Beyond Niagara: Beautiful Waterfalls in All 50 States

Shoshone Falls

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Shoshone Falls
Tim Foolery Life/istockphoto

Go Chasing Waterfalls

People travel thousands of miles to visit the world's largest and tallest waterfalls, but there are thousands of waterfalls throughout the United States that are easier and cheaper to enjoy. Tall, short, cascading, and plunging, they are often wondrous or delightful in their own right. Many of the waterfalls on this list are inexpensive to visit — they're in state or national parks or national forests, and entry costs $5 to $35 per vehicle for a seven-day pass.

Related: 50 Picturesque Day Trips Across America

DeSoto State Park, Alabama
DeSoto State Park, Alabama by faungg's photos (CC BY-ND)

Alabama: DeSoto State Park

Located between Mentone and Fort Payne in northeastern Alabama, DeSoto State Park offers visitors hiking trails, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a playground, and several accommodation options. Find DeSoto Falls and its unobstructed, 104-foot drop several miles north of the park's more obvious attractions. 

Related: The State Park You Don't Want to Miss in Every State

Bridal Veil Falls And Horsetail Falls, Alaska
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Alaska: Keystone Canyon

Some of Alaska's best-known waterfalls are visited throughout the year: Even when the water freezes, adventure seekers climb the ice. A few of the most famous are Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls, which can be found in Keystone Canyon on the drive to Valdez.

Related: Awesome Views in All 50 States

Havasu Falls, Arizona
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Arizona: Havasu Falls

The beautiful turquoise pools of the Havasupai Reservation are found at the bottom of the western part of the Grand Canyon, and the surrounding red rock adds a brilliant contrast. Seeing the falls involves a rugged 10-mile hike (one way) and staying a night or two at the nearby campground or lodge, but check their website before putting this adventure on your list. Overnight camping and visits to the reservation are currently unavailable due to the pandemic.

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Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls, Arkansas

Arkansas: Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls

At 210 feet, Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls in the Ponca Wilderness is the highest single-drop waterfall between the Rockies and Appalachians. The hike to the falls isn't exceptionally long — about 5 miles round-trip — but the way out is mostly uphill and can be very tiring. Take note: Showers and other facilities are currently closed due to the pandemic.

Yosemite's Falls, California
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California: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is home to several famous waterfalls. Bridalveil Fall is one of the first that visitors see; the Mist Trail takes visitors up to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall; and Yosemite Falls, with its 1,430-foot drop in the upper section alone, is visible from most of the valley. Don't just show up, though — because of the pandemic, Yosemite currently only allows reservation holders.  

Hanging Lake, Colorado

Colorado: Hanging Lake

Waterfalls feed Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon, which is crystal clear with a Caribbean-like turquoise hue. They are also visible along the hike up to the lake. The trail is just a mile long but steep and difficult for some people. Touching the water, bringing a dog, fishing, or standing under or above the falls is forbidden, to protect the area.

Kent Falls, Connecticut
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Connecticut: Kent Falls

The highlight of Kent Falls State Park is a 70-foot waterfall that goes plunging and cascading down the rocks. Visitors can reach vantage points by hiking a quarter-mile trail alongside the falls. Appalachian Trail hikers pass by the park as the trail converges with the Housatonic River for several miles. 

Related: The Best Bike Trails in All 50 States

Brandywine Creek, Delaware
Brandywine Creek, Delaware by Ad Meskens (CC BY)

Delaware: Brandywine Creek

Delaware isn't home to any large waterfalls, but a few small, unnamed falls have been found in Brandywine Creek, near Wilmington's city zoo.

Falling Waters State Park, Florida
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Florida: Falling Waters State Park

Falling Waters State Park in Chipley is a family-friendly outdoor destination. Walk along a boardwalk on the Sink Hole Trail to find the state's tallest waterfall. Rather than water plunging over a cliff, the waterfall is formed by a stream flowing into a 20-foot-wide, 100-foot-deep sinkhole.  

Amicalola Falls, Georgia

Georgia: Chattahoochee National Forest

Found in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Amicalola Falls is a 729-foot cascade more than four times the height of Niagara Falls. It gets crowded during peak leaf season; try to visit during the week. Visitors can park and take a short walk for a good view, or follow a harder, stair-filled trail alongside the falls for the full experience. 

