The US is gifted with an abundance of gorgeous waterfall hikes. From Latourell Falls Loop in Oregon to Wailua Falls in Hawaii, here’s some of our favorite ones!
Wyoming, Upper Falls and Lower Falls
Yellowstone, Prominent points allow visitors to gape down to the Yellowstone River far below and the Upper and Lower Falls plunging over their precipices. Inspiration Point has accessible overlooks, Artist Point takes in the classic canyon view, and trails with steep stairways climb down to other viewing platforms.
California, Upper Yosemite Falls
At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America. That’s why hundreds of park visitors hike this strenuous trail every day in the spring and summer. There’s no feeling quite like standing at the waterfall’s brink and realizing you’ve conquered a landmark of this magnitude.
Oregon, Latourell Falls Loop
This breezy loop crescendos at one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Gorge, set against a backdrop of columnar basalt pillars.
Washington, Snoqualmie Falls
You can see Snoqualmie Falls’ dramatic 270-foot plunge just a few steps beyond the Salish Lodge, but the 0.7-mile walk from this upper viewing area to the Snoqualmie River greatly enhances your visit.The trail is wide, steep, and lined with salmonberries, elderberries, sword ferns, vine maple, and other flora.
New Hampshire, Arethusa Falls
A trip to the Whites wouldn’t be complete without gawking at the towering wonder that is Arethusa Falls. At nearly 200 feet tall, this silvery cascade tumbles down a sheer cliff face right in the heart of Crawford Notch State Park. The direct-access route, the Arethusa Falls Trail, is popular during all seasons—even winter, when ice climbers tempt fate by scaling the frozen falls.
Tennessee, Fall Hollow Waterfall
This path path leads to a wooden bridge and platform about halfway down the falls with a simple bench where you can sit and take in the sights and sounds of the waterfall. In the late summer butterflies flitter around like a scene from a Disney movie. This is easily one of the prettiest places on the Tennessee section of the Trace and a great spot for a picnic.
Michigan, Bond Falls
Bond Falls is one of the most spectacular falls in the Upper Peninsula, despite being overdeveloped with walkways and viewing platforms
North Carolina, Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls is both kid-friendly and wheelchair accessible (at least to the upper overlook); that and its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway make it the perfect quickie waterfall. There are a number of beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina, and this is one the best.
Colorado, Rifle Falls State Park
First impressions at Rifle Falls State Park are not very striking, but if you explore a little, you’ll find a triple waterfall and caves riddling the limestone cliffs behind the falls. This is a unique destination, with more to offer than the arid canyon and red cliffs initially indicate.
Hawaii, Wailua Falls
This side-of-the-road star captures a lot of attention with its 80-foot (24-m) drop and plunge pool along the Road to Hana. It’s also in the middle of Hana’s vibrant rainforest, making it seem otherworldly.