Washington houses more than a hundred waterfalls, all of which you will find equally distributed in every part of the state, mostly within the state and national parks. Surrounded by lush greenery or a mountainous backdrop, they appear even more charismatic. A few others are tucked away in remote locations thronged by fewer people. That, however, does not rob them of their captivating charm. Let’s find out some of the state’s best waterfalls where you can plan your next visit.
Palouse Falls originated about 13,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, flowing steadily ever since then. The 200 feet long waterfall cascading into an immense bowl is spectacular to watch. You can visit it any time of the year and click some of the best photographs here. This picture-perfect fall, because of its glorious beauty, is a painter’s paradise indeed. Situated on the Palouse River, the waterfall has the Palouse Falls State Park lying just beneath it. Besides camping spots and picnic areas, the state park is equipped with three observation spots, with the lower one being easily accessible.
Nearest City: Almost 83 miles from Pullman
Hiking & Other Activities: The Palouse Falls trail is1.4-mile long. The hike is a difficult one because of the steep, rocky terrain, suited for experienced hikers. Dogs on leash are allowed. Camping, picnicking, and bird-watching are other activities one can enjoy here.
Myrtle Falls is a part of the Mt. Rainier National Park. This 60 feet tall waterfall plunging into a ravine along with the mighty snow-capped Mt. Ravine serving as a backdrop offer a breathtaking view. It is also surrounded by many wildflower meadows adding to its beauty, making it an extremely photogenic spot. Dogs are not allowed to enter the National park.
Nearest City: 0.5 miles from Paradise
Hiking & Other Activities: The trail is a paved path that takes less than half a mile to cross. To get a better view you can use the steep stairway that descends to the falls. You will also find many other hiking trails around, such as the Skyline Trail.
Spray Falls within the Spray Park in Mt. Rainier National Park tumbles down the lava cliff from a mighty height of 350 feet in an unusual way, emerging as a prominent tourist attraction. The Spray Creek, which gets its water from the remains of the Flett Glacier, is the primary source of the waterfall. The best time to view it is during the spring when the water flows in full glory after the winter ice has melted. You will also be able to enjoy a fantastic view of the beautiful wildflowers if you go further upstream.
Nearest City: About 41 miles from Puyallup
Hiking & Other Activities: To get the best view of the falls, you need to hike a 2.25-mile rough terrain arduously. If not a pro in hiking, then enjoy the falls from a considerable distance. You’ll find the trailhead on the southeast side of the Mowich Lake walk-in campground. You can also enjoy picnicking here.
Bridal Veil Falls drops down an immense height of 1328 feet in multiple tiers, of which you can see just two of them. These two tiers finally flow from a height of 200 feet, replicating curtains or veils of water cascading down the granite rocks, making a great impression. Since it is a perennial waterfall, you can visit the Bridal Veil Falls any time of the year.
Nearest City: 4.5 miles from Index
Hiking & Other Activities: The Lake Serene Trail is a 3.5-mile trail from the parking lot area to access the waterfall. The difficulty level for hiking the trail is moderate. In addition to hiking and backpacking mostly common in summer, you can also make environmental trips here all through the year.
Situated in the Mt. Rainier National Park, the 60 feet tall Silver Falls is formed when the Ohanapecosh River gushes down a series of smaller cascades. Beneath it, you’ll be able to see a narrow gorge where the river flows. The perfect time to get there is after a good rainfall when the water levels are high. You will be able to enjoy the roaring sound of the waterfall and the water spraying from it. A campground is also available nearby. You can park your car in the parking lot, though a National Parking Pass is needed.
Nearest City: About 37.5 miles from Enumclaw
Hiking & Other Activities: Several trails lead to the Silver Falls. You can either take the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead from the north or the Laughingwater Creek trailhead from the east, or the trail near Ohanapecosh Campground from the South via the Silver Falls Trail.
One of the best and awe-inspiring waterfalls of the Mt. Rainier region, they drop stunningly from about 300 feet over a dramatic cliff and flows through a narrow gorge. Its resemblance to a tail of a comet earns it its name. The designated parking lot can accommodate limited cars, and no additional parking facility is available nearby.
Nearest City: 16.5 miles from Ashford
Hiking & Other Activities: You have to hike for 1.8 miles uphill the trail until you reach the base of the waterfall. You can also hike further to Van Trump Park, from where you will get some breathtaking views of several mountains and glaciers. In addition, you can spot pikas, marmots, and goats which frequent the rocky slopes.
One of the most famous waterfalls of Mt. Rainier National Park, Narada Falls plunges from a height of about 188 feet into two tiers- the upper and the lower. The upper tier is 168 feet tall horsetail which drops in multiple strands down the cliffs. The lower tier is a mere 20 feet drop into the pool. During the winter, you will be able to get a fantastic view of icicles when the upper tier completely freezes, being a sought-after destination for ice climbers then. You will find the parking area nearby.
Nearest City: 5 miles from Paradise
Hiking & Other Activities: You have to hike for 1.8 miles uphill the trail until you reach the waterfall base. You can also hike further to Van Trump Park, from where you will get some breathtaking views of several mountains and glaciers. In addition, you can spot pikas, marmots, and goats which frequent the rocky slopes.
Rocky Brook Falls is one of the easily accessible waterfalls found on the Hood Canal of the Olympic Peninsula in the Olympic National Forest. It plunges through a gorge uniquely before entering the pool below. You can enjoy your trip any time of the year by getting a closer view of the high falls and even taking a refreshing dip into the pool. You can park your car nearby and also bring your pet along, though on a leash.
