Located Pacific-Northwest of the state, Washington is home to some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring waterfalls in the country.
From waterfalls inside National/ State Parks to mountainside falls and some of the Nation’s best city falls, Washington is certainly blessed by Mother Nature.
True to Washington’s nickname as the ‘Evergreen State’, the waterfalls here are impressive and lush throughout the year.
Whether it is during the fresh summertime or the glorious spring (snowmelt) season, the waterfall season never ends here and you’re sure to be rewarded with some spectacular views whatever the weather.
In Washington (Also check out the Best Things To Do In Spokane, Washington), most of the waterfalls can be found in the Eastern areas of the state. These can be reached by either taking a quick scenic drive or you can test your limits on a strenuous, albeit rewarding, hike to the locations.
Each waterfall in the area provides its own unique appeal and identity. However, that said, exploring each and every waterfall is no easy or convenient task – even for locals in the area!
However, despite this, we have outlined a list of 10 of the most popular and beautiful waterfalls in Washington State that need to be added to your travel itinerary!
1. Palouse Falls
In the whole of Washington state, the Palouse Falls could be considered one of the best and most beautiful waterfalls in the area. Located in Eastern Washington, it is an ancient, Ice-Age waterfall.
For 1300 years, this impressive body of water has been known to flow. The falls themselves feature a spectacular gorge, a massive 200 feet drop, and a flowing bowl of water underneath.
The waterfall contributes to the Palouse Falls State Park, whereby visitors to the park can enjoy everything the walls have to offer from various different angles.
Above the waterfall’s brink, you can test your fears from the scary edge-on view at the Mohawk. Plus, another dramatic view of the waterfall can be observed at the lower point.
For both photographs and hikers alike, Palouse Falls ensures some dramatic views and landscapes that anyone will appreciate.
2. Snoqualmie Falls
If you’re making a short trip to Washington, then you can’t forget to stop at Snoqualmie Falls! This is due to the fact that it is the most famous waterfall in the state. Plus, since it is near Seattle, it makes it one of the must-see attractions.
On top of this (quite literally!)Snoqualmie Falls is considered to be the tallest waterfall in Washington, too.
If you’re a fan of Twin Peaks, these falls may seem familiar to you. Well, this is because they appear in the opening credits. This is a cult classic movie that was set in Washington.
Besides being a movie-star sensation, this 270-foot waterfall not only features an impressive walking trail but also a sweet lodge overlooking the area.
If you’re looking to experience the ultimate getaway, why not stay at the Salish Lodge and Spa?
Here, you’ll be provided with impressive views overlooking the falls, as well as the opportunity to dine at a four-star restaurant and enjoy a relaxing spa experience.
For those taking a shorter trip to the state, then you should consider endeavoring on the interpretive trail which talks you on a shorter hike along the bottom of the galls. The path itself is simple to traverse and is less than a mile long.
While the spring brings out the waterfalls in all its glory, many tourists gather around the falls in the summer to enjoy the splashing of water in the warm weather.
3. Spray Falls
Known for its spectacular hiking scenes, the Spray Falls is among the most iconic waterfalls in Washington.
The falls themselves feature an impressive 350-plus-foot drop whereby the water can be seen smoothly gliding down the sides of the cliff.
Located in the northwest of the region, in Mount Rainier National Park, the Spray Falls is incredibly popular among hikers. The trek starts at the Wonderland Trails and then takes you on a 2.25-mile journey all the way to the awe-inspiring waterfall.
The best part? This is the only trail in the entire park that takes you around Mount Rainier. However, since you’re required to climb over a tricky patch of terrain, trekking this journey is only ideal for experienced hikers and adrenaline junkies.
While the entire hike offers some impressively scenic views, it isn’t until you reach the very end of the trail that you’re rewarded with something spectacular.
Here, you can either stop and enjoy the views from a nearby viewpoint or even climb the giant boulders for an up-close and personal experience with the waterfall.
4. Marymere Falls
One of the most easily accessible and beautiful spots in the Olympic National Park is Marymere Falls.
Situated within the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington, the waterfalls are home to some of the state’s more incredible natural scenery and impressive hiking trails.
If you’re looking to hike to the waterfalls, then the trail itself is located approximately 30 minutes west of Port Angeles and takes less than two miles to get to Marymere Falls.
It features relatively flat terrain, making it easy to traverse. Plus, the overgrown, old greenery is ideal when protecting you from the harsh sun’s rays, ensuring a shady, scenic route.
Plus, nearby you’ll also find Lake Crescent, as well as the Lake Crescent Lodge, to spend a night or two, too.
While the main attraction here is certainly the 90-foot Marymere Falls, make sure to take some time to appreciate the walk on the trail.
Here, you’re sure to find many incredible views, from unforgettable views of Pyramid Peak to the high vantage points overlooking the lagoon.