Related: Where to See Spectacular Fall Foliage

Waimoku Falls, Hawaii

Hawaii: Waimoku Falls

Waimoku Falls in Kipahulu, Maui, isn't especially easy to get to, but the journey is well worth it. Visitors drive the narrow and winding Hana Highway to the Kipahulu Visitor Center in Haleakala National Park. From there, it's a 2-mile hike through a bamboo forest to reach Waimoku Falls. At 400 feet, it's the largest waterfall on Maui and one of the most stunning.   

Related: The Best of Hawaii on a Budget

Shoshone Falls, Idaho
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Idaho: Shoshone Falls

The Snake River winds through southern Idaho and crashes over rock formations to create the Shoshone Falls. At 212 feet, it's taller than Niagara Falls, but diversion of the river for irrigation in late summer and fall often diminishes the flow.

Lake Falls and Cascade Falls, Illinois

Illinois: Matthiessen State Park

Matthiessen State Park is home to 35-foot Lake Falls, and in the spring visitors can catch 45-foot Cascade Falls, as well. The small park can be explored in a single day, and nearby Starved Rock State Park also has several waterfalls (sometimes starved for water) ranging from 15 to 80 feet tall. 

Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana

Indiana: Clifty Falls State Park

To get your fill of waterfalls, head to Clifty Falls State Park in southeastern Indiana. There are dozens of waterfalls in the park, including four named falls: Big Clifty, Little Clifty, Tunnel, and Hoffman.

Dunnings Spring Park, Iowa

Iowa: Dunnings Spring Park

Iowa doesn't spring to mind when most people think waterfalls, but there's one in Dunnings Spring Park near Decorah. Explore the park by heading out on the hiking trails — one goes up each side of the falls.

Kansas: Cowley Lake Waterfall

Kansas: Cowley Lake Waterfall

The 25-foot Cowley Lake Waterfall in southeast Kansas can be hard to find. Park in the west-end lot of Cowley County State Fishing Lake and climb down a small path, or drive on the dirt road west of the park, about 200 feet from the river that feeds the falls.

Cumberland Falls, Kentucky
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Kentucky: Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls, near Corbin, can be mesmerizing — it is sometimes called Little Niagara or the Niagara of the South. One of its most magical elements: With a full moon on a clear night, visitors can see rainbows (or "moonbows") in the mist.

Waterfall at Sicily Island Hills, L.A.

Louisiana: Sicily Island Hills

The area is rugged and used mostly by deer hunters, but Sicily Island Hills is home to some of Louisiana's few waterfalls. Take the Rock Falls Trail to see one of the tallest — about 17 feet — or the St. Mary's Falls Trail in the north to see several smaller ones.

Angel Falls, Maine
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Maine: Angel Falls

A bit out of the way for most people but still worth the trip, Angel Falls is a 90-foot waterfall in western Maine. The trail to the falls is less than a mile long but can be hard to find without directions. Maine Trail Finder shows the way.

Great Falls of the Potomac, Maryland

Maryland: Great Falls of the Potomac

Just west of Washington, D.C., the Great Falls of the Potomac are a series of rapids and cascading waterfalls. The tallest falls of the bunch are about 20 feet; in total the water level drops 76 feet in less than a mile. Note that the visitor center is temporarily closed due to the pandemic.

Related: 24 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Washington, D.C.

Tannery Falls, Massachusetts
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Massachusetts: Savoy Mountain State Forest

Tannery Falls in the Savoy Mountain State Forest is a 50-foot waterfall with two distinct sections. The water plunges straight over a steep bluff, then cascades or slides through an S-curve as the rock starts to flatten out. 

Bond Falls, Michigan
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Michigan: Bond Falls

Bond Falls in the western Upper Peninsula drops about 50 feet and is more than 100 feet wide. Visitors can see the falls from a boardwalk and six designated viewing areas.

High Falls, Minnesota
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Minnesota: Grand Portage State Park

The land of 10,000 lakes also boasts some remarkable waterfalls. High Falls is the highlight of Grand Portage State Park, on the U.S.-Canada border. The 120-foot waterfall is a quick half-mile walk on a boardwalk from a parking lot. The park also features a 4-mile hiking trail leading to a second waterfall, Middle Falls, and a view of Lake Superior.

Mississippi: Clark Creek Natural Area

Mississippi: Clark Creek Natural Area

In the very southwest tip of Mississippi, Clark Creek Natural Area has many waterfalls, including some more than 30 feet tall. It is a beautiful area for a day trip, although the trails are steep and unpaved; be prepared for a solid day's hike. 