Nearest City: 4.3 miles from Brinnon
Hiking & Other Activities: You don’t need to hike here. Instead, a short and easy walk up the wide trail is enough to reach the falls. However, maintain caution while climbing the slippery rocks in the area around the base of the waterfall. You can also use the trail for nature trips and bird watching, especially from March to October.
Located near the Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park, Marymere Falls gushes over a moss-filled cliff into a small pool below. Due to its easy access and the old-growth forest surrounding the waterfall, giving it a fairy-tale atmosphere, the Marymere Falls is a favorite among kids and adults alike. However, you are not allowed to bring your dogs to the falls.
Nearest City: About 20 miles from Port Angeles
Hiking & Other Activities: It is a family-friendly loop trail of 1.8 miles taking you through the forest with trees hundreds of years old. Besides hiking, you could also enjoy a splendid picnic with packed lunch.
Sol Duc Falls is another beautiful waterfall flowing on the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula. The dense flora with old-growth trees surrounding the waterfall and subalpine lakes give the area an appearance of a rainforest. From enjoying the glorious three-tiered waterfall gushing down in summer to witnessing the encompassing snowcapped peaks in winter, you will be able to get a mesmerizing experience any time of the year. You will also be able to spot several animals here, especially during the winter times. There is a campground in the Sol Duc area, though dogs are strictly prohibited. Parking facilities are available, but you need to have a National Parking Pass to avail yourself the same.
Nearest City: Port Angeles
Hiking & Other Activities: Hiking to the falls is just a one-mile trip from the parking area. It’s a family-friendly trail that goes through the forest before reaching the waterfall.
Wallace Falls is one of the most visited waterfalls in the Northern Cascades of Washington. It is a series of three waterfalls-upper, middle and lower, cascading into the clear pool. Make an early morning visit to the place for some tranquility and calmness. The Wallace Falls State Park surrounding the waterfall features a big campground and several lakes, rivers, and old-growth trees. You can bring along your dogs as well, though on leash.
Nearest City: Approximately 30 miles from Everett
Hiking & Other Activities: You need to hike the 12-mile trail to Wallace Falls. It is a beautiful trail, and you can hike all the way to get the fascinating views of the upper, middle, and lower falls if you are willing to walk all the way.
One of Washington’s most popular tourist attractions, particularly during summer, Snoqualmie Falls, is a 270 feet waterfall located less than an hour’s drive from Seattle. The best time to witness its beauty is when the water levels are high, and the waterfall seems like a white curtain cascading down from a great height. It permits dogs on leash, and there is a parking lot nearby. If planning for a weekend getaway, you could put up at the Salish Lodge and Spa and take pleasure in the spa services as you absorb yourself in the scintillating beauty of the place. When paying a visit on Saturday or Sunday, mainly in the warmer months, make sure you arrive early to get a good view of this fantastic place.
Nearest City: About 29 miles from Seattle
Nearest City: About 29 miles from Seattle
Hiking & Other Activities: To reach Snoqualmie Falls, you need to hike a short yet steep trail of 0.5 miles. You can also explore the nearby area.
The Lower Lewis River Falls lies within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington’s southwestern region. The 43 feet high and 200 ft wide waterfall pouring down the river, along with the backdrop of the mossy forest filled with giant cedars, is sure to astound you. In addition, you will also get the chance to view three more gorgeous waterfalls in the area- Middle Lewis River Falls, Lower Copper Creek Falls, and Upper Lewis River Falls. You will be at a loss if you come without your camera, as the picturesque locales around add to the place’s USP.
Nearest City: About 33 miles from Cougar
Hiking & Other Activities: It is a 1/8th mile hike from the parking lot. However, the Lewis River Falls trail that is dog-friendly has a length of almost 9 miles, treading along, which would lead you to other waterfalls.
This one is another spectacular waterfall of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Comprising of a series of cascades flowing over moss-filled bedrocks and a babbling river, Falls Creek Falls offers a pleasing experience. The tallest, among these, flows from a mere height of 30 feet.
Nearest City: Approximately 17 miles from Carson
Hiking & Other Activities: It is a four-mile round trip paved trail to the waterfall, easily accessible by all. You will get to the first waterfall after a quarter-mile hike itself.
One of the most impressive yet hidden waterfalls sitting in the remote area of the Gorge region, Panther Creek Falls, occupies the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It gushes down over moss-filled bedrocks from a height of 70 feet into a lovely pool. Besides the waterfall, several tall rivulets also flow down to join the pool, adding to the place’s scenic beauty. You can visit here any time of the year, but springtime is ideal for getting the perfect view.
Nearest City: About 13 miles from Carson
Hiking & Other Activities: You will find a trail heading downhill once you cross the road from the parking area. You can reach the waterfalls by walking for less than ¼ miles to a wooden viewpoint from where you can capture some of the best views.
A sought-after destination for kayakers, spirit falls is a lesser-known waterfall of Washington. Its turquoise blue water pouring down the mossy bedrock into a sparkling pool makes the waterfall enchanting and picturesque. While summertime is ideal for getting its best view, you will be able to witness icicles dangling from the wall of the waterfall in winters.
Nearest City: Almost 9 miles from Underwood
Hiking & Other Activities: To get to the unique waterfall can be quite challenging. It would help if you hiked the one-mile steep and rocky trail along the Columbia River Gorge. The path isn’t easy to locate as no trailhead or markings are available.
Best Waterfalls for Hiking: Wallace Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Marymere Falls
Best Hidden Waterfalls: Spirit Falls, Comet Falls, Panther Creek Falls
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