Best of the West

Here are the top 50 waterfalls that I have personally visited inthe western U.S.A. and Canada. It was quite a task to come up with this list, and is obviously very subjective, taking a number of factors into consideration: the appearance, power, and grace of the waterfall, and (most importantly) my personal experience at the waterfall. Only waterfalls in the western U.S.A. and Canada are considered.

 

1.  Della Falls

Strathcona Park, BC

Della Falls will always be most special to me because it is where I proposed to my wonderful wife, Tara. Located on Vancouver Island, it is "officially" considered the tallest waterfall in Canada (though there are unofficial ones that are taller). It is a wonderful experience getting to the falls, requiring a long boat ride across Great Central Lake, a full day's hike to the falls, and camping near the base of the waterfall.

2.  New York Canyon Falls

Foresthill, CA

New York Canyon Falls is located in a remote canyon of the North Fork American River, one of the most spectacular and rugged canyons in CA. This incredible waterfall drops about 500 ft. and has no trails leading to it, making it very difficult to reach (and very rewarding).

3.  Yosemite Falls

Yosemite, CA

Yosemite Falls, at 2425 ft. high, is the highest waterfall in North America. In the spring, the amount of water pouring over the falls is unbelievable, one of the few absolute must-see waterfalls on the planet.

4.  Havasu Falls

Supai, AZ

Havasu Falls is paradise on Earth. Located in a remote part of the Grand Canyon, it requires a long10 mile hike to reach the Havasupai village and falls. The beauty of Havasu is unrivalled.

5.  Helmcken Falls

Wells Gray Park, BC

Helmcken Falls in northern British Columbia is one of the most magnificent and powerful waterfalls I have seen. It is the waterfall that caused me to first become a waterfall addict.

6.  Lower Yellowstone Falls

Yellowstone, WY

The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the most inspiring of the many waterfalls in Yellowstone Natl .Park. Although the viewpoints are busy during the day, if you arrive at first light with no one around, the experience at these falls is incredible.

7.  Vernal Falls

Yosemite, CA

Next to Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls is my favourite of the waterfalls in Yosemite. Perhaps it is the appearance of it, dropping in a wide sheet of raging water, or perhaps it is because you can walk up the stairs right beside it, feeling the full power of the falls on your face and body.

8.  Feather Falls

Oroville, CA

Feather Falls is one of my favourite waterfalls in northern CA, because it is fairly close to where I live and a great hike to do. At 410 ft. high, it is spectacular to visit in the spring.

9.  Nevada Falls

Yosemite, CA

Just upstream of Vernal Falls is this 597 ft. high monster called Nevada Falls. The trail leads right up beside this waterfall as well, with great picnic spots at the top.

10.  Bridalveil Falls

Yosemite, CA

Rounding out my top 10 is this fourth waterfall in Yosemite Natl. Park! You think Yosemite is a fantastic place to visit for waterfalls? You got it!

11.  Takakkaw Falls

Yoho Natl. Park, BC

Takakkaw means "magnificent" in Cree, and this1250 ft. high waterfall in Yoho Natl. Park certainly is that.

12.  Wabena Falls

Foresthill, CA

A yet another fantastic waterfall on the North Fork American River, plunging 65 ft. Its remoteness and beauty is unparalleled.

13.  Mooney Falls

Supai, AZ

A towering and breathtaking waterfall of about 200 ft. in height, in Grand Canyon Natl. Park by Havasu Falls.

14.  Lower Oneonta Falls

Columbia Gorge, OR

Of all the many waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge, Lower Oneonta is the most special, the most unique, the most beautiful. It requires wading up the creek, with water perhaps up to your chest, and negotiating around a huge log jam as well.

15.  White Cascade

Yosemite Natl Park, CA

White Cascade is the prettiest of all the many spectacular waterfalls on the Tuolumne River, yet so powerful at the same time.

16.  Proxy Falls

Sisters, OR

An absolutely dazzling 200 ft. high waterfall in the Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon.

17.  Canyon Creek Falls

Gold Run, CA

Big waterfalls abound along Canyon Creek on the way to the North Fork American River, the highest being about 120 ft.

18.  Heath Falls

Soda Springs, CA

The first of several waterfalls along the beautiful North Fork American River. It is an incredibly lovely 45 ft. plunge, nestled back in a scenic gorge.

19.  Waimoku Falls

Kipahulu, HI

A towering 400 ft. high waterfall on the south east end of Maui. It is a refreshing experience standing at the base of this giant falls.

20.  Petroglyph Falls

Soda Springs, CA

The largest natural waterfall on the North Fork American River. It drops an amazing 80 ft. in two tiers, in the heart of the stunningly beautiful Royal Gorge.

21.  Latourell Falls

Columbia Gorge, OR

Towering, stunning, and beautiful, Latourell Falls plunges 249 ft. off a cliff covered in yellow lichen.

