Aerial view of the stunning sunset at Palouse Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Washington

27 Best Waterfalls in Washington State (By a Local)

I’m a Washington local and outdoor enthusiast here to share the absolute best waterfalls in Washington state. Washington has the greatest number of waterfalls in the USA — a whopping 3,000 to be precise.

In this guide, I overview the 27 Washington waterfalls that are most worth visiting. There are waterfalls close to cities, in forests, and tucked away in beautiful national parks. Many are easy to access, even for non-hikers, and a few are lesser-known gems you won’t want to miss. 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

27 Best Waterfalls In Washington State

Snoqualmie Falls

The most visited Washington waterfall is in Snoqualmie and was featured in a hit TV series

Stunning Snoqualmie Falls below the buildings in the mountain of Washington

🥾 Easy | Snoqualmie Falls Distance: 1.4 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Snoqualmie Falls Website | 🚗 Snoqualmie Falls Location: 45 minutes from Seattle | 🅿️ Parking: Main Parking area, free in the upper and lower lots

You might recognize Snoqualmie Falls from the opening credits of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks series. Snoqualmie Falls is the most famous waterfall in Washington and one of the top things to do in Washington state

The 270-foot falls are beautiful, especially during the spring when the water is gushing. The Snoqualmie Falls hike is easy. It’s less than a mile to get to the main viewing area. If you’re staying in Seattle, plan a day trip to see this magnificent sight. 

For a special treat, book a waterfall and wine tour to see Snoqualmie Falls from both the main and lower viewpoints. You’ll also have a knowledgeable local guide tell you about the history of the area. Afterward, you’ll get lunch and go wine tasting.

Palouse Falls

Washington’s official state waterfall, Palouse Falls, is an Ice Age-era beauty that empties into a gorge

Aerial view of the stunning sunset at Palouse Falls in Washington
Sunset views at Palouse Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in Washington

🥾 Easy (1 mile roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Palouse Falls Website | 🚗 1 hour from Walla Walla | 🅿️ Parking: Discover Pass – $10 day pass, $30 annual pass

Take a trip to Palouse Falls State Park to see Washington’s official state waterfall. Palouse Falls is one of the most unique-looking waterfalls in Washington. It’s been flowing for 13,000 years since it formed during the Ice Age floods. 

If you love breathtaking natural wonders, this is one of the best places to visit in Washington state. You can walk right up to the ledge to see this amazing waterfall, but don’t try to climb down to get closer. There have been fatalities from that.

While this is a waterfall worth seeing,  it’s in a remote location in eastern Washington far from city amenities. It can get extremely hot and cold at Palouse Falls State Park depending on the season, so plan accordingly. 

📚 Related Reading: Hiking Essentials Checklist (26 Things to Pack on a Hike)

Sol Duc Falls

Traverse a vibrant green rainforest to reach one of the most iconic waterfalls in Olympic National Park

A small bridge above the gushing water of Sol Duc Falls in the middle of the forest
One of the most stunning attractions in the Olympic National Park

🥾 Easy  (1.6 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Sol Duc Falls Website | 🚗 1 hour from Port Angeles | 🅿️ Parking: National Park Pass – Annual Single Park Pass $55, 7-day entrance fee $30/car

Sol Duc Falls is one of the most enchanting waterfalls in Olympic National Park. You’ll take a trip through the lush, mossy rainforest of the Sol Duc Valley to get to this iconic waterfall. 

The hike to the falls is on the shorter side, and gentle enough that all levels of hikers and kids can manage it. Admire the falls from a bridge, upstream, and downstream as it crashes through a canyon. 

Once you finish the hike, you can continue to explore the Sol Duc Valley by going on another hike or visiting Sol Duc Hot Springs. I highly recommend the latter if you’re visiting in the colder months and want to warm up (just be sure to make reservations in advance).

Myrtle Falls

Enjoy a picture-perfect view of the falls and Mount Rainier on this easy waterfall hike

Scenic view of a snow-capped mountain and Myrtle Falls surrounded with pine trees at sunrise
Myrtle Falls, with Mount Rainier in the background

🥾 Easy | Myrtle Falls distance: 0.8 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Myrtle Falls Website | 🚗 45 minutes from Ashford | 🅿️ Parking: National Park Pass – Annual Single Park Pass $55, 7-day entrance fee $30/car

Go to Myrtle Falls if you’re looking for an easy hike with an incredible view. Myrtle Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls in Washington. Snap a picture of the falls running beneath a bridge with Mount Rainier in the background for a photo that looks too pretty to be real. 

