21 Breathtaking Waterfalls in Washington State to See

waterfalls in washington state
This post may contain affiliate links, including for the Amazon Associates program, which means I may make a small commission at no expense to you.

Is there anything better than going out for a day of waterfall chasing? We have so many waterfalls in Washington State that it’s easy to find one no matter what part of the state you set out in.

I’ve slowly been visiting all of the waterfalls in Washington over the years and there are some I’ve gone to multiple times, such as Snoqualmie Falls, and others that have been on my list for years. There are over 100 waterfalls in the state, so you’ll have no problem finding one wherever you are.

While it was impossible to list all the waterfalls in the state, here is a list of the best waterfalls in Washington that you’ll want to check out. You can pick out which ones you want to do based on where they’re located or which one looks the prettiest.

Where To Find Waterfalls in Washington

Washington State boasts spectacular natural landscapes, from lush green forests and rocky mountains to glaciers, winding rivers, and breathtaking waterfalls. 

You’ll find most of the waterfalls in Washington located in the western region, on the Olympic Peninsula. Others are found closer to the state’s highest peak, Mount Rainier.

The rest of Washington’s waterfalls are scattered across the state. Some of the best are located near Columbia River Gorge (making for an easy Portland day drive), North Cascades National Park, and the eastern region of Washington — home to the state’s official waterfall.

seattle ebook cover 2

Looking for the ultimate Seattle travel guide written by a local that tells you all the best places to go and what to see? My new ebook is now live, so click here to buy your copy!

21 Best Waterfalls in Washington State

The great thing about the waterfalls in this state is the easy accessibility and abundance of observation points, camping grounds, and hiking trails. To discover the capital’s hidden gems, which are tucked away between curvy rivers and bulging cliff sides, here’s a look at the top waterfalls in Washington State.

1. Palouse Waterfall


Location: Palouse Falls State Park

Height of Waterfall: 198 feet

Required Pass: Discover

Palouse Falls is the state’s official waterfall, and are arguably one of the most scenic waterfalls in Eastern Washington. The waterfall drops into a basin and then flows into a winding gorge and is carried by the current south towards the Snake River. It’s also an easy Washington hike if you want a bit of exercise.

Although best seen from the top, you can view Palouse Waterfall from three observation points within the state park. The most popular is the lower observation point, as it is widely accessible and provides the best photo spot. 

This waterfall is often cited as an artist’s dream. Many fantasize about placing an easel or a camera to capture different views of the falls as the light changes. You will find many picnic tables perfect for resting and having a snack while experiencing some of the best views in Washington.

This waterfall is ideal for visiting during spring in Washington state, as all the rain will make the falls more powerful.

2. Spray Falls

Photo by Roundtree

Location: Mount Rainier National Park

Height of Waterfall: 354 feet

Required Pass: National Park Pass

Spray Falls is tucked away deep in Mount Rainier National Park, and you’ll have to walk a two-and-a-quarter-mile trail to get to these falls. You’ll pass the Eagle’s Cliff overlook, where you can enjoy stunning views before getting hit by a cloud of mist from the waterfall. I’d start here early on a day trip to Mount Rainier from Seattle to get to the falls before it’s too crowded.

You can view the falls from afar or carefully maneuver through the boulders to get a closer look. In the summer months, many adventurous visitors continue down the trail to Spray Park to see the wildflower meadows in full bloom. I recommend booking a cabin near Mt. Rainier to stay at after.

3. Snoqualmie Falls

Location: Snoqualmie

Height of Waterfall: 270 feet

Required Pass: None

Conveniently located 29 miles east of Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls is the most famous waterfall in Washington State. The waterfall’s flower-filled landscape and proximity to accommodation spots make it one of the best waterfalls near Seattle, and it’s one of the best Seattle waterfall hikes if you take the trail to the bottom.

Its prominence can also be accredited to its feature in the opening credits of the TV show Twin Peaks. You’ll also love this area for fall hikes in Washington if you’re looking for some color.

Snoqualmie Falls has multiple viewing platforms and overlooks — some located in nearby lodges like the Salish Lodge & Spa. You can take a closer look by walking less than a mile to the flowing water. 

Want to find more waterfalls? Head north to explore the best hikes in North Cascades National Park, where you’ll find plenty of smaller ones.

4. Spokane Falls


Location: Spokane

Height of Waterfall: 146 feet

Required Pass: None

Situated downtown, these dual waterfalls in Spokane carry a deep historical tale. The falls were once a designated meeting spot for native tribes. Today, they are one of the best urban waterfalls in the US and play a massive role in the city’s generation of hydroelectric power.

You can see the Lower Fall from land at Huntington Park or hop into an enclosed cabin and cable ride over the falls at Riverfront Park. The best views of the Upper Falls are from the two pedestrian footbridges.

5. Panther Creek Falls


Location: Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Height of Waterfall: 70 feet

Required Pass: NW Forest Pass

Located in Skamania County, Panther Creek Falls provides scenic views of multiple water flows, creating a cascading effect, and the two-tiered waterfall drops into a rippled blue pool. 

