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17 Waterfalls in Kansas to Visit for a Perfect Vacation

By | Last Updated : 30th July 2021

When the state of Kansas comes to your mind, you may think about the grasslands and cornfields. However, not many know that the State of Sunflower also is home to many picturesque waterfalls. While some openly display their beauty, others lay hidden somewhere, only known to the locals. Some are partially human-made, formed by the overflowing of lakes or dams. Whether they are human-made or natural, you need to explore these pretty little falls when visiting Kansas for a perfect visual retreat.

Waterfalls in Kansas

1. The Alcove Springs and Waterfall

Alcove Springs and Waterfall in Kansas

This little waterfall, positioned at Alcove Springs Park, is a historical one, visited by tired travelers during the 1840s. You can effortlessly locate it from the main road. The place is abundant with natural beauty. All around, you can witness wildflowers, tall grasses, and trees. Depending on the season, the waterfall flows from a trickle to a gush into the basin below. In winter, its frozen state is sure to mesmerize you.

Look out for the engravings on the surrounding rocks and the waterfall’s ledge made by the weary emigrants. They rested here after a long journey on the trail to Oregon. A few made by the Donner-Reed Party, including James F. Reed, are also present.

Nearest City: 6 miles from Marysville

Hiking & Other Activities: To reach this waterfall, you need to hike The Old Oregon Trail for about half a mile. Hikers of all skill levels can access it. Of course, your dogs can tag along, provided you keep them leashed. Picnicking and nature gazing are some other activities that you can enjoy.

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2. Bourbon Waterfalls

Bourbon Waterfalls in kansas

Cascading from 30 feet, the human-made Bourbon Falls is among the tallest waterfalls of Kansas. It gets its waters from the Bourbon County State Lake. The best time to visit it is from June to April when it is in full vigor. Later, it reduces to a trickle or dries up when the level of the lake lowers. The beautiful prairie setting makes the waterfalls more appealing.

Don’t forget to bring your fishing rods as you can have a good time catching fish in the lakeside. For an overnight stay, camping facilities are also available.

Nearest City: About 27 miles from Iola

Hiking & Other Activities: The path to the waterfalls is a short one. Park your cars at the north side of the Ivory Road and follow the trail to the falls. Also, you can hike the waterfall’s northern side trails, but be cautious of the muddy paths. Picnicking, wildlife watching, and nature gazing are other activities you can enjoy here.

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3. Geary State Lake Waterfall

Geary State Lake Waterfall

This waterfall, formed by the Geary State Fishing Lake overflow, pours down from a height of 35 feet. Like most of the other waterfalls, this too is active after heavy rainfall. It is a scenic place with wildflowers blooming along everywhere. You can either view the magnificent waterfall from the top or go down the rocky path to see it from its base. However, watch out for the slippery rocks and steep trails.

Hiking & Other Activities: The trail to reach the waterfall requires not much effort. It is about a kilometer from the parking lot and will lead you to the top of the waterfall. The path heading to its base is a moderate one, though. Put on comfortable footwear to hike the muddy and steep trails. Your dogs can come along, too but remember to leash them. In addition, you can enjoy birdwatching, picnicking, and nature gazing.

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4. Hitchen Creek Waterfalls

Hitchen Creek Waterfalls in kansas

It is a small, natural waterfall nestled in the greenery flowing on Flint Road near Longton. Getting close to it isn’t possible, but you can get a good view of the waterfall from the bridge above Hitchen Creek. The bridge might be on private property, so it would help if you got the permissions, if needed, before setting your foot there. Despite its location, this hidden gem is a must-visit if you want to spend time in nature’s lap, and don’t miss clicking a few pictures of it.

Nearest City: About 2.5 miles from Longton

Hiking & Other Activities: It is visible from the parking area. You need to follow the nature trail along the creek to get to the waterfall.

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5. Ozro Waterfalls

Ozro Waterfalls in kansas

Ozro Waterfalls is merely 3 feet tall but spans across the Caney River for about 200 feet. The splendid natural surroundings are a treat to the eye.

The Indians had a campground in the nearby Hewins. There is a limestone path above the waterfall, used by wagon riders over 150 years ago. Now it is a favorite picnic spot, especially among the locals.

The road here can be muddy at times. So, you might have to leave your vehicle at a distance and walk your way to the falls.

Nearest City: 5 miles from Cedar Vale

Hiking & Other Activities: From the parking lot near Eagle Road, you need to walk for half a mile to reach the waterfalls. Carry your picnic baskets and have a great time here with your family.

