25 Best Waterfalls in Washington State

Explore the 25 best waterfalls in Washington State. From Snoqualmie's iconic cascade to hidden gems like Palouse Falls, this guide is your ticket to the highest and most stunning falls for travelers.

Tobi Miles
July 16, 2024
Explore the 25 best waterfalls in Washington State. From Snoqualmie's iconic cascade to hidden gems like Palouse Falls, this guide is your ticket to the highest and most stunning falls for travelers.

Washington state is home to many waterfalls ranging in height, width, and accessibility. These waterfalls are found in the dense old growth forests, along rivers and creeks that come out of the mountains. Many of the falls were formed when glaciers retreated, and ice sheets melted at the conclusion of the last ice age.

Many of the waterfalls in Washington are found in state and national parks. Washington state parks offer annual, and day passes to visit the falls within their boundaries. If you plan on checking out more than one of these state park waterfalls, we recommend getting an annual pass to the state parks. This is called the Discovery Pass.

Washington is home to North Cascades National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and Olympic National Parks. Each of these places is unique, but they all have magnificent waterfalls for visitors to observe.

This list includes one’s that can be viewed from parking lots and some that you must hike many miles into the old growth forest to reach. Washington has waterfalls for individuals of all ages and abilities to enjoy that are very beautiful.

Must See Waterfalls In The State of Washington

1. Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is a 68-foot-tall waterfall near Fall City, Washington. It is located east of Seattle, in a popular 2-acre park.

This tourist destination has a gift shop and the Salish Lodge. The falls is popular due to its natural beauty and because it was featured on the TV series Twin Peaks.

Native American legend highlights this waterfall. It states that the Moon Transformer created the first man and woman and also made Snoqualmie Falls. The mists of the waters bring prayers to the creator, according to the legends, as well.

It is very easy to find Snoqualmie Falls. There are signs on Highway 202 guiding you there. Once you reach the falls, expect to pay a small fee to park.

You can view the falls from the top or bottom of the falls. The top view is easily accessed from the parking area. If you decide to hike to the bottom it takes about two hours to do so.

Snoqualmie Falls has something to offer to all who visit the area. It’s easy for all to view it in some capacity and a truly amazing sight to see.

2. Palouse Falls

Credit: National Park Service

Palouse Falls is located in Southeast Washington on the Palouse River. The walls are on the historic Lewis and Clark route. The explorers came through this area on October 16, 1805.

Palouse Falls is less than a half mile from where the Palouse River joins the mighty Snake River. It is a 200-foot waterfall and if you are interested in history, nature, or geology it is a great place to visit.

Geologically, the waterfalls sit in an area where cliffs were formed with ice sheets damming the lakes in the region during the last ice age began to melt and caused flooding.

Palouse Falls can be reached by hiking on a 0.7 mile out and back trail. It can also just be observed from a viewing spot, off the parking lot, if you do not want to make the short trek closer to the falls. Palouse Falls is open to dogs on leashes. It’s a great place to stop if you have a furry friend.

If you are in southeast Washington and want to see a beautiful waterfall, along one of the most famous routes of exploration in the US, Palouse Falls is for you!

3. Franklin Falls

Credit: Explore Washington State

Franklin Falls is a gorgeous 70-foot waterfall near North Bend, WA. The waterfall is along the south fork of the Snoqualmie River near Snoqualmie Pass.

If you are traveling near North Bend, you can reach the waterfall by taking exit 47 off of interstate 90. The trailhead to reach the waterfall is located within Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This is 1 hour east of Seattle. You need to acquire a pass to recreate and park at the trailhead.

The hike to Franklin Falls is 2 miles out and back. There is also a three-mile loop hike option, for those that want to further explore the area. The hike to the falls is easy enough for most individuals, even kids.

