If you love exploring nature and discovering new waterfalls, Washington is the state for you. There are several waterfalls located throughout the state, and each one is unique in its own way. Although there are many different waterfalls within Washington State, some stand out. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of the 12 best waterfalls in Washington State based on accessibility and beauty. So pack your bags and get ready to explore some of the best waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest.
1. Spray Falls, Mount Rainier National Park
I start this list of the best Washington waterfalls with the iconic Spray Falls. It’s often called “Misty Firs,” and this certainly has something to do with its surroundings. It’s part of a small mountain range that surrounds Mt. Rainier and is back-dropped by solid green forest.
This region is very popular among those who love hiking and mountain climbing. And this is the main beauty of Spray Falls: you can get to it by exploring on foot. It’s located in one of the most scenic areas of Washington State, so if you’re into adventure, just get here.
There are several trails that lead to different spots where you can experience Spray Falls. But the most popular one is Wonderland Trail. It’s like you’re walking through an enchanted forest, surrounded by misty firs and cedar trees. And what makes it even more special is the Eagle’s Cliff overlook, which provides you with breathtaking views of the area.
The trail from this point takes you to a view where you’ll be able to see Spray Creek as it tumbles down 350-foot cliffs. The green surroundings make it look really mysterious and amazing at the same time. It’s truly amazing to see how the waterfalls down into the pool below, and I know you’ll love it.
2. Falls Creek Falls, Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Another one of the most magnificent and recognizable waterfalls in Washington State is Falls Creek Falls. This is among Washington State’s tallest waterfalls and has a total height of 250 feet. It’s truly magnificent to see the water falling down from the high cliff and crashing onto the rocks below.
This amazing waterfall is very popular among the locals and tourists. And the experience of visiting this place is like no other. You get to actually walk close to it and feel its mist on your face and enjoy the sound of rushing waters filling your ears. It’s a truly majestic sight to see it pouring its water down from such a height. And if you’re lucky, you can even see rainbows in its mist when the sun comes out.
Besides its height and beauty, Falls Creek Falls is very popular for another reason: wildlife watching. There are many different types of animals living in this area of Washington State, including black bears, deer, osprey, eagles, and more. So, just like with any adventure, don’t forget to bring a camera and take some pictures. It’s something you will cherish for the rest of your life.
3. Snoqualmie Falls, Snoqualmie
Next on the list of the best Waterfalls in Washington State is Snoqualmie Falls. It is located in the town of Snoqualmie (hence the name), and it truly stands out in its surroundings, catching your eye with its height and beauty. And if you’re a fan of the TV show “Twin Peaks,” Snoqualmie Falls is often shown in the opening credits.
The main drop is 270 feet high down to the pool below, making it one of the largest waterfalls in the state by volume. And during the year, over a million tourists visit this waterfall to see its rushing water and take in the gorgeous views of the fall.
The reason why this area is so popular among many photographers and tourists is because of its unique geological features. First of all, the landscape around the falls looks like a place right out of a fairy tale. It got dense forests that surround these amazing glacier-carved rocks. The vegetation on the rock walls is truly ethereal, and I suppose it’s what makes Snoqualmie Falls so memorable for many people.
What makes this place even better is that there’s a lovely restaurant next to it: Salish Lodge and Spa. This is the best place I can recommend to stay and experience the best in luxury amenities as well as an award-winning fine dining restaurant. Just grab a nice meal and enjoy the view of the fall from their patio. It’s truly magical.
4. Whatcom Falls, Bellingham
Whatcom Falls is a popular tourist destination located in Bellingham, Washington State. It’s one of the most photographed waterfalls in Washington, making it a beloved scenic area by residents for years.
Although this fall is tall (only 10-feets), its drop gives it an unforgettable character. The water looks like it flows down the cliffs. This natural wonder is surrounded by many different trails, nature walks, and quiet spots ideal for nature observations. If you’re a hiker, Whatcom falls is not something you should miss out on. And besides being an active place with plenty of outdoor attractions, it also has a beautiful park perfect for picnics and relaxation.
The falls have a steady, strong flow all year round, making them perfect for swimming. That’s why many people go to Whatcom Falls with their friends and loved ones to have a nice time by the water. One of my favorite things about this place is the sound of the falls. They say that the sound of falling water has a calming effect on people. So you would want to bring your friends or family here to share this experience with them.
5. Wallace Falls, Wallace Falls State Park
Located near the town of Gold Bar, Wallace Falls is truly one of the best falls that you can visit in Washington State. It is a beautiful sight to behold, but it comes with a price, as it stands on an elevation of 1,300 feet. I can say that this is one of the most challenging hikes in Washington State because you need to hike almost 3 miles to get there. But if you want to see the best Waterfalls in the state, this might be worth it for you.
The main drop is 265 feet high down to the pool below. It is truly a stunning sight, and it gets even better during the autumn months when colors change on the trees surrounding the fall. It’s said that this is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Washington State due to its dramatic drop and unique features.
And if you enjoy hiking and taking photos, I suggest you dedicate a whole day to this destination. Just leave early enough because the parking lots are limited, and the trails get crowded during the summer months. But regardless of when you visit this place, you’re bound to appreciate all that it has to offer. Wallace Falls is truly one of the best Waterfalls in Washington State that you must visit.
6. Spokane Falls, Spokane
This is one of the most well-known Washington waterfalls, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s right in the heart of Spokane since it sits right next to Riverfront Park.
This waterfall is truly majestic with its two sections: lower falls and upper falls. In addition, it is often cited as one of the biggest attractions in Spokane. I recommend spending a good amount of time here. Not only to take in the amazing views, but because there are so many wonderful places nearby to check out.