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6. Drury Dam Waterfall

Drury Dam Waterfall in Kansas

Formed by the overflowing of Chikaskia River, Drury Dam Waterfall flows near the Kansas and Oklahoma state line. It is a part of Drury Park, where you can enjoy several recreational activities.

On the other side of the waterfall, you will be able to see the remains of the Drury Mill, destroyed by a fire in 1953. There is also an old mill burr and a grinding stone imported from France.

Nearest City: 6.5 miles from Caldwell

Hiking & Other Activities: There are no hiking trails to access the waterfall. Once you reach Drury Park, you will be able to spot it easily. Sightseeing, fishing, camping, and picnicking are the other things you can enjoy here.

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7. Deep Creek Waterfall

Deep Creek Waterfall in Kansas

Deep Creek Waterfalls is a part of Pillsbury Crossing, one of the wonders of Kansas. It gets its source from Deep Creek, a few meters away. The 4 feet tall waterfall, gushing down from the overhanging limestone slab to the pool below, appears like strands of white hair spaced apart by a minimum distance. In season, beautiful wildflowers and greenery make the place look more appealing.

 Enjoy picnicking or wading in its clear waters while listening to the chirping of the birds on a hot day. You can even dip your feet sitting on one of the rocks at its base while staring at the gorgeous waterfall. However, slippery rocks here can be dangerous, so be careful while stepping on them. The area is a dog–friendly one.

Nearest City: 9.4 miles from Manhattan

Hiking & Other Activities: It is only a few meters away from the parking spot near Pillsbury Crossing. But if you want some adventure, you can climb down the 30 feet rock face from the north side of the crossing. Remember to carry your binoculars as you can spot many birds here. You can also camp in the surrounding areas.

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8. Bowersock Dam Waterfall

Bowersock Dam Waterfall in Kansas

This human-made waterfall, located in downtown Lawrence, is a fantastic one. The Bowersock Mills and Power Company feature the waterfall and the dam that forms it. It is impressive, mainly when the water levels are high and the waterfall gushes down.

If you are visiting here in winter, don’t be surprised to catch glimpses of bald eagles gliding over the frozen lake.

In addition, you can get a deep insight into Kansas history and the production of electricity.

Nearest City: 0.3 miles from Lawrence

Hiking & Other Activities: It is easy to walk from the parking lot to the waterfall. Bird watching is an excellent activity in the cold months.

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9. Wakarusa River Falls

Wakarusa River Falls in Kansas

This pretty waterfall is a part of Clinton Lake State Park. It sits at the end of the Wakarusa River and is a spillway from Clinton Lake. Though small in height, it is active throughout the year. The water levels keep altering with the change of season. You may find it as one of the most attractive spots of the state park.

Nearest City: About 9 miles from Lawrence

Hiking & Other Activities: Once you park your car near East 902 Road, either take the south or north to reach the falls. Hiking is not needed as you can access it without much effort. Fishing is a sought-after activity here.

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10. Angel Falls

Angel Falls in Kansas

Angel Falls lies in a secluded waterfall behind St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church at 900 Ida Street. You will surely be mesmerized by its scenic appeal. Come here after a good rainfall to see the waterfall flowing in full glory and the lush green shrubs and trees complimenting it. In addition, for a feast of colors, be sure to visit here in the fall season. You can also enjoy dipping your feet in the creek for a while before reaching the waterfall.

Nearest City: Approximately 2 miles from Lansing

Hiking & Other Activities: The half-mile trail to Angel Falls is a paved one used both for hiking and biking. It also features a well-maintained bridge. Thus, hikers of any level can easily access it. You can even have an excellent time birdwatching and nature gazing.

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11. Prather Creek Falls

Prather Creek Falls in Kansas

Also known as Chase Lake Falls, fed by the Chase State Fishing Lake spillway, tumbles down in three sections. It comes into full glory mainly after a rainfall, though you can visit the place throughout the year. Beautiful shrubs and wildflowers add to the beauty of the lake, making it an attractive spot to visit.

You may bring along your dogs as they too will have a great time here, but put them on a leash.

You can also visit the nearby Cottonwood Falls city and get a vivid insight into the place’s history.

Nearest City: About 3 miles from Cottonwood Falls

Hiking & Other Activities: From the parking area near the dam and north of the waterfall, a short gravel path across it will lead you to the waterfall. You can enjoy sightseeing, nature gazing and picnicking here.

