Thanks to the state’s volcanic terrain and abundance of fresh water, Washington is home to many incredible waterfalls. We have selected a variety of bucket list-worthy cascades, from ones that require a few miles of hiking to others that can be seen from the parking lot. Whether you’re local or visiting from out-of-state, these natural wonders will make your journey worth it. Let’s explore 10 of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state!
1. Palouse Falls
Palouse Falls is the official state waterfall of Washington, so it’s only fitting that it falls first on the list (pun not intended). Located in eastern WA north of Perry, access to this awe-inspiring waterfall on the Palouse River can get a little tricky. While you can hike up a short trail, it is rocky, steep and very difficult. Only very experienced hikers wearing proper gear should attempt the dangerous trek. For those who don’t fall into that camp, drive up to the overlook for incredible views of the 198-foot waterfall.
2. Marymere Falls
Olympic National Park is home to many cascades, including this 90-foot-high beauty. After almost two miles of hiking, you will reach Marymere Falls. Pack a snack to sit amongst the mossy green forest and watch the water flow. We recommend hitting the trails before 10 am to beat the crowds!
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3. Panther Creek Falls
Located near Carson by the Washington-Oregon border, Panther Creek Falls is a unique, spidery waterfall. The overlook is just a few steps from the parking area, but we recommend hiking about ½ mile to the bottom of the falls. The view is spectacular either way – with two tiers of waterfalls 50+ feet tall.
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4. Cascade Falls
We’re filling you in on this hidden gem, because we trust you to maintain the trail’s beauty. This local favorite waterfall is located near Eastsound on Orcas Island. Instead of following the crowds, veer off to Cascade Falls Trail for an 0.8-mile hike. The waterfalls are especially strong from March until October, so we recommend heading here in the spring and early summer for beautiful wildflower views as well.
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5. Snoqualmie Falls
This 270-foot waterfall is one of Washington State’s most popular natural attractions. Located in Snoqualmie, WA, it was famously featured on the cult tv show, Twin Peaks. Get to the Snoqualmie Falls Trail bright and early or visit on a weekday, so you can peacefully hike without the crowds. This is the most visited waterfall in the state, after all! After conquering the 1.6-mile trail, listen to the thundering falls and soak in the grace. If you don’t want to hike, the parking lot is right across the street with accessible lookouts. In fact, the overlook and grounds above the falls are popular spot to get married.
6. Twin Falls
This striking two-tier waterfall is located in Olallie State Park, about an hour from Seattle. Show up early to beat the crowds who love this 2.5-mile out-and-back trail. The moderate trek takes you down stairs, across bridges, and through lush, green vegetation to the bold 165-foot cascade.
7. Madison Falls
Stop at Madison Falls on your way into Olympic National Park. This statuesque waterfall is visible after just a short walk from the parking area. Admire the striking 60-foot cascades, but don’t forget to also look down at the gorgeous river too. The vibrant green forest, smooth pebbles, and roaring falls make this a great place to pause and reflect on the beauty of nature.
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8. Falls Creek Falls
There are two excellent trails that lead you to gushing waterfalls northwest of Hood River. Up for a longer hike? Take the Lower Falls Creek Trail through forests and past wildflowers for a moderate, 3.2-mile journey. If you need an easier hike, walk 0.3 miles along an accessible, paved path. No matter which trail you pick, the stunning falls are sure to impress.
9. Sol Duc Falls
Want to go on an easy hike to a beautiful waterfall? Head to the end of Duc Hot Springs Road in Olympic National Park to start your trek. This 1.6-mile out-and-back trail leads you through old-growth forest to the three-pronged Sol Duc Falls. Rest on the platform at the end of the trail, and watch the falls race under a scenic wooden bridge.
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10. Wallace Falls
Head to Wallace Falls State Park in the northwest part of the state to see another jaw-dropping downpour. Pack plenty of water and snacks for this 5-mile out-and-back hike. Although the journey is moderately difficult, the payoff is definitely worth it. You will feel encouraged to continue after spotting the falls about 2 miles in. This 265-foot tall cascade is actually a combination of nine waterfalls.