Because this is a beautiful and well-known hike, expect crowds, especially during peak season. Arrive early on a weekday if you want to avoid the rush of people. The hike to see the falls is gentle, short, and flat, making it perfect for beginners and inexperienced hikers.

Franklin Falls

This waterfall in the Snoqualmie Pass is popular with families

The author Chelsea Booker enjoying a snack near the plunge pool of Franklin Falls
Me enjoying a quick snack after reaching Franklin Falls, one of my favorite waterfalls in Washington

🥾 Easy | Franklin Falls Distance: 2 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Franklin Falls Website | 🚗 1 hour from Seattle | 🅿️ Parking: Northwest Forest Pass – $30 annually, $5 day use

Year-round, Franklin Falls is one of the best day trips from Seattle. The trail is well-maintained, has minimal elevation gain, and it’s only a mile to reach the falls. This makes it a great hike to do with kids.

The trail leads to a wide-open area with room to spread out and have a snack. You can get fairly close to the waterfall and even dip your toes into the pool if you’re brave enough to test the always-chilly water. 

The flow at Franklin Falls is best between April and July. Still, it’s a real treat to visit them during the wintertime when the rushing water sometimes freezes. Try this for a fun, snowy adventure!

Bridal Veil Falls

The hike to this waterfall in the central Cascades is challenging but worth it

The satin-like water of Bridal Veil Falls runs down the rocky mountain of Washington

🥾 Moderate/Difficult (4 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Bridal Veil Falls Website | 🚗 1.5 Hours from Seattle | 🅿️ Parking: Northwest Forest Pass – $30 annually, $5 day use

The hike to Bridal Veil Falls is moderately difficult, but worth it for this gorgeous waterfall. Bring shoes with good traction since the trail involves muddy patches and some slippery rocks.

This unique-looking waterfall flows steadily over a rocky cliff face, resembling its namesake – a bridal veil. You can get up close to the falls and look up as they make their descent from 100 feet above. Use the refreshing mists to cool you off after the tough hike.

If you want to extend your hike and put this one solidly in the difficult category, go on the Lake Serene trail as well. If you do this, you’re in for a big climb, so come prepared to work. 

📚 Related Reading: Bridal Falls and Lake Serene made my list of the best hikes around Seattle. If you want to see what else made the cut, bookmark that article to read next.

Marymere Falls

A simple hike in Olympic National Park leads to a waterfall that’s just as pretty as its surroundings

A narrow and long Marymere Falls cascades down the mountain in the middle of a forest
Marymere Falls in Olympic National Park

🥾 Easy | Marymere Falls Distance: 1.8 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Marymere Falls Website | 🚗 30 minutes from Port Angeles | 🅿️ Parking: Designated lot, free

The hike to Marymere Falls in Olympic National Park is a peaceful trek along a trail teeming with ferns and mossy trees. Since it’s a relatively short and easy trail to tackle, this is a good choice for families.

The Marymere Falls trailhead begins near Lake Crescent and leads to two viewpoints. Take in a view of the falls from above, and another looking up from the base. Just make sure you bring shoes with traction since the trail can get muddy and slippery from all the rain common to the Olympic Peninsula.

Tumwater Falls

Two rushing waterfalls and thousands of Chinook salmon draw people to this park near Olympia

The author Chelsea Booker posing at the viewing deck with the Tumwater Falls in the background
Me at Tumwater Falls Park on a perfect fall day

🥾 Easy (0.5 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Tumwater Falls Park Website | 🚗 10 minutes from Olympia | 🅿️ Parking: Designated lot, free

Tumwater Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls in Washington to visit. It’s located in Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls, which is one of the best things to do in Olympia.

On your visit, expect a stroll in the park rather than a strenuous hike. You’ll see the upper falls almost immediately when you enter the park. Follow the path over the bridge and down to the viewing platform to see the lower falls. There are also several teeny tiny waterfalls along the trail. 

On my visit, I loved seeing the lower falls which were rushing and super misty, even during a low-flow period. The park is beautiful year-round, but if you visit during the fall, you may also get to see the Chinook salmon climbing the fish ladder.

📚 Related Reading: In general, waterfall hikes are best done between April in July when the run-off makes the flow most impressive. If you’re curious about the pros and cons of visiting at other times, bookmark my article on the best time to visit Seattle.

