t normally think of waterfalls. However, Texas is home to one of the best waterfalls in the US. It’s just outside of Austin, and under two hours away from San Antonio.
When you approach Hamilton Pool you’ll enter a naturally carved amphitheater. Beneath the craggy outcroppings lies a pristine pool. A light, sparkling waterfall flows on one end. Typically, swimming is allowed, but as of 2022 both swimming and the trail under the overhanging are closed due to rock falls. However, there are other hiking trails for exploration of the area, and a picnic area to refuel. Remember to make your reservation ahead of time.
Best Kentucky Waterfall
36. Cumberland Falls
If you find yourself in Kentucky, be sure to plan an excursion to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. This “Resort Park” has lodges, cottages, and campsites for visitors to reserve while they explore. The main attraction is Cumberland Falls itself, which is 68 feet tall and 125 feet wide. The park has 17 miles of hiking trails, as well as birding and fishing. When it isn’t wintertime, you can also mine for gems behind the gift shop, horseback ride, and swim.
The most special thing about Cumberland Falls is its moonbow. Like a rainbow, Cumberland Falls is one of the only places on earth that creates one. There are four dates per month that this phenomenon can occur, so try to visit during the full moon.
Ohio’s Best Waterfall in the United States
37. Hocking Hills (Multiple Waterfalls)
If you’re looking for waterfalls in Ohio, visit Hocking Hills State Park. The geography is what remains of an ancient sea. There are countless caves and waterfalls within this 2,356-acre park. The most notable are Ash Cave (pictured above) and Cedar Falls which flows from Queer Creek and falls 50 feet.
To see it, you need to follow a loop trail that is well under a mile. You can also see Upper Falls, which is 15-feet high, and Lower Falls, which is even smaller. Nearby is Old Man’s Cave, where a local named Richard Rowe really lived in the 1800s. Continue following the gorge trail, and you will find pools, cascades, and other natural wonders, making this a veritable natural water playground.
Hocking Hills is enormous and has countless things to see. Spend a long getaway here, and stay at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, located within the park.
New Mexico’s Most Beautiful Waterfall USA
38. Nambe Falls, New Mexico
Back to the desert in our race for waterfalls, head outside of Santa Fe to Nambe Falls in Nambe Indian Reservation in New Mexico. This is a great place to fish, camp, or paddle. In fact, the park itself has many of these supplies available for rent.
The falls cascade in tiers, and the two longest fall 75 feet and 100 feet. Two trails lead visitors to the waterfalls, and each is only a quarter-mile long. One trail leads to a view above the falls, and the other takes you to the beach at its base. This area is only open for a small portion of the year, so be sure to check the link above before you visit.
Best Oklahoma Waterfall
39. Turner Falls – Oklahoma’s Tallest Waterfall
Turner Falls Park houses a beautiful 77-foot waterfall that splashes into a natural swimming pool. The park is a part of the Arbuckle Mountains, which are some of the oldest mountains on the planet. The entire area around the waterfall flows with clear water, which settles into pools along Honey Creek which visitors love to cool off in.
The most unique feature of the park is Collings Castle, an actual stone castle built in the 1930s. Visitors to the park can now explore its ruins, where they will see a decrepit fireplace, parapets, and narrow windows. There are miles of hiking trails and multiple caves to explore too.
Best Maine Waterfall
40. Screw Auger Falls
Located in Grafton Notch State Park, Screw Auger is one of Maine’s most popular waterfalls; and for good reason. The easy trail is suitable for hikers of almost all levels and you can swim here! Be careful with children since there are some steep drops in the winter.
Other Waterfalls in the USA to Consider
- Sitting Bull Falls (New Mexico)
- Tahquamenon Falls (Michigan)
- Great Falls (Potomac River, Maryland)
- Waterfalls in New Jersey
- Waterfalls in Wisconsin