9 Gorgeous Waterfalls in Washington To Add To Your Washington Waterfall Bucket List!

Visiting Washington State and looking for the best Waterfalls? Well, Washington Waterfalls are gorgeous, to say the least, and there’s a good variety of them; not every waterfall in Washington will be draped with evergreen forest; some are located in drier environments, some are near caves, and some are massive!

So let’s get started on our guide to the best waterfalls in Washington! We live in Washington so we know a thing for two about what’s overrated and what’s amazing!

What Makes Washington Waterfalls So Amazing?

Waterfalls in Washington are absolutely stunning; most waterfalls in the PNW are gorgeous. But something about Washington waterfalls is a step above the rest, from the variety of sceneries you can explore and witness. The varying degree of difficulty allows travelers of all levels to experience some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Washington. As well as the

How Many Waterfalls are there in Washington?

There are over 3000 waterfalls officially named and located in Washington State.

Waterfalls in Washington Packing List

  • Waterproof shoes (hiking shoes)
  • Water socks or water shoes meant for walking in water
  • Swimsuit
  • Sun hat
  • Umbrella or poncho for the sprays and mists of the waterfall
  • Change of clothes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Trekking poles
  • Hiking gear
  • Safety Kit
  • Reusable water bottle and life straw
  • Waterproof bag
  • Battery pack for charging phone
  • Map
  • Water tight case or bag for valuables such as phone, wallet, car keys, etc.

Waterfalls In Washington Tips

  1. Show up early for the best views and best photos with smaller crowds and more available parking spaces.
  2. Always bring sunscreen, comfortable shoes and clothing.
  3. Stay on official trails for your own safety.
  4. Keep pets and children supervised at all times.
  5. Be prepared and purchase any recreational passes ahead of time.
  6. Bring extra water and a life straw just in case!
Washington falls - franklin falls
Franklin Falls

9 Best Waterfalls in Washington

1. Franklin Falls

Why You Should Visit Franklin Falls in Washington

Franklin falls standing at around 70 feet is located in the Snoqualmie pass region. The trail is about 2 miles long and is relatively easy with only 400 feet in elevation gain. The trail being easy makes it perfect for kids. Dogs are allowed on leash and be sure to pick up after them so the trail is kept nice and cleanly for all to enjoy.

This is a very popular trail and Washington destination, so be sure to arrive early to enjoy the views and the walk without it being too crowded. Plus, you can get better photos earlier in the day since you won’t have a ton of people in the background.

There is a parking lot that has room for about 30 vehicles at the trailhead marker. But if this parking lot is full there is another parking lot just a little further past the trailhead.

Franklin Falls Facts

Location: Franklin Falls is located on the Snoqualmie River just East of North Bend, WA.

Destination is located approximately 1 hour from Seattle, WA.

Destination is located approximately 1.5 hours from Yakima, WA.

Waterfall height:70 feet

Recreational Passes needed: Northwest Forest Pass

Dogs allowed? Yes, only on leash.

Camping permitted? No

Snoqualmie falls
Snoqualmie Falls copyright @ theadaptive via depositphotos.com

2. Snoqualmie Falls

Why You Should Visit Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie falls is a very famous well-known waterfall in Washington State. It’s also a short drive from Seattle! The falls draw in roughly 1.5 million visitors every year. There is free parking at the upper and lower lots and admission for the falls is completely free.

This waterfall area has two viewpoints that are going to be the upper and lower viewpoints. There is a small relatively easy 0.7 mile hike to get from the upper viewpoint to the lower viewpoint. The trail is kid friendly, pet friendly and is great for beginning hikers.

Snoqualmie Falls Facts

Location: Snoqualmie falls is located in Snoqualmie, WA.

From Seattle: Destination is approximately 50 minutes from Seattle, WA.

From Ellensburg: Destination is approximately 1.5 hours from Ellensburg, WA.

Waterfall height: 270 feet

Recreational Passes/Admission cost: None, Free. Though parking may cost depending on the lot used as some are free and some cost.

Dogs allowed? Yes, on a leash

Hours: From sun up until sun down every day.

Palouse Falls
Palouse Falls copyright @ esloyka via depositphotos.com

3. Palouse Falls

Why You Should Visit Palouse Falls in Washington

Palouse Falls is a famous and absolutely gorgeous waterfall on the Palouse River in Eastern Washington. The waterfall is part of a 95-acre camping state park with a history dating back to the Ice Age.