If you would like to spend more than just the day in this area of the national forest, there is camping available at Denny Creek Campground, nearby. Overall, Franklin Falls is an excellent place to get out and take in the natural beauty Washington State has to offer.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Mount Rainier

4. Panther Creek Falls

Panther Creek Falls can be found near Carson, WA. It is a magnificent waterfall that drops about 130 feet and is 100 feet wide. The height of the waterfalls is made up by two drops, the second being the largest at 102-feet.

Panther Creek Falls is part of the Columbia Gorge Trail. It’s located within Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The waterfall is extremely easy to reach in the summer.

You can park and walk just 0.16 miles to reach it. In the winter, you can park at Panther Creek Campground and snowshoe to the falls. This is a 4-mile trip each direction.

Dogs are allowed on the trail to Panther Creek. If you are coming to the falls with kids, summer is the best time to reach it. If you are looking for a unique winter adventure, then take the snowshoe trek there with a friend during the snowy season.

5. Marymere Falls

Marymere Falls is located in Olympic National Park. The waterfall is located near Lake Crescent. You can reach the falls by hiking in from Storm King Ranger Station or Lake Crescent Lodge.

This beautiful waterfall is surrounded by dense old growth fir trees, cedar, and hemlock. The waterfall is 90-foot tall. It is neither the tallest or shortest in Washington.

Marymere Falls is great for those traveling without furry friends. Dogs are not allowed on the trails to the falls. Marymere Falls is not for those that want to swim, either. The glacial fed waters surrounding it are frigid.

6. Bridalveil Falls

Credit: Washington Trails Association

Bridalveil Falls is along the waterway from Lake Serene to the south fork of the Skykomish River. The waterfall is named after it’s veil like appearance over the beautiful cliff it pours from.

Bridalveil falls is a very popular place to visit for waterfall enthusiasts and hikers. There are many trails in the area The area is also popular among history buffs, wanting to see the remains of Honeymoon Mine that flourished and brought people to the region in the 1800s.

Bridalveil Falls is surrounded by alder and maple trees. The conifers and moss in the area, add to its tranquility. This is a popular place to visit for many.

Parking is limited though, so go early, or during the off season, if you want to ensure you have somewhere to park during your visit.

7. Twin Falls

Twin Falls is located just off Interstate 90 at exit 34. It’s about 31 miles from Seattle. The waterfall located on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River. It is the tallest waterfall on this portion of the river.

In order to view Twin Falls, a lovely hike through the old growth forest is required. This hike is 2.6 miles round trip. Along the trail, you can access the river in many spots on spur trails.

This river is prone to flooding at times, so be aware before you hike. In the spring the area is plentiful with salmon berries.

Twin Falls is a popular and beautiful waterfall for those visiting this region. It’s great for those that want to hike and check out the local flora and fauna on their adventure.

8. Spokane Falls

Spokane Falls is a sacred place to the indigenous people of this region. It is located in Spokane and important for tribal fishing.

A Salish creation myth is represented with metal animals here, sharing the importance of this place, with all you visit. You can view Spokane Falls from many different viewpoints.

Huntington Park offers excellent views of the lower section of the falls. The upper portion of the falls are best viewed from suspension bridges. River Front Park offers you another point of observation of this glorious waterfall.

The falls cascade over basalt formations. The water in this area, is not only part of nature in the community, but also power. In 1889, a hydroelectric plant and dam were made to capture energy from the water’s flow.

Spokane Falls is a great example of how water can offer both natural tranquility and contribute to the energy needed to power a thriving community.

Related Read: 30 Top Treehouse Rentals in Washington

9. Dry Falls

Credit: Wikipedia

Dry Falls is dry. It no longer flows with water. It was once the world’s largest waterfall though. It was over three miles wide. It is found in Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. A day pass or annual pass is required to access the area.

This natural feature is about 2 hours northwest of Yakima. There is a visitor center on Highway 17 that offers excellent information on this area, that looks like a small-scale Grand Canyon.

This geological masterpiece was formed by glacial activity. Glaciers carved this 400ft by 3.5 mile waterfall out. Today the waterfall is dry, but still fascinating.

