Stunning U.S. waterfalls everyone should see in their lifetime

Cumberland Falls
Flickr | Jim Bauer

If you’re hoping to stumble upon some breathtaking vistas on your next vacation, you may want to consider finding a location with a waterfall. Even better? You don’t need a passport to see one. In fact, you may be able to find one close enough for a day trip or a quick weekend getaway.

Here are the stunning waterfalls located right here in the U.S. that you can add to your bucket list.

Burney Falls (California)

These falls live up to their hype. Berney Falls features springs emerging from a cliff and a gorgeous 260-foot waterfall over the top. All the water flows into a brilliant blue pool.

burney falls california photo
Flickr | St0rmz

Horsetail Falls (California)

The conditions have to be near perfect to catch a glimpse of this waterfall. When there’s enough snow in the previous months and the temperature is just right, the waterfall flows 1,570 feet down the east face of El Capitan. If you’re especially lucky, you can capture it as a glowing fire-fall.

horsetail falls photo
Flickr | Dzung Banme

Ponytail Falls (Oregon)

Located a short drive outside of Portland, Ponytail Falls is one of many beautiful sights along the trails in Columbia River Gorge. This waterfall has a unique curve, so you can safely walk behind it.

ponytail falls oregon photo
Flickr | Kirt Edblom

Cumberland Falls (Kentucky)

Known as the Niagara of the South, this wide waterfall produces rainbows across its base. It really shines in the fall, framed by brilliant autumn leaves.

cumberland falls photo
Flickr | Jim Bauer

Niagara Falls (New York)

These massive falls are world-renowned and so big they span the U.S.–Canadian border. In fact, 3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second.

Niagara Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls (Michigan)

Waterfalls are plentiful in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Tahquamenon Falls is one of the most beautiful in the region. Its tannic waters have a unique copper hue and look best surrounded by fall foliage.

Tahquamenon Falls photo
Flickr | Dawn Endico

Havasu Falls (Arizona)

This year-round cascade features stunning blue-green water surrounded by red rock formations. Reaching this view isn’t easy, though. The falls lie at least eight miles from a remote trailhead.

havasu falls photo
Flickr | aln4grlz

Hanging Lake (Colorado)

Nestled in the cliffs of Glenwood Canyon is this waterfall-fed turquoise lake. Visitors have to endure a short but steep hike to reach this natural beauty, but the gentle falls and picturesque lake are well worth the effort.

hanging lake glenwood photo
Flickr | eadmund42

Waialeale Falls (Hawaii)

There are two thrilling ways to see this hillside of flowing water with your own eyes. One is a treacherous hike — ideally led by a guide — or a birds-eye view from a helicopter tour.

Waialeale photo
Flickr | _e.t

Multnomah Falls (Oregon)

Located in Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in the country. It plummets an incredible 620 feet year-round. Plus, the concrete arched bridge crossing its lower falls is a unique Instagrammable spot.

multnomah falls photo
Getty Images | Natalie Behring

Taughannock Falls (New York)

Located in the Finger Lakes region, this cascade plummets 215 feet. In fact, it’s one of the highest falls east of the Rocky Mountains.

Taughannock Falls photo
Flickr | vwcampin

Which one will you visit first?

Science & Nature, Travel

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About the Author
Jennifer Nied
Jennifer Nied is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She focuses on beauty, wellness, and travel stories with a background covering the spa industry.

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