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13 Stunning Waterfalls in the U.S.

| Updated Apr 17, 2024

From the Multnomah Falls in Oregon and the incomparably majestic Palouse Falls in Washington state to the one-and-only Niagara Falls in New York (and, technically, Canada), here are the most magical waterfalls in the U.S.

Now is a great time to step back and plot out some great RV travel adventures that hopefully will be back on your agenda sooner rather than later. 

Among some great stops you might want to consider are awe-inspiring cascades that exist from coast to coast within the U.S. 

1. Multnomah Falls – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

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Multnomah Falls. Photo by Perry Kibler

Considered by many to be one of the most captivating destinations in the country, Multnomah Falls is 611 feet of cascading water, surrounded by lush forests and streams. It's located about 30 minutes outside of Portland.

For stunning views, you need only drive to the visitors center, park your RV, and walk just a few feet to the base of the waterfall. You can also get a closer look by taking the paved trail to reach Benson Bridge, which spans the falls at the first tier's base.

2. Havasu Falls – Grand Canyon, Arizona

havasu falls

Also referred to as the Havasupai Falls, this destination brings visitors from all over the world to witness the beautiful colors of the canyons in contrast with the crystal blue of the falls.

However, be warned before you set out for the trek; this one is recommended for experienced hikers only.

3. Palouse Falls – Palouse Falls State Park, Washington

palouse falls

Palouse Falls is one of the last active waterfalls on the Ice Age floods path — and it's also one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest.

There are three separate ways to experience the falls: from the lower part of the falls, easily accessible through by the main day-use area adjacent to the parking lot; the second, at the end of a paved path, for a more secluded canyon view; or you can head to the Fryxell Overlook for panoramic views of the falls and Palouse River Canyon.

4. Ruby Falls – Chattanooga, Tennessee

ruby falls

Located more than 1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls is the deepest waterfall open to the public in the U.S. For a truly jaw-dropping look at the waterfall, you may want to consider booking the Lantern Tour for a dark and intimate time spent underground.

5. McWay Falls – Big Sur, California

mcway falls

With only a half-mile hike out of the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, it's pretty easy to access the McWay Falls — and every other inch of Big Sur's seductive coastline. For more instructions on this unforgettable hike, be sure to visit the Hiking Big Sur website.

6. Shoshone Fall – Twin Falls, Idaho

shoshone falls

Also known as the Niagara Falls of the West, the Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho, is a majestic gem surrounded by deep basalt canyons and rustic waterways.  For planning purposes, the best time to visit the waterfall is between April and July.

7. Yosemite Falls – Yosemite National Park, California

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Yosemite Falls. Photo by C. Z. Shi on Unsplash

Many of you will know that Yosemite National Park is home to one of the world's tallest waterfalls: Yosemite Falls. To see the waterfall up close, hikers can either venture out on an all-day hike to reach the top or opt to do the relatively simple one-mile loop trail for a view of the base.

8. Grand Falls – Navajo Nation, Arizona

grand falls

The Grand Falls in Arizona is located on a picturesque portion of the Navajo Nation in the Painted Desert. Since you're on Navajo land, a hiking permit is required to enter the road that leads to the waterfalls. From here, it's only a pretty short half-mile hike to the base.

These falls have been nicknamed “Chocolate Falls.” We're sure you can guess why based on the picture.

9. Ramona Falls – Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

ramona falls

Once known as the “eighth wonder of the world,” the Ramona Falls in Mt. Hood National Forest represents the epitome of Pacific Northwest hiking, complete with cascading waterfalls, expansive trees, and lush greenery everywhere you look.

Though the hiking trail, which winds along the Sandy River, isn't easy — and is closed from December to April — it's truly a trek to remember for the more experienced of hikers.

10. Seven Falls – South Cheyenne Canyon, Colorado

seven falls

For a glimpse into Colorado's unique geological wonder, check out Seven Falls in South Cheyenne Canyon, just outside of Colorado Springs. To view the waterfalls, climb the 224 stairs up to the top or take the much easier in-mountain elevator. 

11. Calf Creek Falls; Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

calf creek falls

The Calf Creek Falls are only one enchanting part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante area, which offers some of the most impressive desert scenery in the U.S. To get to the base of the falls, hikers have to pass through beaver ponds and pre-historic rock art sites.

12. Burney Falls – McArthur–Burney Falls Memorial State Park, California

burney falls

Surrounded by dense woodlands and beautiful moss-covered rocks, Burney Falls looks like something from a forest fairytale. To access this California waterfall gem, use the Rim Hiking Trail.

13. Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls, New York

niagara falls

There's no other way to put it: Niagara Falls has more than earned its cultural legend status. If you haven't yet visited, make it a point to do so. You can tour 176-foot-tall cascades by boat or by booking a walking tour that takes you behind the falls themselves.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2020-03-24

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

4 Responses to “13 Stunning Waterfalls in the U.S.”

March 24, 2021at3:51 am, Susan S said:

Oh my, waterfalls are some of the favorite places I have ever visited! I’ve been to 5 of these and definitely want to go to the rest of them:) Thank you Mike and Jennifer.

September 17, 2020at10:52 am, Drew Irby said:

Re Havasupai Falls: this hike into Havasupai Canyon is popular and used to have a reservation only system. You cannot just drive up to the trailhead and expect access. Advise to checkout their permitting.

September 28, 2020at4:45 pm, Merrily said:

NOW, with everyone seeing info on the internet about Havasu Falls, it has become SUPER expensive to be able to go into the Havasupai reservation to see the falls!! Reservations needed & way out of the way to just try and show up!

September 17, 2020at9:20 am, Sam G. said:

Thanks Mike and Jennifer; Grand Falls, Az. is in the Navajo nation Painted Desert adjacent to a couple of acres of land I own. So visiting there is on my bucket list. Safe travels to you.

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