Comet Falls

A steep hike at Mount Rainier leads to this tall, cascading waterfall

View of the stunning cascading waterfall with a layer of fog above
Comet Falls on a foggy morning in Mt. Rainier National Park

🥾 Moderate | Comet Falls Distance: 3.8 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Comet Falls Website | 🚗 Comet Falls Location: 20 minutes from Ashford | 🅿️ Parking: National Park Pass – Annual Single Park Pass $55, 7-day entrance fee $30/car

Comet Falls is one of the best waterfall hikes at Mount Rainier. Arrive early to tackle this trail. The parking lot isn’t very big and fills up quickly.

Expect a decent elevation gain of 1250 feet, and a shady trail to keep you cool on a hot day. Keep your eyes open and you may spot marmots and pikas on the way to Comet Falls!  

Once you get there, catch your breath and admire the tall waterfall with its 300-foot drop. Rest for a bit and head back or extend your hike to Van Trump Park for mountain views and a place to have lunch.

🤓 Did you know: Mount Rainier was originally called Mount Tahoma or Tacoma, an Indigenous name that translates to “mother of all waters.” This is fitting, given all the waterfalls flowing around the mountain! The Puyallup Tribe and others are currently making efforts to restore the mountain’s original name.

Coal Creek Falls

The rainy season is the perfect time to visit this waterfall near Bellevue

Captivating view of Coal Creek Falls in Cougar Mountain with green plants around

🥾 Easy (2.5 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Coal Creek Falls Website | 🚗 20 minutes from Bellevue | 🅿️ Parking: Designated lot, free

The Coal Creek Falls are in the Cougar Mountain area 20 minutes from Bellevue. The trail is easy for beginner hikers. Wander through a mossy forest full of ferns, cedar trees, and slugs to get to the scenic falls beyond. 

Make sure you stick to the trail when you visit. The area was once used for mining, and venturing off the path can be dangerous since there may be cave holes with long drops outside of the trails. 

This hike is best during the winter and rainy seasons when the falls are definitely flowing. During the summer and drier months, the lack of rain means the falls may dry up. Double-check trip reports before you visit to confirm the waterfall is there.

Spray Falls

These misty falls are a detour on a challenging but beautiful hike at Mount Rainier

Stunning view of Spray Falls cascading down beautifully in Mt. Rainier National Park

🥾 Moderate (4.6 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Spray Falls Website | 🚗 2 Hours from Tacoma | 🅿️ Parking: National Park Pass – Annual Single Park Pass $55, 7-day entrance fee $30/car

Spray Falls is a detour along the challenging Spray Park hike at Mount Rainier. You’ll find the turn-off to Spray Waterfall a little over two miles in.

Watch the gorgeous Spray Falls cascade over a rocky cliff face. If the name wasn’t warning enough, yes, you will get wet from all the spray the closer you get! 

After seeing the falls, head back to the main trail. If you decide to continue the Spray Park hike, you’ll have another two miles to go, making this an 8-mile roundtrip hike. It’s worth it, though, if you want to experience one of the most scenic Mount Rainier hikes there is.

📚 Related Reading: 23 Best Things to Do in Tacoma

Twin Falls

Hike through an old-growth forest in North Bend to get to these cascading falls

The author Chelsea Booker enjoys the view of Twin Falls from the lowest viewpoint
Me enjoying the falls from the lower viewpoint

🥾 Moderate | Twin Falls Distance: 2.6 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Twin Falls Website | 🚗 40 minutes from Seattle | 🅿️ Parking: Discover Pass – $10 day pass, $30 annual pass

The hike to Twin Falls in North Bend’s Olallie State Park is good for novice and intermediate hikers. You’ll work up a sweat on this well-maintained trail. It winds gradually uphill through an old-growth forest full of birdlife and scurrying chipmunks. 

For the most popular view of the falls, go to the lower falls viewpoint. This is down several flights of stairs suspended above the river the waterfall feeds into. On my visit, I chose to end the hike here, but you can easily extend it. 

Continue on the path uphill and you’ll reach a bridge where you can see the falls from above. Keep going beyond the bridge, and you’ll get to the upper falls.

🌊 Waterfall Chaser Tip: You can see Franklin Falls, Twin Falls, and Snoqualmie Falls on the same day! They’re all relatively close to one another and are quick hikes. If you want to do this, I recommend seeing them in that order.