5. Falls Creek Falls
Situated in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Falls Creek Falls should be added to the top of your itinerary whenever you’re visiting Washington State.
The falls themselves feature an incredible 250-foot drop that travels down into the water pool beneath.
If you’re looking for a scenic hike through an overgrown forest, then this is one that you don’t want to miss! It is popular among hikers and locals alike.
The trail itself takes you along a splendid 4-mile long (there and back) hike which is perfect for hikers of all levels.
The waterfalls encompass two different layers, and Falls Creek Falls is sure to leave you inspired in all its two-tiered natural glory.
From spring all the way to mid-summer is where you’ll be rewarded with the best views of the waterfalls. That said, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, then the falls are comparatively less busy thanks to the deep, overgrown forest.
6. Wallace Falls
Situated approximately an hour away from Seattle and within the heart of the Cascade Mountains is where you’ll find Wallace Falls. This is a 265-foot waterfall that can only be met on a challenging trail.
Therefore, if you’re an avid hiker and looking for something to test your limits, then this is the one for you – encompassing a 5.6-mile round-trip this is not for the faint of heart.
A series of steep switchbacks have to be challenged to gain access to the upper area of the magnificent falls. The waterfalls themselves are surrounded by a state park that shares its name.
Once you have tackled the obstacles, you’ll be rewarded with 1,300 feet of elevation.
If this sounds like too much of a challenge for you, then the middle falls make for the ideal resting point before you’re faced with the steepest area of the trail – this is surely going to test your hiking skills.
While you make your way towards Wallace Falls, ensure that you stop and appreciate the beauty of the evergreen in all its glory.
Despite the hike’s rugged terrain, Wallace Falls makes for a great adventure during the summertime. If you’re looking to miss the crowds, then make sure to head out in the early morning.
7. Panther Creek Falls
In the whole of Washington State, Panther Creek Falls is considered to be one of the best. In addition to this, it is a component of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, too.
To locals, this is known as the waterfall wonderland – providing access to tons of impressive sights.
Panther Creek Falls is made up of various big and small cascading waterfalls which all come together to create a magical-looking wet wall experience. From a 70-foot drop, the water rushes into a crystal-clear pool of water.
Thanks to its wide streams, however, the waterfalls look smaller than they actually are. That said, it is certainly worth the visit, anyway.
Your journey begins at the parking lot, which takes you on a .8-mile adventure all the way to the steep paths of the waterfalls.
To beginners, this may seem slightly strenuous, however, if you’re feeling daring enough, then it is certainly worth the challenge.
Just keep in mind that during the snowy and rainy seasons, the trail can become muddy and difficult to walk in. That said, the moss-covered waterfall at the end of the trail is the perfect reward, even if you get some muddy shoes!
8. Myrtle Falls
With extremely accessible paths, Myrtle Falls doesn’t just come with a decent challenge, but unforgettable views too. This is highlighted in the gorgeous backdrop of Mount Rainier.
The walkway is just 0.3 miles and is entirely paved. Therefore, on your journey, you could simply spend a whole day overlooking the waters cascading down the waterfalls, as well as the spectacular mountain in the distance.
Located in Mount Rainier National Park, it is among one of the most popular waterfalls in the area. As you make your way toward Myrtle Falls, make sure to take in the glacial and snowy peaks that encompass the Cascade Mountains.
The 72-foot waterfall is located in the Paradise area of the national park. If you’re starting at the Paradise Inn, simply follow the signs directing you to the Golden Gate Trail.
From here, a short brand leads you off to the falls. Once you reach the park, you can either consider staying in one of its lodges or adventure along one of the breathtaking trails.
9. Iron Creek Falls
Another waterfall favorite among hikers is Iron Creek Falls. This is situated just outside of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Your journey starts at Forest Service Road 25 where you’ll take a tenth of a mile walk down to the waterfall itself.
When compared to some other Washington waterfalls, Iron Creek is significantly smaller. That said, this doesn’t mean it isn’t equally impressive or serene.
The best season to embark on your adventure is during late spring to mid-summer, this is when the waterfall is at its best thanks to the heavy flow from the melted snow.
Once that waterfall has lessened in flow, it is easier to access the pool underneath.
10. Sol Duc Falls
Located on the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula is Sol Duc Falls. This takes you through the Olympic National Park on a 1.6-mile round-trip hike.
As you make your way through the hike, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to another ecosystem. Ancient trees and crystal clear waters all within the luscious rainforest will take over your senses.
To get to the falls, all you have to do is make your way past the Sol Duc Hot Spring and Resort, and at the end of the road is where the trail begins.
Living up to its name, Washington is certainly an evergreen state with tons of natural beauty to offer you on your hikes along the waterfalls.
From snow-capped mountains to ravenous rivers, you’re sure to be provided with beauty whichever way you turn.
Hopefully, this guide has informed you of the 10 most beautiful waterfalls in Washington – you’re going to want to add these to the itinerary.
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