If you are visiting the area and need a place to camp, Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park also offers camping.

10. Nooksack Falls

Nooksack Falls can be found on the north fork of the Nooksack River. The waterfall drops 88 feet into a rocky canyon, along the river. The waterfall is easy to reach on a forest road, off of Mount Baker Highway. It is near the town of Deming.

Once you park at the falls, it is a very short walk to the actual waterfall. Dogs are allowed. The walk to the waterfall is easy for most kids to take on too.

The best time to view the falls is from March to October, but it can be viewed year-round. Once you reach the falls there is an awesome cave to check out and lots of rocks to climb on. This is a fun waterfall for visitors of all ages.

11. Madison Creek Falls

Madison Creek Falls is an easy to reach waterfall in Olympic National Park, in the Elwha Valley. The hike is just 0.2 miles round-trip. Dogs are allowed on this easy trail to the fifty-foot waterfall.

Madison Creek Falls is a great place to soak in the beauty of Olympic National Park. Wildflowers flourish around the falls during the spring and summer. The old growth forest that surrounds the falls is dense and captivating.

The trail to the falls is paves, making it extremely easy to walk down. There are benches along the trail for those that want to sit and observe their surroundings. This is a great place to have a picnic too.

Madison Creek Falls is easily reached in Olympic National Park on Olympic Hot Springs Road. There are longer hiking options in the area, as well, for those that find the 0.2-mile trek to the waterfall too short.

Related Read: 15 BEST Water Parks in Washington State

12. Outlet Falls

Outlet Falls is a 69-foot drop into Outlet Creek. Several smaller tributaries feed this creek. Outlet Falls is a great place to recreate year-round, but it is not as busy as other waterfalls in the state.

You can view the waterfall from the rim of the basalt-walled canyon it sits in or traverse down a steep, sketchy trail to the base. Both viewpoints, offer you excellent places to observe the waterfall.

Kayaking, ice climbing, and swimming are all popular activities at Outlet Falls. If you are visiting Washington and looking for a waterfall to visit without the crowds found at many others in the area, Outlet Falls is a great option.

13. Tumwater Falls

Tumwater Falls is owned by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation. It is located near the old Olympia Brewery in Tumwater, Washington. The waterfall is free to view. It’s accessible from a short half-mile interpretive trail.

The interpretive trail provides visitors with information on the area and historical facts about the region. In addition, to being able to view the old Olympia Brewery here, there are foundations of old mills, along the trail.

The waterfall is near a fish hatcher, so in September and October you can watch salmon swim upstream here. Tumwater Park, where the waterfall is located is also home to a native plant garden and playgrounds.

Tumwater Park is a great place to hang out with the whole family. It’s a place you can come to learn about local history, appreciate nature, and recreate all at once. Dogs are allowed at the park too.

14. Fantastic Falls

Credit: Northwest Waterfalls Survey

Fantastic Falls is a 30-foot waterfall located in an area referred to as Ernie’s Grove. The waterfall is the tallest in the series of falls here.

This series of waterfalls is not the most popular to visit. It was a popular camping and resort community with cabins until about 1940.

Fantastic Falls is beautiful year-round. It’s most powerful in the month of May, when the north fork of the Snoqualmie River is flowing its best.

This waterfall is not the largest, or most popular. It is a sight worth stopping to see if you are visiting the King County area and want to avoid the crowds.

15. Weeks Falls

Weeks Falls is beautiful waterfall that’s located in Olallie State Park. This is in the North Bend area of Washington. It’s easiest to access Weeks Falls from Homestead Valley trailhead. This is off of exit 38 on interstate 90.

The waterfall is on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River. It is nearest to Twin Falls. To reach the waterfall from the trailhead you can do a 1.6 mile out and bike hike. If you desire to go further, you may consider hiking the 7-mile loop trail that offers views of Weeks Falls and Twin Falls.