Its half-mile trail from Forest Service Road 65 to the overlook platform makes it easily accessible and suitable for family hikes.

6. Twin Falls

twin falls hike

Location: Olallie State Park

Height of Waterfall: 165 feet

Required Pass: Washington Discovery Pass

Hidden within Olallie State Park, Twin Falls is one of the best waterfalls near Seattle. The Twin Falls is made up of three cascading waterfalls. You’ll see the first two as you walk along the two-and-a-half-mile trail before reaching a two-tier middle drop. 

This drop is the third waterfall best seen from the Twin Falls Bridge built across the Snoqualmie River. This is one of the best things to do in the fall before it gets too rainy out.

7. Wallace Falls

wallace falls

Location: Wallace Falls State Park

Height of Waterfall: 265 feet

Required Pass: Washington Discovery Pass

Located on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, Wallace Falls State Park is home to one of the most incredible waterfalls near Seattle. Wallace Falls comprises three cascading falls with multiple drops and viewing points.

Wallace Falls has 12 miles of foot trails along the lower, middle, and upper tiers. You’ll see picturesque views of the park’s forest, rivers, and nine other waterfalls at each tier. The area doesn’t tend to get too much snow, so it’s a good hike during winter in Seattle.

 8. Whatcom Falls


Location: Bellingham

Height of Waterfall: 50 feet

Required Pass: Parking Lot Pass (None)

Whatcom Falls is located in the 241-acre Whatcom Falls Park. Unlike many waterfalls in Washington, this one is popular for reasons other than a magnificent long drop. Whatcom Falls is famous as a summer bathing spot amongst swimmers, cliff jumpers, and weekend warriors.

Just 0.3 miles downstream, you’ll find Whirpool Falls, an 8-foot cascade with a 20-25 mile swimming hole and plenty of adjacent cliffs to dive from. The park also has a tonne of amenities like a fish hatchery, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, tennis courts, and more.

9. Marymere Falls

Marymere Falls

Location: Olympic National Park

Height of Waterfall: 90 feet

Required Pass: National Park Pass

Found in the Olympic Peninsula, Marymere Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Olympic National Park. The waterfall boasts the park’s best hiking trail and proximity to Lake Crescent, where you’ll find multiple places to stay in the Olympic Peninsula.

Many Marymere Falls visitors walk the two-mile trail in the morning on this easy Olympic National Park hike, then spend the rest of their day sailing, kayaking, and enjoying the beaches of the lake. It’s easy to add to your Olympic National Park day trip since it doesn’t take long to walk to.

10. Comet Falls

comet falls rainier

Location: Mount Rainier National Park

Height of Waterfall: 392 feet

Required Pass: National Park Pass

Located along Van Trump Creek, Comet Falls is Mount Rainier’s most incredible waterfall, with Spray Falls or Narada Falls being close challengers. These falls also provide the best Mount Rainier hikes. Comet Falls is the park’s tallest waterfall featuring a freefall off the valley and multiple switchbacks and cascades.

While on the 1.9-mile walk to the falls, be sure to catch attractive views of smaller waterfalls like Bloucher Falls, cascades of the creek, and occasional peaks at Mount Rainier’s Summit. Getting here is also one of the best scenic drives in Washington, so enjoy it.

11. Tumwater Falls

Photo from Facebook

Location: Brewery Park

Height of Waterfall: 82 feet

Required Pass: None

The historic Tumwater Falls is located on the bank of the Deschutes River, surrounded by a 15-acre well-kept park featuring hiking trails and views of the inoperative Olympia Brewing Company. 

As you walk along Tumwater Falls Park, you’ll find descriptive signs revealing the history of the brewery area and picturesque footbridges, giving you a superior position of the river’s cascading water.

Park visitors can experience the iconic salmon run in September and October. The unique opportunity gives you a close-up of the salmon passing through the constructed fish ladder in the river.

12. Lewis River Falls

Photo from NPS 

Location: Cougar

Height of Waterfall: 134 feet

Required Pass: NW Forest Pass

Located in the Lewis Region of Southwest Washington, these falls are split into three levels. The 43-feet Lower Falls is the most scenic. The 200-feet wide Lower Falls feature churning water flows and many spectacular viewpoints.

Less than two miles upstream, you’ll find the Middle Falls, boasting clear waters and a stunning riverbed. Walk a little further upstream, and you run into the Upper Falls tucked in between short trees and shrubbery. You can also catch a glimpse of the 32-feet Lower Copper Creek Falls along the trail, arranged in a classic formation.

13. Teneriffe Falls

teneriffe falls
Image via Flickr by Trailspotter

Location: North Bend

Height of Waterfall: 2370 feet

Required Pass: Discover Pass

Located in the Snoqualmie region, Teneriffe Falls is another stunning waterfall near Seattle. To get the best views of these falls, you’ll have to work up a sweat. With 22 switchbacks, the falls feature steep elevations, slippery rocks, and a thick green forest.

