No matter how tall or small, waterfalls always make for a magical and memorable sight. Take a scenic drive or work up a sweat via hiking to witness these majestic cascades. Reward yourself with a quick dip at the base of a waterfall. Some of these sites feature nearby campgrounds, but for the most flexibility and convenience, stay at one of many incredible vacation rentals. Without further ado, here are the most picturesque waterfalls in the country.
1. Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls, NY
Is there any surprise that Niagara Falls is number one on our list? This granddaddy of all the waterfalls is considered to be one of the World’s Big Three and easily the top in the United States in terms of sheer power, size, popularity, and more. Niagara Falls splits the border between New York in the United States and southeastern Ontario in Canada meaning that you can check for vacation rentals on either side.
2. Yosemite Falls – Yosemite, CA
At 2,425 feet, this waterfall is one of the tallest in the world, and definitely considered the crown jewel of Yosemite National Park’s cliff-diving waterfalls. This is a great waterfall for anyone to see because you can drive or hike to it. Just don’t visit during mid to late summer when it dries up.
3. Lower Falls – Canyon Village, WY
Lower Falls is the signature waterfall of Yellowstone National Park. Located at the head of the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone River, you’ll be surrounded by grand scenery on all sides. While Yellowstone might be more famous for predictable geysers, you definitely can’t miss this.
4. Bridal Veil Falls – Yosemite, CA
Another great waterfall to check out on your visit to Yosemite. This 620-foot waterfall frames Yosemite Valley opposite the imposing El Capitan. You might have heard about this famed landscape described by John Muir as “The Gates of Yosemite Valley.” Come early to snag one of the extremely limited parking spots, and try to avoid weekends to avoid the crowds.
5. Multnomah Falls – Bridal Veil, OR
Easily one of the most iconic waterfalls in the United States and the star attraction of the famous Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is a 620-foot that attracts millions of visitors each year. In fact, it might be the state of Oregon’s top attraction! If you’re looking for a vacation rental, Portland is less than an hour away and full of its own set of great attractions.
6. Burney Falls – Burney, CA
At 260 feet, these falls might not be as tall as some of the others on this list, but it’s definitely one of the most unique. Burney Falls is breathtaking thanks to the underlying line of springs that comes out of the upper two-thirds of the cliff.
7. Havasu Falls – Supai, AZ
Visit Arizona’s Havasupai Indian Reservation any time of year to see this beautiful waterfall. More than just the waterfall itself, this site is about the blue-green waters of Havasu Creek, the travertine stalactites and dams surrounding the falls, and the red-rock cliff scenery. To get here, you can choose between a 10-mile hike (each way), a horseback ride, or a helicopter ride.
8. Tahquamenon Falls – Paradise, MI
If this classic block shaped, wide river waterfall wasn’t beautiful enough, time your visit during the fall when the leaves change colors for some truly magical scenery. Visiting Paradise, Michigan to see these falls will be your own little slice of paradise.
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9. Cumberland Falls – Corbin, KY
Often called the Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is known for its classical wide and rectangular mouth as well as its lunar rainbows, also known as moonbows.
10. Feather Falls – Quincy, CA
Feather Falls in Plumas National Forest is considered one of the tallest waterfalls in California at 410 feet. Outside of Yosemite, it’s easily one of the best waterfalls in the state. To get to the falls, we recommend taking the 4.5-mile hike there and the 3.5-mile hike back for mostly downhill hiking.
11. McWay Falls – Big Sur, CA
At 80 feet tall, McWay Falls might sound small, if you’re ever traveling along Highway 1, you’ll want to make a pit stop to see this waterfall tumbling down onto the sandy shore. Take the short trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to reach the waterfall and sweeping, panoramic views of the ocean.
12. Waimoku Falls – Maui, HI
While not in the contiguous United States, we had to throw this waterfall on Maui Island in the mix. Waimoku Falls is located at the head of the Pipiwai Trail, above Seven Sacred Pools on the Road to Hana. The trail is one of the best hikes on Maui and leads you to the 400-foot Waimoku Falls, one of the tallest falls on Maui.
13. Snoqualmie Falls – Snoqualmie, WA
Join the over 1.5 million visitors at Snoqualmie Falls in Washington. Parking is free as well as the viewing area that’s open from dawn until dusk. You’ll also find a two-acre park, gift shop, and the Salish Lodge.
14. Palouse Falls – LaCrosse, WA
Another popular Washington attraction is Palouse Falls. The Palouse River runs through a narrow cataract and drops 200 feet through a winding gorge of columnar basalt. Palouse Falls is among the last active waterfalls on the Ice Age floods path, carved more than 13,000 years ago.
15. Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls, ID
At 212 feet tall and 1000 feet wide, Shoshone Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the country. This natural beauty on the Snake River is located at the edge of Twin Falls. While the falls are the main attraction, this Idaho spot also offers a unique blend of recreational facilities, including playgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, a boat ramp, swimming area, and a scenic overlook.
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