Overall, Weeks Falls is a gorgeous waterfall. If you choose to stop, give your party adequate time to check it out.

Related Read: 29 Top Treehouse Rentals in Oregon

16. Depot Creek Falls

Credit: Wikipedia

Depot Creek Falls is a large waterfall in North Cascades National Park in Whatcom County. It is located near the Canadian border.

The waterfall is over 900-feet tall and 125-feet wide. The water initially drops 200 feet and then flows down a long slide.

This waterfall produces tons of spray at its base, offering a mystical sight to those who visit it. Depot Creek is not the most popular waterfall to visit, despite how huge and beautiful it is. This is due to its remote location.

Depot Creek Falls is accessible via an 8-mile hike, after you drive along a forest road on the Canadian side of the falls. If you do not have the right documentation to go into Canada, then this waterfall may not be accessible to you.

17. Spray Falls

Credit: National Park Service

Spray Falls is found in Mount Rainier National Park. It is in the northern slopes of the park on Spray Creek. This is near Mowich Lake Campground. If you are wishing to spend a few nights in the park and explore the falls and more, this is a fantastic place to camp.

Spray Falls is visible at Eagle’s Cliff. It is also accessible from Mowich Lake road. You can hike in from Mowich Lake to reach it. The hike is doable for most, but the steep terrain to reach the falls, may be discouraging to some.

The waterfall pours down a talus slope, majestically. It is over 350-feet tall and 100-feet wide. The trail to the falls is serene, as it crosses many mountain streams. This area is home to many bears, too. If you choose to hike to Spray Falls, be sure to bring your bear spray!

18. Whatcom Falls

Credit: Wikipedia

Whatcom Fall is located in Bellingham, Washington. The waterfall is in Whatcom Falls Park. This park has two entrances. It is also home to a playground and picnic area. There is a trout hatchery in the park, as well.

Whatcom Falls allows dogs on leash and off leash in the dog park. There is fishing for children fourteen and under and many other fantastic sights along the park’s 3.5 miles of trails.

Whatcom Falls is a great place to swim. It is also near Whirlpool Falls, another close by waterfall that is great for swimming at.

The waterfall park is home to a stone bridge, built of upcycled materials form an old building in Bellingham. It’s also home to a 100-year-old trestle.

Whatcom Falls has so much to offer visitors beyond the waterfall alone. If you need a place to entertain your crew for an afternoon, this waterfall is an excellent choice.

19. Lower Lewis River Falls

Credit: USFS

The Lower Lewis River Falls is a 43-foot waterfall that is 200-feet across. It’s found in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The forest offers many opportunities for hikers and campers.

Lower Lewis River Falls is home to an area with giant cedars, old growth fir and massive stumps of ancient trees. To reach the falls, one must hike on the Lewis River trail. This trail is fourteen miles long and allows visitors many points of access to the river.

Wildflowers are magnificent in this area during the spring and summer. Trillium and vanilla-leaf coat the ground. This is why many claim the best time to visit the waterfall is in the spring.

Lower Lewis River Falls is a beautiful waterfall, if you are willing to take the hike to reach it. This area is great for one day or many, depending on how much time you have to explore it.

20. Myrtle Falls

Located in Ashland, Washington, Myrtle Falls found in Mount Rainier National Park is a beautiful place to explore nature year-round. Myrtle Falls is 72-feet tall, and you can actually see Mount Rainier looming behind it.

The hike to Myrtle Falls is extremely easy. The waterfall is only a quarter of a mile from the parking area. The trail to the falls is not open to dogs, so leave your furry friend at home if you plan on visiting this waterfall.

Myrtle Falls is accessible year-round, but it is best in June through October. During the winter, snowshoes are required to reach the waterfall. Often times the snowpack stays on this trail until late July. Be prepared to encounter snow if you decide to visit Myrtle Falls in the winter, spring, or early summer. The trails can be slick due to this, as well.