You’ll find the best viewpoint at the Upper Falls, which feature a flat but relatively small overlook.

Tip: Wear durable shoes or hiking boots!

14. Franklin Falls

franklin falls hike

Location: North Bend 

Height of Waterfall: 135 feet

Required Pass: Recreation Pass

Located in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Franklin Falls is less than an hour’s drive from Seattle. This three-tiered waterfall has a minimal elevation gain, thus making it perfect for family hikes.

Your trail starts at the south fork of the Snoqualmie River. However, you’ll only see 70 feet of the drop. For a more intimate experience, carefully follow the slippery path to a misty pool underneath the falls.

15. Coal Creek Falls

coal creek falls
Image via Flickr by Orion Kahza

Location: Bellevue

Height of Waterfall: 28 feet

Required Pass: None

Coal Creek Falls is only 13 miles southeast of Seattle, situated in the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park. These falls are suitably located for one-day trips or hikes, and good for a Washington winter hike, as they don’t get much snow. The park has a maze of trails, so be sure to bring a map to avoid confusion.

On your way to Coal Creek Falls, you’ll take the Cave Hole Trail. A flight of stairs will lead you down to the falls after walking less than a mile past cedar trees, dense ferns, and salmonberry.

For a hundred years, coal mining was synonymous with Cougar Mountain. So don’t be alarmed when you spot large holes along the trail. 

16. Iron Creek Falls

Photo from Facebook

Location: Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Height of Waterfall: 365 feet

Required Pass: None

Located Northeast of Mount St. Helens, this forest waterfall is among the less-visited in Washington. This pretty waterfall meanders through a channeled cliff before plunging down an erosion-resistant rockbed into a large blue pool.

To get to Iron Creek Falls, you’ll walk a short 0.1-mile trail from Forest Service Road 25 to the viewing platform. The fall’s water flow is heaviest in Spring and Summer but tamer throughout the year, becoming more photogenic.

17. Silver Falls

Silver Falls hikes

Location: Mount Rainier National Park

Height of Waterfall: 40 feet

Required Pass: National Parking Pass

Found along the Ohanapecosh River, Silver Falls is surrounded by a deep forest with rocky slopes, many footbridges, and overlooks. Although the drop is relatively minimal, the looping trail to Siver Falls runs adjacent to the winding river, giving you the most-incredible forest views and access to other waterfalls, like the 27-feet Drake Falls.

18. Bridal Veil Falls

bridal veil falls hike

Location: Central Cascades – Stevens Pass

Height of Waterfall: 1,328 feet 

Required Pass: Northwest Forest Pass

Running through a Lake Serene cliff, the seven-tiered waterfall is among the tallest Washington State falls. The impressive drop plummets down countless granite slabs, falling on the rocks below and splashing visitors as they ascend to the base of the cascade.

To get to Bridal Veils Falls, you’ll walk 1.5 miles down the Lake Serene trail until it forks left. You’ll catch a glimpse of the lower falls as you walk across a footbridge. Keep right and begin ascending, climbing through a rocky path and numerous stairways.

19. Falls Creek Falls

Photo by R. Hui Photo

Location: Columbia River Gorge

Height of Waterfall: 335 feet

Required Pass: None

Located less than 13 miles from Winthrop, Falls Creek Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. The three-tiered drop is accessible via a paved trail with slightly steep inclines.

As you walk down the trail, you’ll follow a gentle switchback from the lower viewpoint to the top of the Lower Falls. A little further along, the path becomes steeper and narrower before reaching a flat area, where you’ll catch the sights of two more waterfalls. 

Upper Falls Creek is a little further up and can be enjoyed across the narrow gorge from a suspension bridge.

20. Myrtle Falls

Myrtle Falls Mount Rainier

Location: Mount Rainier National Park

Height of Waterfall: 72 feet

Required Pass: National Park Pass

Located a stone’s throw from Paradise Glacier’s main visitors’ area, Myrtle Falls offers the most stunning backdrop views of Mount Rainier. Follow the Skyline or Golden Gate trails eastwards until you reach Edith Creek Basin to get to the falls.

Cross a small footbridge over the basin, veer left off the path, and find the Myrtle Falls viewpoint, one of the best trail sightings in the park. 

21. Narada Falls

Photo from NPS

Location: Mount Rainier National Park

Height of Waterfall: 188 feet

Required Pass: National Park Pass

Easily observable from the Longmire to Paradise road, Narada Falls is one of the Washington waterfalls that you will not need to hike to see it. The two-tiered waterfall is accessible by car. However, visitors can take a closer look by taking a short 5-10 minute slippery trail from the Paradise River bridge down to the overlook. 

The falls can also be seen on the pedestrian bridge over the upper tier. Narada Falls boasts many picnic tables, restrooms, and trails to scenic vantage points. You can even visit this during wintertime at Mt. Rainier.

Which one of these waterfalls in Washington state are you going to see first?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.