From cascading rivers to majestic falls, the United States of America is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders. We’ve put together a US waterfalls bucket list for all 50 states!
When you’re looking for US travel ideas, be sure add some of these some must-visit waterfalls to your itinerary. There are dozens of majestic waterfalls that could be included in any nature lover’s bucket list.
These natural wonders span across all 50 states like the majestic Niagara Falls in New York to the thunderous Multnomah Falls in Oregon.
With so much beauty and variety, it’s no wonder why people from around the world come to explore America’s many waterfalls.
To help make your trip planning easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of best waterfalls to explore in all 50 states, noting the top 5 for each state! Grab the free download by clicking the graphic below!
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Map of US Waterfalls
This US waterfalls bucket list map shows where the 15 waterfalls are in the country that we’re highlighting in this article. Use it to help plan your next outdoor adventure and experience the beauty of some of the best waterfalls in America!
Tips For Photographing Waterfalls
Taking stunning waterfall photos requires patience, practice, and a few helpful tips: choosing the right equipment, finding the perfect angle, understanding light, and capturing motion blur:
- How to Photograph Waterfalls
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Travel tripod
- Camera Bag: protect your camera from sand and water
- Filters: to compensate for variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter.
- Camera cleaning kit: remove dust or water that WILL get on your lens. NOTE: this is not for cleaning the sensor.
US Waterfalls Bucket List
Exploring waterfalls is an exhilarating experience. The United States is home to numerous beautiful waterfalls worth adding to your bucket list.
Here are some must-visit waterfalls across the country to add to your list of US Vacation Ideas:
1. Yosemite Falls (California)
Located in Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Falls stands as North America’s tallest waterfall, plunging 2,425 feet. It has three distinct sections: the upper falls, middle cascades, and lower falls. Yosemite Falls offers a captivating display of beauty with its peak flow fueled by snowmelt. The best time to visit this attraction is during spring.
2. Multnomah Falls (Oregon)
Multnomah Falls is a picturesque two-tiered waterfall in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Its weight is approximately 620 feet and enchants visitors with its graceful plunge and surrounding lush greenery. A pedestrian bridge allows for a close-up view of the lower falls, while a short hike leads to a vantage point offering panoramic vistas of the entire cascade.
3. Havasu Falls (Arizona)
Havasu Falls is a 100-foot hidden treasure in the Grand Canyon National Park. Its breathtaking beauty is known for its striking blue-green waters and picturesque surroundings. It’s a striking location that offers a paradisiacal oasis in the desert.
You’ll need to reserve a Havasu Falls permit during the official season that runs February through November. Reaching this location requires a challenging hike, but the reward that awaits is always worthwhile.
4. Shoshone Falls (Idaho)
Shoshone Falls is often dubbed the “Niagara of the West.” It is located on the Snake River near Twin Falls, Idaho. Shoshone Falls surpasses the height of Niagara Falls. With a drop of 212 feet and a width exceeding 900 feet, this powerful waterfall is a testament to nature’s raw force.
Spring is the best time to see Shoshone Falls when the snow pack begins to melt. But don’t go too early or you will be disappointed, we know that from experience! In the summer water is diverted for irrigation, and in the fall there’s minimal water flow.
5. Lower Yellowstone Falls (Wyoming)
Lower Yellowstone Falls offers a captivating display of natural beauty and power located within the majestic Yellowstone National Park. The falls plunge approximately 308 feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. View the falls from various observation points, such as Artist Point, which provides a panoramic vista of the stunning waterfall against the backdrop of the canyon.
In the spring and summer the Yellowstone Waterfalls are in full force from snowmelt! By fall, the water flow isn’t as impressive, but there is still plenty of water to enjoy all the waterfalls. Visiting Yellowstone in the winter you’ll see the waterfalls in a unique way!
6. Palouse Falls (Washington)
Venture to the rugged beauty of eastern Washington to witness the captivating Palouse Falls. The waters of the Palouse River carve this gorgeous attraction and plunges 200 feet into a dramatic canyon. Palouse Falls State Park offers multiple viewpoints and lets you admire the falls from different angles. Visit during the spring to witness the increased flow from snowmelt or enjoy the serene beauty of the falls against the backdrop of golden fields in the summer.
7. Amicalola Falls (Georgia)
Amicalola Falls is a stunning waterfall nestled within the scenic Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia. With a total height of approximately 729 feet, this cascading beauty stands as the tallest waterfall in the state. Immerse yourself in the natural splendor as you follow a trail leading to various viewing platforms, allowing you to witness the falls from different views. Marvel at the tumbling waters as they descend the rocky cliffs, creating a mesmerizing symphony of sights and sounds.
8. Falling Spring Falls (Virginia)
Just a few minutes away from Covington, Virgina stands as a captivating natural wonder: Falling Spring Falls. The crystal-clear water tumbles down the rocky cliff, creating a mesmerizing display of Virginia’s power and beauty.
Falling Spring Falls offers easy access and a viewing platform that provides a perfect vantage point to admire the falls in all their splendor. Surrounded by lush greenery and serenaded by the soothing sounds of cascading water, the waterfall provides a peaceful and enchanting escape into the beauty of Virginia’s natural landscapes.
9. Cane Creek Cascades (Tennessee)
Located in Fall Creek Falls State Park, you’ll find Cane Creek Cascades right behind the Nature Center. As the name implies, the water cascades down the rock. It’s not an impressive drop like the nearby Cane Creek Falls, but the Cascades are much easier to visit.
10. Cumberland Falls (Kentucky)
Located in Cumberland Falls State Park in Corbin, Kentucky, this waterfall is often called the “Niagara of the South.” Cumberland Falls is a unique waterfall renowned for its Moonbow phenomenon. During a full moon, the mist from the falls creates a stunning lunar rainbow, making it a rare and unforgettable sight. Take a leisurely hike to the falls and witness the shimmering water curtain plunging into the pool below.
11. Manoa Falls (Hawaii)
Located in a lush rainforest of Oahu, Manoa Falls plunges approximately 150 feet down a verdant cliffside. The easy and scenic 1.7 mile round trip hike through the Manoa Valley with towering bamboo forests, vibrant foliage, and the chorus of native birds. Upon reaching the falls, the sight of the cascading water against the backdrop of moss-covered rocks and dense vegetation is breathtaking.
12. North Clear Creek Falls (Colorado)
Known as the most famous waterfall in the Rocky Mountain state, North Clear Creek Falls offers a breathtaking display of natural beauty located near Lake City, Colorado. This stunning waterfall plunges approximately 100 feet down a rugged cliffside, creating an iconic spectacle of cascading water. The waterfall overlook is easily accessible via a short hike. Enjoy the surrounding landscape with towering pine trees and panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains. It’s a terrific place to stop and enjoy a picnic while taking in the views!
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