Missouri: Grand Falls

Missouri: Grand Falls

Grand Falls in Joplin is pretty small, but fun to visit: Swimmers can jump over the 12-foot falls to enjoy the pools below. Just be careful to pick a spot that's deep enough.

Glacier National Park's Falls, Montana
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Montana: Glacier National Park

There are about 200 waterfalls in Glacier National Park, making it hard to pick just one to visit — so don't. Virginia Falls, Running Eagles Falls, and Beaver Chief Falls at Lincoln Lake are high on many visitors' lists. 


Nebraska: Smith Falls State Park

Nebraska: Smith Falls State Park

Smith Falls State Park is one of Nebraska's newer state parks. It is popular among campers and day-use visitors wanting to go tubing on a river or explore a hiking trail. (Hiking is limited on the river's south side to protect the environment, but a footbridge links the shores.) Two main waterfalls, including the state's highest, are easily accessible via a gravel path.

Nevada: Mary Jane Falls

Nevada: Mary Jane Falls

Head to Mount Charleston near Las Vegas for a break from the heat and follow the Mary Jane Falls Trail to see the trickling waterfall. The hike is less than 3 miles round-trip, but strenuous because of how steep it is. The good news is that there is shade throughout, and the water of Mary Jane Falls is cold and refreshing.

Ripley Falls, New Hampshire
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New Hampshire: Crawford Notch State Park

Considered one of the most spectacular waterfalls in New Hampshire, Arethusa Falls in Crawford Notch State Park is estimated at between 140 and 200 feet tall, depending on how it is measured. The hike to the falls and back is 2.8 miles. Those with more energy and time can visit another waterfall in the park, 100-foot Ripley Falls.

Great Falls, New Jersey
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New Mexico: Sitting Bull Falls

New Mexico: Sitting Bull Falls

Spring-fed Sitting Bull Falls near Carlsbad is a good destination for a day trip. Swim in the pools at the base, or sit under the falls and enjoy a natural massage.

Niagara Falls, New York
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New York: Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls comprises three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Niagara Falls has an exciting history of daredevils tightrope walking across or going over the falls in a barrel. It is also one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the country.

Big Bradley Falls, North Carolina

North Carolina: Big Bradley Falls

Water cascades down a narrow 100-foot crevice in the rock at Big Bradley Falls in Saluda. The trail to the falls is short but can be dangerous — several people have died — so tread with caution. There's a 60-foot-wide stream crossing involved, and one route requires rappelling down a rock face to reach the base of the falls. 

Sheyenne River State Forest
Sheyenne River State Forest by North Dakota State University (CC BY-NC-SA)

North Dakota: Sheyenne State Forest

North Dakota has only one official natural waterfall, Mineral Springs Falls in the Sheyenne State Forest. The trail to the falls is about 4.4 miles round-trip, and there are two simple campsites along the way for overnight outings. With an 8-foot drop, Mineral Springs is not the grandest waterfall, but it's still a lovely spot for an outing.

Indian Run Falls, Ohio
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Ohio: Indian Run Falls Park

Near central Dublin, Indian Run Falls Park offers city dwellers a space to enjoy the outdoors. The stream that runs through the park creates a series of short waterfalls that can be viewed from an accompanying walking trail. On hot days, visitors enjoy jumping into the stream and playing in the falls — although it is illegal.

Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Oklahoma: Turner Falls Park

Turner Falls Park in Davis is the oldest state park in Oklahoma and, at 77 feet, Turner Falls is tied for tallest waterfall in the state. The park and falls are in the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma and were named after Mazeppa Thomas Turner, who found the falls and settled in the area in the mid-19th century.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Oregon: Multnomah Falls

East of Portland, in the Columbia River Gorge, 620-foot Multnomah Falls claims the title of tallest waterfall in Oregon. There are wheelchair-accessible viewing areas, and a footbridge over the lower falls offers a good vantage point. This is one of the few waterfalls in the region that flows year-round.

Related: 30 Stunning Photos of Iconic Landscapes in the American West

Dingmans Falls, Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area sits on both sides of the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Formed by glaciers and thousands of years of water eating away at rock formations, the area has many waterfalls to explore. The best-known is 130-foot Dingmans Falls, on the Pennsylvania side. During the pandemic, public bathrooms and river camp sites are closed.

