With the melting snow and increased precipitation associated with spring, there are few better times in the year to admire an immense waterfall or two. From the Cascades out west to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the east, massive and scenic waterfalls are surging to catch your attention. Access to these brilliant displays of gravity vary from roadside parking spots to longer hikes and each waterfall is always surrounded a lush scenery aided by plenty of water. While the list below is only a fraction of all the waterfalls to find in the United States, each one guarantees a healthy dose of fast-moving systems and vertical attraction.
Palouse Falls State Park, Washington
Located within a state park of its own name, Palouse Falls plummets nearly 200 feet into the undulating canyon environment known as the Palouse Prairie region of southeast Washington. A slightly lesser-known adventure outpost in a state stacked with stunning natural landscapes, Palouse Falls became the official waterfall of Washington per 2014 state legislation. Visit the waterfall at the 105-acre state park and you can see the falls from three distinct vantage points. Make sure to utilize the first-come, first-serve tent camping space for extended stays.
Grand Portage State Park, Minnesota
Abutting the Canadian and U.S. Border in northern Minnesota, Grand Portage State Park received its name thanks to its 120-foot waterfall that served as a great hassle when traveling by boat down the Pigeon River. Traveling to the High Falls of Grand Portage is a little easier in current times. Interested spectators can check out the gushing water with an accessible half-mile boardwalk trail and observation deck. For the more athletically inclined, a five-mile loop trail takes visitors over a more rugged path to check out the equally inspiring Middle Falls.
Upper and Lower Falls
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
At up to 1,200 feet deep and 4,000 feet wide, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is one of many awe-inspiring elements of Yellowstone National Park. Containing two dazzling waterfalls within sight of each other (the Upper and Lower Falls), visitors to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River have many ways to appreciate the frothy scene. The Brink of Lower Falls Trail lends a great view of the Lower Falls before it plunges 309 feet below. Artist Point, Grand View, and Inspiration Point Trails all live up to their high-expectation names.
Upper Whitewater Falls
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina
Near the border of North and South Carolina, the Upper Whitewater Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Rockies. I sits on the edge of the Nantahala National Forest, 60 miles from Asheville. The rugged escarpment that lends to the waterfalls stature also makes exploring the area difficult to do. Visitors can access viewing platforms for the falls by a paved jaunt from a parking area that costs $2 to park. A foothill trail from there can get you to the base of the falls, but all visitors are encouraged to not wander far from the well-worn path.
The Broadmoor Seven Falls
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado has a lot of natural wonder to choose from, including a wide array of waterfalls throughout the state. One of many dazzling displays can be found on the grounds of the Historic Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs. Celebrating its centennial in 2018, there are many great reasons to visit the Broadmoor and spend the night. The resort includes its own personal canyon and waterfall, the Seven Falls waterfall, which snakes its way 181 feet down a narrow box canyon. Visitors can take stairs all the way to the top to track its journey.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
The Columbia River Gorge, sitting at sea-level between Washington and Oregon, utilizes its low position to catch plenty of water throughout the year. Along the 80-mile stretch of the designated gorge, there are hundreds of waterfalls to scout out and see. Multnomah is perhaps the most popular of all the falls. It consists of over 600 feet of vertical drop on display between its two steps. The Multnomah Lodge* is accessed right off the highway and is a good hub for embarking on the short trail to the viewing platform of the falls.
Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania
Touted as one of the most scenic areas in Pennsylvania, Ricketts Glen State Park occupies over 13,000 square miles in the northeast part of the state. The park delivers a dense selection of picture-worthy waterfalls. Ranging from 12 feet to 94 feet, Ricketts Glen State Park features 21 different waterfalls along the 7.1‑mile lollipop-loop within the Glens Natural Area. Wear proper shoes (sandals are prohibited) and find which fall is your favorite on this family friendly trek.
Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga Tennessee
Ruby Falls provides an interesting waterfall experience that can be found at few other places in the world. The falls have a subterranean status which can only be discovered via a guided tour. Originating as a roadside attraction, over the last 100 years Ruby Falls and the surrounding cavern have grown into a tourism staple in the southeast today. Regular tours, lantern-led programs, and special promotion packages all allow patrons to get a glimpse at the underground show. For an additional unique experience during your visit to Ruby Falls and Thunder Mountain, checkout the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway which takes patrons on a one-mile, 72.7% graded incline, scenic ride to the top of Lookout Mountain.
*Note: The Multnomah Falls Lodge is open amidst the damage done by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, but as of 1/22/2018, the viewing platform is closed to the public.