22.  Waterwheel Falls

Yosemite Natl Park, CA

It is a very long 9 mile (1 way) hike down to see spectacular Waterwheel Falls on the Tuolumne River, but worth every step of the way, a magnificent 314 ft. high cascade with two incredible waterwheels.

23.  Wahclella Falls

Columbia Gorge, OR

It is a very easy hike to see this magnificent waterfall on Tanner Creek.

24.  Seven Falls

Oroville, CA

A series of seven spectacular waterfalls along the South Branch Middle Fork of the Feather River, each of them at least 40 ft. high.

25.  Grouse Falls

Foresthill, CA

In the spring, Grouse Falls is a powerful force dropping 600+ ft. off a steep cliff into a deep canyon, in the North Fork Middle Fork of the American River.

26.  'Opaeka'a Falls

Kapa'a, HI

A pretty cascade about 150 ft. high, along 'Opaeka'a Stream, in Kapa'a on the east side of Kauai.

27.  Wilson Creek Falls

New Denver, BC

One of the most spectacular waterfalls in British Columbia. Wilson Creek plummets a huge 207 ft.

28.  Multnomah Falls

Columbia Riv. Gorge, OR

Multnomah Falls is THE place to stop in the Columbia River Gorge area, a towering waterfall 611 ft. high.

29.  Mossbrae Falls

Dunsmuir, CA

A very unique waterfall cascading from springs down the moss-covered canyon wall into the Sacramento River.

30.  Stevenson Creek Falls

Shaver Lake, CA

At about 950 ft. high, this is one amazing waterfall on Stevenson Creek below Shaver Lake, but it can be tricky to catch it at just the right flow.

31.  Wailua Falls

Kauai, HI

The must-see waterfall to visit on the garden island of Kauai, a spectacular 80 ft. high falls.

32.  Phantom Falls

Oroville, CA

The best of many waterfalls on Table Mountain in Oroville, this one plunges 134 ft. in Coal Canyon. Best seen in the winter after plenty of rain.

33.  Koosah Falls

Sisters, OR

A terrific waterfall appearing in two segments, dropping about 80 ft. along the McKenzie River.

34.  Rainbow Falls

Mammoth Lakes, CA

In the Eastern Sierra, this is the best waterfall without question, plunging 101 ft on the Middle Fork San Joaquin River.

35.  McWay Falls

Big Sur, CA

One of the most scenic waterfalls in California, if not the entire world, McWay Falls plunges 80 ft. off a cliff into the ocean in an incredibly scenic little cove.

36.  Upper Mesa Falls

Ashton, ID

An absolutely awesome waterfall dropping about 114 ft. on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River.

37.  Burney Falls

Burney, CA

A spectacular waterfall and very pretty waterfall130 ft. high, in northern California.

38.  Toketee Falls

Diamond Lake, OR

The jewel of the North Umpqua River, and very easy to hike to.

39.  Upper Yellowstone Falls

Yellowstone, WY

A 109 ft. high falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone a short distance upstream from the Lower Falls.

40.  Tsusiat Falls

West Coast Trail, BC

What is really great about this waterfall, which falls onto the beach, is the pool that you can go swimming in. After 3 or 4 days of hard hiking, believe me, this is just what the doctor ordered.

41.  Elowah Falls

Columbia Gorge, OR

Very beautiful, very scenic, very elegant, Elowah is another must see waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge.

42.  Horsetail Falls

Strawberry, CA

The impressive Horsetail Falls cascades 500 ft. down the mountain from busy Highway 50 on the way to South Lake Tahoe.

43.  Sahalie Falls

Sisters, OR

A high, glorious waterfall on the McKenzie River crashing 100+ feet over a lava cliff

44.  Palisade Falls

Soda Springs, CA

Crashes 40 ft. down on the North Fork American River, in a remote and beautiful canyon.

45.  Middle Fork Tuolumne Falls

Harden Flat, CA

A stunning 182 ft. waterfall on the Middle Fork Tuolumne River, very easy to reach, yet so very unknown.

46.  Upper Bridal Veil Falls

Columbia Gorge, OR

Hidden away in the Columbia River Gorge, this one is difficult but an adventure to see.

47.  East Snow Mtn Falls

Soda Springs, CA

A gargantuan cascade dropping a whopping 2200 ft. off the east side of Snow Mountain. This makes East Snow Mountain Falls the second highest known waterfall in California, second only to Yosemite Falls

48.  Lower Eagle Falls

South Lake Tahoe, CA

An awesome 150 ft. waterfall, dropping into Lake Tahoe, at Emerald Bay.

49.  Punch Bowl Falls

Columbia Gorge, OR

A classic in every way, this is a very scenic little falls in the Gorge.

50.  Alamere Falls

Bolinas, CA

A 50 ft. waterfall dropping right into the ocean. What more could you ask for!

 

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