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12. Bachelor Creek Falls

Bachelor Creek Falls in Kansas

Also known as the Eureka Lake Falls, it is in the spillway of Eureka City Lake. Though human-made, it is an amazing one flowing down to the Bachelor Creek. The tallgrass prairie setting, along with the waterfall cascading over the rocks, is a spectacular sight that you shouldn’t miss.

Nearest City: 4.3 miles from Eureka City

Hiking & Other Activities: From the parking lot, you can hear the rolling sound of the waterfall if you are visiting in season. The track can be muddy, so be careful while using it.

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13. Montgomery Falls

Montgomery Falls in Kansas

Montgomery Falls, formed by the overflowing of Montgomery State Fishing Lake, is an absolute scenic wonder. The beautiful shrubs and mosses dominate the area and make it more alluring. It flows in multiple layers, sometimes a trickle and sometimes in a gush.

After soaking in the beauty of the waterfall, head straight to the lake for some added pleasures like fishing and other fun activities.

You will also find little streams joining the waterfall at different layers.

Nearest City: About 15.5 miles from Coffeyville

Hiking & Other Activities: Wildlife watching, nature gazing, picnicking are some activities you can enjoy here.

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14. Sante Fe Lake Falls

Sante Fe Lake Falls in Kansas

This impressive human-made waterfall, fed by Santa Fe Lake, is one of the most visited falls in Kansas. The many-layered waterfall cascades gently to the pool below. The surrounding lush greenery elevates the beauty of the place, attracting visitors to stop by and witness its charm. Without much effort, you can get to its base to get a different view of it.

Relax by dipping your foot in its waters or clicking a few pictures to capture your enjoyable moments at this scenic place. Of course, your dogs too can join the fun, but keep them leashed.

You can also fish in Santa Fe Lake once done watching the beautiful waterfall.

To enjoy the waterfall all by yourself or for a peaceful environment, visit it in the early morning. You need to pay $ 8 for parking your car.

Nearest City: 0.3 miles from Edgerton

Hiking & Other Activities: Take the North Trail and hike for half a mile before reaching the waterfall. The rocky trail is of moderate difficulty. Picnicking, biking, nature gazing are some more activities you can enjoy here.

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15. Cowley Falls

Cowley Falls in Kansas

Cowley Falls is one of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls in Kansas. Located at Cowley State Fishing Lake, it cascades down from a height of 25 feet. It is a mesmerizing experience to witness the tall falls gushing over the red rock face.

One of the excellent views is from the top at the waterfall’s west side. To get the waterfall’s closer view and for some stunning clicks, climb down the different-sized rocks to the bottom. You can also sit on a flat slab and dip your foot in the waters, but beware of the broken glasses in the surroundings.

Nearest City: Approximately 9.5 miles from Dexter

Hiking & Other Activities: The top of the waterfall is visible from the parking lot, but you need to hike past giant boulders, which can be a little tricky. Your dogs can accompany you but be extra cautious of the barbed wires and broken pieces of glasses along the rocky trail. Picnicking is another activity enjoyed here.

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16. Chautauqua Falls

Chautauqua Falls in Kansas

This partially human-made waterfall, positioned on a private property drops from a height of 20 feet. Formed on the spillway of Sedan Lake, it gushes down a natural limestone rock formation.

Since it is a spillway waterfall, it’s best to visit it during the rainfall season. During this time, you can also witness it cascading in several drops along the creek.

Nearest City: Sedan

Hiking & Other Activities: To reach the waterfall, hike the nature trail from the parking lot for about 2 miles. As you near Old City Lake, you will be able to get a sight of the waterfall.

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17. Butcher Falls

Butcher Falls in Kansas

Another impressive waterfall found in the Chautauqua County in Sedan, Butcher Falls, flows from a height of about 14 feet from a rock ledge. The picturesque scenery and the cascading falls attract many artists and photographers to visit the spot.

 It sits in the 8000-acre private property of Red Buffalo Ranch but is accessible to the public during the daytime. You can rent the Butcher Falls Bunk House to enjoy the serene atmosphere and the beautiful waterfall.

Nearest City: 5.2 miles from Sedan

Hiking & Other Activities: After parking your car near the private property gate, enter the gate and hike to the bridge over Pool Creek. You can spot the waterfall upstream of the creek.

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TOP PICKS

Best Waterfalls for Hiking: Santa Fe Lake Waterfall, Alcove Springs and Waterfall, Angel Falls

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