Stepstone Falls, Rhode Island

Rhode Island: Arcadia Wildlife Management Area

In spite of the relatively flat terrain, there are a few small waterfalls in Rhode Island. In the Arcadia Wildlife Management Area, the Ben Utter Trail — less than 4 miles round-trip — leads hikers to Stepstone Falls. The falls drop a total of about 10 feet in a series of steps, the largest being about 3 feet.

Falls Creek, South Carolina
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South Carolina: Falls Creek

The Waterfall Trail along Falls Creek in Jones Gap State Park is a 2-mile round-trip hike that brings hikers face to face with three waterfalls. Each is a cascade with heights ranging from about 20 to 40 feet.  

Roughlock Falls, South Dakota
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South Dakota: Black Hills National Forest

For waterfalls in South Dakota, head to Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills National Forest. Many falls can be seen from the road and some, such as Bridal Veil Falls, have dedicated parking lots and viewing areas. Roughlock Falls, one of the most popular, is accessible by car or an easy 1-mile hike from Savoy. During the winter, ice climbers take to the frozen waterfalls. During the pandemic, some areas and facilities may be closed, so check before you go.

Ruby Falls, Tennessee

Tennessee: Ruby Falls

Waterfalls are often surrounded by dense greenery, but that's not the case at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga. The falls are more than 1,100 feet below the surface, in a cave under Lookout Mountain. To see the 145-foot waterfall, visitors must take a guided tour, which costs $25 for adults and $14 for children. Because tickets are limited due to the pandemic, buy several days in advance.  

Gorman Falls, Texas
Richard McMillin/istockphoto

Texas: Gorman Falls

Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park is one of Texas' biggest, at 65 feet. The 3-mile round-trip hike to the falls can be strenuous, but reserve some energy and go just a bit farther to find the spring that feeds the waterfall. Face coverings are recommended, and groups larger than 10 people are not allowed. 

Bridal Veil Falls, Utah

Utah: Bridal Veil Falls

One of Utah's best-known waterfalls, Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, is a double-cataract waterfall — meaning there are two large and powerful sections — with a total drop of 607 feet. It can be viewed from a parking lot, although a short hike brings visitors to the base of the falls.

Moss Glen Falls, Vermont
Elizabeth M. Ruggiero/istockphoto

Vermont: Moss Glen Falls

Moss Glen Falls in Granville (not to be confused with Moss Glen Falls in Stowe) is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Vermont. The falls can be seen from the road, and a raised wooden walkway brings visitors closer. The horsetail-style falls are about 35 feet tall.

Crabtree Falls, Virginia
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Virginia: Crabtree Falls

Crabtree Falls is a cascading waterfall broken up by five major drops. In total, the falls cover between 1,000 and 1,200 vertical feet, making this the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Also, plan ahead — during the pandemic, public bathrooms are closed and no drinking water is available. A maintained trail leads to several overlooks, the first of which is near the parking lot. It's tempting to explore, but stick to the designated trail — nearly 30 people have died while climbing the algae-coated rocks. 

Snoqualmie Falls, Washington
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Blackwater Falls, West Virginia
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West Virginia: Blackwater Falls State Park

A 62-foot waterfall, Blackwater Falls is one of the most photographed natural sights in West Virginia. The water is blackened by tannic acid introduced when hemlock and red spruce needles fall from the nearby trees. Blackwater Falls State Park is visited year-round for hiking, swimming, boating, sledding, and cross-country skiing.

Wisconsin: Potato River Falls

Wisconsin: Potato River Falls

Southwest of the town of Gurney, Potato River Falls isn't a particularly popular tourist attraction, but there's a parking lot and an observation deck, as well as trails that lead visitors to the river above and below the falls. To snap the best pictures, you might have to get a little wet: The ideal spot is on the opposite side of the river. 

Related: Amazing Places to Take a Selfie in All 50 States

Yellowstone's Falls, Wyoming
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Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park

Some of the grandest waterfalls in Wyoming are in Yellowstone National Park. The Lower Falls and Upper Falls on the Yellowstone River are two of the most popular, but Fairy Falls, Tower Fall, and Moose Falls are all worth exploring. Some, such as 308-foot Lower Falls, can be seen from the road, but hiking usually leads to the best viewpoints. Some areas have been closed during the pandemic, so check before you go. 

Related: The Strangest Places on Earth That Will Mystify You 

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