Riverfront Park is worth exploring on its own, with several other smaller waterfalls and beautiful views of the Spokane River. Also, this place is right next to downtown Spokane, which has a lot of restaurants, theaters, and other attractions for you to enjoy. It’s truly the perfect getaway to have some fun. And, of course, no visit here would be complete without seeing Spokane Falls and all its glory with your own eyes.
7. Narada falls, Mt Rainier National Park
Another waterfall that deserves mention is the Narada Falls, and it’s actually one of many waterfalls found in Mt. Rainier National Park. This is a very beautiful and powerful waterfall that has a drop of 176 feet down to the pool below. There are some hiking trails nearby for those who want to explore the area a bit more.
Narada Falls is truly an example of Mother Nature’s prowess when it comes to beauty. It’s unlike any other waterfall because instead of a single drop, the waterfalls are in many separate streams, making for an incredibly mesmerizing sight. Plus, it looks like another world. With the dark-green vegetation in this small valley, it’s easy to imagine yourself on a different planet when you look at it.
And for this reason, you can see why it is one of the best waterfalls in Washington you can hope to see. I recommend going here around summertime, as the greenery is at its peak and the waterfall becomes a truly dazzling sight.
8. Palouse Falls, Palouse Falls State Park
Palouse Falls is one of the most beautiful and powerful Washington falls. To describe this place, all I can say is that it’s an epic beauty that needs to be seen with your own eyes.
Located in Eastern Washington, this 200-feet high fall is surrounded by a beautiful barren landscape that provides a unique experience for photographers and hikers alike. It truly looks like it belongs to a fairy tale. I mean, come on, and just look at the pictures of the falls. The views are simply stunning.
And what makes Palouse Falls so special is that it’s not your average waterfall. This fall features three observation points that give you different views of the falls from any angle. And I think this adds to Palouse Falls’ charm, making it one of the most visited Waterfalls in Washington.
One thing is for sure: once you get close enough to see this waterfall up close, you will understand why so many people have fallen in love with it. Plus, there are hiking trails in the area, so if you’re an adventure lover, this is also for you.
9. Panther Creek Falls, Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Another amazing place to see is Panther Creek Falls, located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It has a total height of about 70 feet, but its wide stream makes it look much less tall than that number suggests. Also, this waterfall is pretty famous for an easy hike that can take you there in a jiffy.
The trail starts from the parking lot, and it’s only 0.8 miles each way, so not too bad at all. It can be challenging for beginners because of all the steep parts, but it’s worth it. At the end of this trail, you will find a lovely pool with the waterfall spilling in from above. It is called “Panther Creek,” and if you’re lucky, you might even see a few bears that live in this area.
While Panther Creek Falls is a nice place to visit and take some pictures, you can also go further up in the mountains, where the area is much denser and less visited. It’s a great chance to see all sorts of interesting plants and animals that live in this rich ecosystem.
10. Myrtle Falls, Mount Rainier National Park
Myrtle Falls is also one of the best waterfalls in Washington, known for its 72-feet drop down to the pool below. The scenery around the falls is a combination of dense forests, and impressive glaciers carved rocks, making it an ideal spot for a hike or a short walk through nature.
The hike to the falls is an easy 0.3 miles long. But the combination of so many attractions in one location makes this place equally perfect for tourists and photographers who like to capture their experiences on camera. In fact, this place is so beautiful that it has been used as a backdrop for several TV shows and movies.
One unique feature about this area is the views of Mt Rainier behind it, which is one of the magnificent mountains in the state and the whole country. The views of Mt Rainier are truly breathtaking, making Myrtle Falls a very interesting place to visit.
11. Tumwater Falls, Brewery Park
Tumwater Falls is another must-visit Washington’s waterfall in Washington. It is located at the Deschutes River, and it offers a fantastic view of the water falling from these basalt cliffs. And like other waterfalls in Washington, Tumwater also has a beautiful surrounding forest where you can go hiking or explore to see more of these amazing waterfalls.
The amazing thing about this waterfall is its location: Brewery Park. If you were to open Google Maps and search for this park, you’d see that it looks like another green-colored island in the middle of a sea. It features a 1.5-mile hiking trail that takes you on an adventure to see some of the best views of the falls.
And if you’re looking for something more relaxing and not as physical, you can sit down and enjoy your favorite snacks at one of the tables located along the trail. And don’t forget about their souvenir shop with many special items that you can take home as a memory from your visit.
12. Twin Falls, Olallie State Park
Finally, Twin Falls is one of the most recognized waterfalls in Washington. I think it’s because photos of this waterfall are shown so much on social media and websites that they have become a symbol of the state. They’re located within Olallie State Park, and a 3-mile hike leads to the falls.
This waterfall is truly impressive with its height: over 165-feet high. It is surrounded by dense forests, glacier-carved rocks, and intensely beautiful vegetation. The waterfalls look especially enchanting when the level of the river is high. So if you’re planning to come over here, I recommend checking the weather forecast.
And if you want to take some beautiful photos of these falls, I recommend doing it when the sun is high because the shadows often cover them. Also, keep in mind that during summertime, people like to come here to swim. So if you’re bringing sensitive equipment, make sure you protect it from the elements.
As you can see, there are many magnificent Waterfalls in Washington State. All of the waterfalls mentioned in this article are truly spectacular and worth visiting at least once. The best part is that all of them are really different, even though they’re all located in Washington. So you might want to plan a road trip there to experience them all.