Panther Creek Falls

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Washington, Panther Creek Falls is in the Columbia River Gorge

Breathtaking view of Panther Creek Falls gushing down in the mountain covered with greenery
Panther Creek Falls, an iconic attraction in the Columbia River Gorge 

🥾 Easy | Panther Creek Falls Distance: 0.16 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Panther Creek Falls Website | 🚗 Panther Creek Falls Location: 1.5 hours from Vancouver | 🅿️ Parking: Designated lot, free

Located in the Columbia River Gorge, Panther Creek Falls is easily one of the prettiest falls on this list. After parking, follow the arrow painted on the road to get to the trailhead. The steep path will lead you down to two viewpoints of the stunning Panther Creek Falls. 

Watch for a while as these intriguing-looking falls cascade over mossy rocks into Panther Creek. This is not a hard hike, and it’s easy to make a quick stop here before exploring the area further.

Cherry Creek Falls

An easy hike in Duvall leads to this wide 25-foot waterfall that empties into a pool perfect for wading

Two falls cascading beautifully in the calm water in Cherry Creek Falls

🥾 Easy (5 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Cherry Creek Falls Website | 🚗 45 minutes from Seattle | 🅿️ Parking: Free, park along the shoulder of Mountain View Road only

Cherry Creek Falls is an easy waterfall to get to from Seattle. Parking can be tricky since there’s no designated lot and this is a popular destination. Make sure you come early and avoid parking near signs marked “Private Road” or else risk getting towed.

Hike along a flat trail through a shady forest to get to the falls. This is a great waterfall hike for families who want a longer hike that’s feasible for younger kids. 

You can visit these falls year-round with the best flow in the winter and spring. However, this is also a good hike to do in the summertime, particularly when it’s really hot out and you can wade in the pool to cool down.

👉 Don’t Miss: For more area attractions, see my guide to the 52 Best Things to Do in Seattle

Narada Falls

The gorgeous Narada Falls in Mount Rainier National Park is sometimes highlighted with a rainbow

Scenic view of Narada Falls with a beautiful rainbow in Mt Rainier National Park

🥾 Easy | Narada Falls Distance: 0.2 miles roundtrip | 📍 Google Maps | Narada Falls Website | 🚗 35 minutes from Ashford | 🅿️ Parking: National Park Pass – Annual Single Park Pass $55, 7-day entrance fee $30/car

It’s a simple walk from the parking lot to get to Narada Falls in Mount Rainier National Park. However, the trail goes steeply downhill and is usually slippery and wet. Watch your step on the way to this viewpoint!

The falls are typically 50 feet wide and misty – prepared to get wet. If you’re lucky, and the sun is shining on the water just right, you may catch a rainbow curving over this epic waterfall. 

Since this is more of a short stop than a true hike, I recommend planning to check out another waterfall while you’re at the park. Visit Myrtle Falls or Comet Falls on the same day. Both are just ten minutes away.

👉 My Favorite Gear: It’s a great idea to pack a rain jacket when going on waterfall hikes where you may get wet. I recommend a Patagonia Torrentshell, which will keep you dry and packs down small to fit in your backpack until you need it. 

For more helpful gear to bring on your trip, look through my Seattle packing guide to make sure you don’t forget something that might come in handy.

Spokane Falls

A waterfall in the heart of Spokane’s iconic Riverfront Park

Sunrise over a concrete arched bridge and dam near Spokane Falls
One of the most easily accessible waterfalls in Washington (photo: RosenskiP / Shutterstock) 

🥾 Easy | 📍 Google Maps | Spokane Falls Website | 🚗 Spokane Falls Location: 5 minutes from Spokane | 🅿️ Parking: Riverfront Park lots (~$3+), River Park Square parking lot ($1+), Street Parking (costs vary)

Spokane Falls is another easy-to-visit waterfall, especially if you’re in eastern Washington. It’s located right in Spokane’s Riverfront Park in the heart of the city.

You’ll hear the thundering of the rushing water as you approach the falls. There are tons of trails in the park, and you can wander along them to find different vantage points to admire the falls. One of the best ways to see this waterfall, however, is from above. 

The Numerica SkyRide is a gondola that will take you right over the mighty Spokane Falls. However you choose to see it, this is a city waterfall you don’t want to miss.

Wallace Falls

There are multiple places to view this 3-tiered waterfall in Wallace Falls State Park

Picturesque view of the beautiful Wallace Falls surrounded by trees in Washington

🥾 Easy/Moderate (5.6 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Wallace Falls Website | 🚗 1 hour from Seattle | 🅿️ Parking: Discover Pass – $10 day pass, $30 annual pass

The waterfall at Wallace Falls State Park is incredible. Take advantage of the three different ways to enjoy the 256-foot waterfall. 