The waterfall has also been named as the official waterfall of Washington State. We love that this fall offers stunning views of the canyon area, but we are bummed about not being able to go into the canyon anymore. Still the top viewing area offers awesome views!

The waterfall has a 200 feet drop into a canyon down below. However, again the viewing area at the base of the falls has been closed due to accidents. There are picnic tables, restrooms and camping areas located at the park for first come, first serve usage. Several trails in the park are all relatively easy to do and are great for kids and all hikers alike.

Palouse Falls Facts

Location:

Palouse Falls is located on the Snake River in southeastern Washington.

From Seattle: Destination is located approximately 4 hours from Seattle, WA.

From Spokane: Destination is located approximately 2 hours from Spokane, WA.

Waterfall height: 200 feet

Dogs Allowed? Yes, on a leash

Hours: Day use only

Recreational Pass needed? Yes, a Discover pass is needed. There is an automated pay station located at the park where you should be able to purchase a discover pass through the machine. Though we recommend purchasing before to be extra prepared.

4. Lava Canyon Falls

About:

This is a 200 foot drop waterfall located in Skamania County Washington. The waterfall features several portions of a hiking trail that differ in difficulty. The beginning portion of the trail is relatively easy to start out with. Eventually you will reach a suspension bridge (The suspension bridge is closed temporarily due to cable damage) which after crossing the trail will get harder. Then the lower canyon area is pretty hard with a river crossing and a descent further into the canyon. Since the suspension bridge is closed its unfortunately not possible to continue on with the trail for the time being.

There are restrooms located at the trailhead. Be sure to stay on the trail at all times so you and everyone around you can stay safe. This waterfall is special because it was formed by lava flow. So, you can actually see the path the lava took to form the way. Plus there are other lava formations to check out in the area.

Lava Canyon Falls Facts

Waterfall height: 200 feet

Recreational Passes needed: Northwest Forest Pass or $5 per vehicle per day.

Amenities: Toilet at trailhead.

Dogs Allowed? Yes, on leash.

Campgrounds? No

Location: Palouse Falls is located on the Snake River in southeastern Washington.

From Seattle: Destination is approximately 3.5 hours from Seattle, WA.

From Yakima: Destination is approximately 4 hours from Yakima, WA.

From Vancouver: Destination is approximately 1.5 hours from Vancouver, WA.

Lower Lewis River Falls
Lower Lewis River Falls Copyright @ pngstudio via depositphotos.com

5. Lower Lewis River Falls

About:

Lower Lewis River Falls is an amazing waterfall standing at 43 feet tall and 200 feet wide. The waterfall is located in a mossy forest that serves the most picturesque views to go with this beautiful waterfall.

There is a long trail that can be hiked to explore the forest and river on top of several water falls. If you’d wish to explore these other parts of the trails there are several trail entrance points from the Lower Lewis River Trailhead to the Curly Creek Trailhead to the Quartz Creek Trailhead. Otherwise the main Lower Lewis River Trailhead is about 9 miles roundtrip

Location: Lower Lewis River Falls is located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

From Seattle: Destination is approximately 3.5 hours from Seattle, WA.

From Yakima: Destination is approximately 4 hours from Yakima, WA.

From Vancouver: Destination is approximately 1.5 hours from Vancouver, WA.

Waterfall height: 43 feet

Recreational Passes needed: Parking permits are needed for this recreational area. The permit should be purchased and printed ahead of time on the Recreation.gov website. You will also need to purchase a Northwest Forest Pass for this recreational area as well.

Amenities: Toilet at trailhead

Campgrounds? Yes, the Lower Lewis River Campgrounds

Dry Falls
Dry Falls copyright @ Amenohi via depositphotos.com

6. Dry Falls

About:

This isn’t a current waterfall but is more so the remnants of a once great waterfall that was estimated to be 5 times the width of the niagara falls and thought to have had more water flow than ever seen before. This waterfall existed during the period of the last glaciation or otherwise more commonly known as the Ice Age. This once great waterfall was located in the Upper Grand Coulee and had a 400 foot drop.

It’s important to visit historical sites like these to learn about the past and the events that took place during the great Ice Age. This area is evidence enough of how much the world was impacted and formed during the Ice Age. Now all thats left are cliffs where the waterfall once was and a lake.