Myrtle Falls is 1 of 150 in Mount Rainier National Park. Of those 150 waterfalls, it is one that is worth taking the time to visit.

21. Deception Falls

Deception Falls is located on Route 2, east of Interstate 5. It is an easy to reach waterfall if you are passing through this area of the beautiful Snoqualmie National Forest. The waterfall is 94-feet tall and extremely beautiful.

This waterfall is near Steven’s Pass. It is on Deception Creek, hence the name Deception Falls. If you wish to view the falls you can reach it by walking a half mile down an interpretive trail. The trail is easy for most to trek.

If you are looking to take a break to picnic or snack, this is a great spot to do so. The waterfall is in an old growth forest that is very peaceful. If kayaking is your thing, then this is a great spot to kayak.

Deception Falls is a great place to spend an afternoon. Its great for those that want to learn about nature, kayak, or just relax, and take in what mother nature has to offer.

22. Comet Falls

Comet Falls is located on Van Trump Creek, near Van Trump Falls. This waterfall is named because it resembles a comet tail. Comet Falls is 380 feet tall.

To reach this waterfall, one must hike 3.8 miles round trip form the Comet Falls trailhead. During the winter the trail can be washed out by rain, so it’s recommended you inquire about the trail’s condition before hiking it, during this time of year.

There is no actual campground here, but you can camp in the forest, with a permit here. Fires are not allowed in the area, nor are dogs. The water that flows through the creek must be treated before your drink it. If you plan on camping near Comet Falls, be sure you are prepared!

Comet Falls is a great place for backcountry explorers that are just getting started in their adventures or want to do a quick and easy trip. It’s also a prime location for day hikes.

23. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls is located near Chehalis, Washington. This waterfall is located 16 miles west of the town. It is in Rainbow Falls State Park. A fee is required to reach the falls.

Rainbow Falls is a great place to swim, picnic, fish, camp, bike, or ride your horse. The trails to the waterfall and throughout the state park are for mixed use. You can also connect to trails in Willapa Hills State Park easily.

Rainbow Falls’ infrastructure was constructed by the CCC in 1935. It is surrounded by the dense forests filled with fir tree, western hemlock, and western red cedar. The waterfall is beautiful and it’s an added bonus that so many other recreational opportunities surround it.

24. Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls is a waterfall found near Gold Bar, Washington in Wallace Falls State Park. It is a popular waterfall to visit, as there is camping and other recreational opportunities at the state park.

Wallace Falls towers 265 feet total and is made up of a upper, middle, and lower falls. It sits in the majestic Skykomish River Valley. The Olympic mountains linger in the backdrop of these falls.

A 5.6-mile round trip hike gives you views of the falls from many angles. The trail switchbacks in spots, where one can best see the middle and lower falls.

To access Wallace Falls, you must purchase a Discovery Pass. This can be used for a day, or one can also get an annual pass. Dogs are allowed at the falls too, so this is a great place for families with dogs to come.

25. Curly Creek Falls

Credit: David Anderson / Flickr

Curly Creek Falls is beautiful waterfall that is 86-feet tall in Washington located In Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This is a beautiful old growth forest.

The hike to and from the falls is extremely easy. It’s less than a mile round trip. One spectacular thing about these waterfalls in the natural bridges that span the waterfall. The waterfall is also an area rich with volcanic history. It is located near Mount St. Helens.

Curly Creek Falls flows is based on the snowpack, each year. Its flow can decrease during the summer months. Spring is a great time to visit the falls, because of this.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
July 16, 2024 11:08 AM

Tobi Miles is a University of Florida graduate turned globe-trotting culinary explorer and digital nomad expert. As the founder of "Bytes & Bites," he combines his passion for international cuisine with practical advice on remote work, inspiring others to experience the world through food and cultural immersion. With 32 countries under his belt and a knack for uncovering hidden culinary gems, Tobi is redefining the intersection of work, travel, and gastronomy for a new generation of adventurers.

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