There are routes to the lower, middle, and upper portions of the waterfall. The trail gets slightly harder as you ascend further, so you can choose your difficulty on the hike. Whether you stick to the lower falls or make your way to the upper falls, you’ll get a good view.

The hike to the falls is pretty and so is the rest of the park. You’ll be surrounded by old-growth forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers when you visit. There are plenty of other hiking trails, camping spots, and outdoor recreation opportunities in this state park.

Whatcom Falls

A scenic waterfall in a city park near Bellingham

A small but spectacular Whatcom Falls during the sunset of the autumn season

🥾 Easy (4 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Whatcom Falls Website | 🚗 10 minutes from Bellingham | 🅿️ Parking: Designated lot, free

Go to Whatcom Falls if you’re craving an adventure that won’t take you far from the city. This is another one of the Washington waterfalls in a beautiful city park. 

Watch the incredibly loud Whatcom Waterfall cascade over mossy rocks beneath a beautiful canopy of trees. The waterfall is easy to reach from the parking lot. 

I recommend also spending some time hiking through the park. There is a network of nearly five miles of trails within the park to explore. In addition, you can visit the park’s fish hatchery, playground, and sports field.

📚 Related Reading: Love city parks? Read my article on the best parks in Seattle next.

Teneriffe Falls

Escape the crowds on a trip to this waterfall in North Bend

🥾 Moderate (5.6 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Teneriffe Falls Website | 🚗 40 minutes from Seattle | 🅿️ Parking: Discover Pass – $10 day pass, $30 annual pass

Teneriffe Falls may not be the most popular hike on this list, but that also means it’s less crowded than others. The trailhead is in North Bend, close to the popular Mount Si trail. 

You’ll climb uphill through a beautiful forest of sky-high firs and pines and tread over some rocky patches to get to this waterfall. Teneriffe Waterfall flows over the side of a rocky cliff face, and you’ll view the waterfall from below. The flow is most impressive during late spring when you also won’t have to worry about navigating snowy patches. 

Keep in mind that there’s not much space at the top once you get to the waterfall. This isn’t the best waterfall to visit if you want to spread out and stay long.

Iron Creek Falls

You can swim up to this pretty waterfall in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Scenic view of the gushing waters of Iron Creek Falls

🥾 Easy (0.1 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Iron Creek Falls Website | 🚗 30 minutes from Randle | 🅿️ Parking: Designated lot, free

Iron Creek Falls is less traveled than other falls on this list. It’s still completely worth a visit if you’re exploring the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The trail is very short, barely a “true” hike, but the payoff is amazing. 

You’ll head down a short path with steps to prevent slipping to get to the viewpoint. When you reach the falls, you can climb over a few logs to get closer and go for a swim toward the waterfall.

Nooksack Falls

This spectacular and easy-to-visit waterfall is just off the Mount Baker Highway 

Aerial view of the scenic twin fall of Nooksack Falls in the middle of a forest

🥾 Easy (0.1 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Nooksack Falls Website | 🚗 15 minutes from Glacier | 🅿️ Parking: Designated lot, free

If you’re driving along the Mount Baker Highway, make a quick detour to Nooksack Falls. This is another waterfall you can see sans a long hike, and it’s worth the stop. 

Pull into the lot and take a quick walk down to the viewing area. You’ll be up high, looking down at the waterfall. Secure fencing helps prevent dangerous falls and makes this okay for kids, too.

Listen to the rushing sounds of the water, take some pictures, and relax before continuing to another hike in the area. Since this is such an easy waterfall to visit, expect to share the view with other people.

Falls Creek Falls

An epic waterfall with a 335-foot plunge in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Bright and scenic view of Falls Creek Falls in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

🥾 Moderate (3.4 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Falls Creek Falls Website | 🚗 25 minutes from Carson | 🅿️ Parking: Northwest Forest Pass – $30 annually, $5 day use

Equal parts epic and enchanting, Falls Creek Falls is a hidden gem in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Wander through a pretty forest at a gentle incline and cross over a suspension bridge to get to the waterfall’s main viewpoint. 

Once there, you’ll have plenty of time to sit back, relax, and gaze in wonder at one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Washington. I recommend you do this waterfall on the same day as Panther Creek Falls to see two of southern Washington’s best.