This is a state park so there are tons of other things to do and more to explore in the great outdoors of Washington! Be sure to come prepared and purchase a discover pass ahead of time. There is an automated machine so you can purchase one on site by debit or credit if need be. There is also a free visitor center where you can learn more about the history and geology of the area.

Dry Falls Facts

Location: Dry Falls is located in Grant County, WA on the Grand Coulee.

From Seattle: Dry Falls is located roughly 3.5 hours from Seattle, WA.

From Spokane: Dry Falls is located approximately 2 hours 10 minutes from Spokane, WA.

From Vancouver, WA: Dry Falls is located about 5.5 hours from Vancouver, WA.

Recreational Passes needed: Discover Pass is needed.

Amenities: Toilet, Campground, 15 miles of hiking trails, 90 picnic tables, dock for boats, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, museum, wildlife viewing and more!

Dogs Allowed? Yes, on leash.

Campgrounds? Yes, Sun Lakes- Dry Falls State Park has campgrounds.

7. Colonial Creek falls

About:

Colonial Creek Falls over 2500 feet in several drops and is about 4200 feet wide. The waterfall itself is not well known which is so interesting considering that it is one of the tallest in the entire world.

The tallest waterfall in the continental United States just so happens to be located in Washington State of all places. This is the tallest in the conintental U.S. meaning its taller than the well known Niagara Falls and Yosemite Falls even which is crazy to think about.

Colonial Creek Falls Facts

Location: Colonial Creek Falls is located in the North Cascades National Park.

From Seattle: Approximately 2.5 hours from Seattle, WA.

From Spokane: Roughly 6.5 hours from Spokane, WA.

From Vancouver: Approximately 5 hours from Vancouver, WA.

Amenities: Toilets

Waterfall height:approximately 2568 feet

Recreational Passes needed: None

Dogs allowed? Yes, on leash only.

Campgrounds? Yes

8. Husum Falls

About:

This waterfall is more of a short drop with the drop height being 12 feet. This is what makes this the perfect area from white water rafting. This area is super popular amongst kayakers and white water rafters due to the rapids and the short drop waterfall that adds some adrenaline to the ride.

This is a class V waterfall which means you will need to be an experienced boater or experienced white water rafter. If you have no experience you will need a guide to explore the falls.

Remember to always wear a life vest if venturing into the water as the currents are so dangerous and can sweep even the strongest of swimmers away. Always bring with you a first aid kit and remember that safety is of the utmost importance.

Husum Falls Facts

Location: Located in Husum, WA.

From Seattle: Located approximately 4 hours from Seattle, WA.

From Spokane: Located approximately 5 hours from Spokane, WA.

From Vancouver: Located roughly 1.5 hours from Vancouver, WA.

Waterfall height: 12 feet

Recreational Passes needed: None

Dogs allowed? Yes on leash. But not recommended as they can fall in the water and be swept away with the current if you lose handle of the leash.

PeeWee Falls

About:

This is a very unique waterfall located on a dam right next to a campground in the northeast corner of Washington State. The waterfall has underground caves just 5-10 minutes from it that serve as a super hidden gem.

To visit the caves it is by tour only and only occurs on specific days, so be sure when you head there that it’s a touring day and that you arrive early to sign up for the tour. If touring the caves, be sure to bring a flashlight and waterproof clothing in case it’s wet or dripping inside. Please note that typically pets are not allowed inside the caves.

The waterfall is only accessible by water so either by boat, paddleboard, kayak, canoe, etc. Be sure to wear a life vest as the current can move very fast. Safety is of the utmost importance!

PeeWee Falls Facts

Location: Located in Boundary Dam Campground in Washington.

From Seattle: Located roughly 6.5 hours from Seattle, WA.

From Spokane: Located approximately 2.5 hours from Spokane, WA.

From Vancouver: Located approximately 8 hours from Vancouver, WA.

Waterfall height: 200 feet

Dogs allowed? Yes, on leash. Keep pets supervised as currents and rapids can be pretty strong in the water.

Recreational pass needed? Discover Pass, Campgrounds are free!

Campgrounds: Yes

Amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, bear proof containers, restrooms, boat launch, RV parking, car tent sites, walk in tent sites and more!

Washington Waterfalls FAQ

How many waterfalls are in Washington State?

There are over 3000 waterfalls located in the evergreen state, Washington.

What is the tallest waterfall in Washington State?

The tallest waterfall in Washington is Colonial Creek Falls with a drop height of over 2500 feet. This makes Colonial Creek Falls the tallest waterfall in the continental United States.

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