The perfect weather for enjoying the great outdoors is upon us. What better way to escape the hustle and bustle then to take a hike and snap some enviable photos of beautiful waterfalls? The U.S. is home to many awe-inspiring cascades, from the famous falls in Yosemite to lesser-known gems in New York. Make some quick getaway plans to these scenic and close-to-home destinations before winter arrives.
1. Perhaps one of the most famous U.S. waterfalls, Yosemite Falls, is also one of the world’s tallest cascades. At 2,425 ft., this giant can be seen from many of the beautiful hiking trails in California’s Yosemite National Park. If you want to skip the strenuous, all-day hike to the Uppermost falls, an easy one-mile loop offers a great view from the base of the lower falls.2. Prefer your waterfalls in a woodsy setting? Ramona Falls trickles down an expanse of velvety green rock face at the heart of Oregon’s Mount Hood forest hiking trail. Surrounded by tall trees and mist, this glistening beauty is a magical must-see. You can spend approximately four hours admiring the scenery on the moderate hiking trail that leads past Sandy River and through Mt. Hood’s forests.3. If you’re searching for some truly impressive scenery, visit Palouse Falls in Washington State at sunset. The jewel of the expansive Palouse Falls State Park, this 200 ft. waterfall thunders down into an impressive canyon that looks especially dramatic in the golden light of sunset.4. Perhaps one of the most unique waterfalls you’ll come across in North America is Ruby Falls in Chattanooga. Take a guided cave tour to learn the fascinating history of the underground tunnels and caverns you’ll trek through to reach the 145 ft. underground waterfall glistening in multi-colored lighting. Named after the wife of the explorer who first tunneled through the earth to discover it, Ruby Falls has been a refuge to Native Americans, wanted outlaws, Civil War soldiers, and other interesting characters throughout the years.5. While most Arizona tourists get their fill of beautiful scenery visiting the Grand Canyon, they miss out on the magnificence of Grand Falls. Visitors will need to apply for a hiking permit from the Navajo Nation and travel deep into the Painted Desert to see these “Chocolate Falls,” but the view is well worth the extra effort. The muddy falls are more than 180 ft. tall and are known for their powerful spray, which creates a rainbow effect throughout the desert valley.
- In New York State, far removed from the smoggy city, lives the Grand Canyon of the East. Letchworth Park is home to a huge, three-part waterfall rushing through the 550 ft. canyon of the Genesee River Gorge. Lower Falls, Middle Falls, and Upper Falls are all clearly visible from a paved walkway at the top of the canyon, but there are many more hiking trails in Letchworth Park with other inspirational cascades and views. Enjoy!