Rocky Brook Falls

This waterfall in Brinnon is perfect for swimming and picnicking on a sunny day

Rocky Brook Falls flows out of the Olympic National Park in Washington

🥾 Easy (0.1 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Rocky Brook Falls Website | 🚗 10 minutes from Brinnon | 🅿️ Parking: Free, small lot

You don’t have to hike to get to Rocky Brook Falls! The waterfall is near Brinnon in the Olympic Peninsula and Hood Canal area. 

The Rocky Brook Waterfall is only a short walk away, and there is plenty of room to lay out with a picnic and swim. This makes it a popular place for people and families who do just that on sunny days. You can get really close to the waterfall. Make sure to wear water shoes and watch out for slippery rocks.

Buck Creek Falls

A charming “punchbowl” waterfall on a loop trail in the Mount Adams area

A charming small but picturesque view of Buck Creek Falls during the fall season

🥾 Easy (3 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Buck Creek Falls Website | 🚗 20 minutes from White Salmon | 🅿️ Parking: Discover Pass – $10 day pass, $30 annual pass

Buck Creek Falls is a bit off the beaten path. Located in the Mount Adams area, the trail to this waterfall is a loop through a forested path. Make sure you turn left after crossing the bridge to stay on the shorter path to the waterfall. The right side of the loop isn’t always well-maintained. This is a cute, punchbowl waterfall with room for a picnic and space to rest.

Snoquera Falls

This 449-foot waterfall plunges over a stark rock face 

A sunny day at Snoquera Falls that plunges down the rocky mountain

🥾 Moderate (3.9 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Snoquera Falls Website | 🚗 1 hour and 15 minutes from Enumclaw | 🅿️ Parking: Northwest Forest Pass – $30 annually, $5 day use

The hike to Snoquera Falls is a rewarding one. It’s moderately challenging with a decent elevation gain. 

After hiking through a classic Pacific Northwest forest, you’ll reach Snoquera Waterfall. Watch the fall as it cascades over an impressive and stark rock face. The flow is at its heaviest in the springtime and can dry up by late summer if there’s little rain. 

If you want to get closer to get the best view, there’s a bit of scrambling involved, which may not be for the faint of heart. Watch your footing on the loose rocks if you try this. 

Merriman Falls

This Olympic Peninsula waterfall is a great option if you don’t want to hike

Breathtaking view of Merriman Falls with rays of the sun in the rainforest of Washington
Merriman Falls near Olympic National Park, one of the best waterfalls in Washington

🥾 Easy (0.1 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Merriman Falls Website | 🚗 10 minutes from Quinault | 🅿️ Parking: Roadside parking, limited, free

Merriman Falls is not much of a hike at all. You only need to pull up and park on the side of the road to get to this gorgeous waterfall in the Olympic National Forest. 

You can see Merriman Falls from your parking spot, but if you want to get closer, walk down a short and somewhat slippery path for a better view. The waterfall is pretty, framed by all the lush greenery this part of the state is known for.

Racehorse Falls

A tiered waterfall in North Cascades National Park in an area popular for fossil hunting

Spectacular view of the tall Racehorse Falls plunges down the mountain during the fall season

🥾 Easy/Moderate (0.6 miles roundtrip) | 📍 Google Maps | Racehorse Falls Website | 🚗 20 minutes from Deming | 🅿️ Parking: Discover Pass – $10 day pass, $30 annual pass

Racehorse Falls in North Cascades National Park is a crowd-pleaser. The hike isn’t long, and the waterfall is one of Washington’s coolest. Racehorse Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall and you’ll be able to get a view of it from above. It’s a sheer cliff looking down into a gorge, so be careful! 

You have the option to get a little closer, but you’ll have to go down an extremely steep path that isn’t always well-maintained. This option is not for the faint of heart. Gauge your comfort level and make your choice accordingly.

In addition to the waterfall, this is also a place popular for fossil hunting. You just might spot some plant fossils along the nearby Racehorse Creek area.

FAQs about Washington Waterfalls

What is the largest waterfall in Washington state?

The largest waterfall in Washington state is Colonial Creek Falls in the North Cascades National Park. It plunges 2,568 feet below. 

What is the official waterfall of Washington state?

The official waterfall of Washington state is Palouse Falls, which is located in Palouse Falls State Park.

How many waterfalls are in Washington?

It’s estimated that there are around 3,000 named waterfalls in Washington. Washington has more waterfalls than any other state in the USA.

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Now you know the waterfalls in Washington state you have to see! Whatever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy this beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest.

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One Comment

  1. Great article and photos! I have several hiking books, but this is the first I’ve seen that is specifically about waterfalls

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