California is known for its stunning landscapes and abundance of natural wonders. From snow-capped mountains to lush forests, nothing is off limits to those looking for a destination to explore. If waterfalls are your thing, however, you need look no further than California. In this article, we will showcase ten of the best waterfall locations in California, from Yosemite to the Santa Monica Mountains. So whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a scenic drive, these waterfalls are sure to please.
1. Angel’s Landing
Angel’s Landing is a waterfall located in the Sequoia National Park near Visalia, California. The falls are named after an angel that is said to have perched atop a nearby rock, showering hikers with her wingspan-full of water. The falls can be viewed from various points in the park and are considered one of the most scenic locations in the park.
2. Cathedral Rocks
If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful waterfalls in California, look no further than Cathedral Rocks. The geology here is distinctly beautiful, with red and white sandstone pillars standing out against the blue of the California sky. The falls themselves are impressive and well worth a visit, though be sure to time your visit so that the water is at its best; it can get pretty crowded here!
3. Donner Summit
The Donner Summit is a hiking destination in California that features three beautiful waterfalls. The falls are located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and are within a short drive of Lake Tahoe. The Donner Summit Trail is moderate and only takes about two hours to complete. There are also several shorter trails that lead to the waterfalls, so there is something for everyone at the summit.
The first waterfall you will reach is Eagle Falls. This waterfall has a height of 49 feet and a width of 18 feet. It can be reached by taking the Donner Summit Trail to its east end and following an unmarked trail down to the falls.
The next waterfall is called Fall Creek Falls. This waterfall has a height of 45 feet and a width of 15 feet. It can be reached by taking the Donner Summit Trail to its west end and then following an unmarked trail down to the falls.
The final waterfall at the summit is called Spray Falls. This waterfall has a height of 43 feet and a width of 12 feet. It can be reached by taking the Donner Summit Trail from its east end and following an unmarked trail down to the falls.
4. Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls is a series of cascades located in the Lassen National Forest, approximately 45 minutes north of Reno, Nevada. The falls are accessible by a short walk from the Fall Creek Campground. The falls can be viewed from various vantage points and make for an enjoyable hike or picnic destination.
The lower falls are relatively easy to see, while the upper falls require a bit of scrambling to get to. Both falls have beautiful pools at their base that make for great swimming spots in summertime. Fall Creek Falls is one of the more easily accessible waterfall hikes in Northern California, so it is a popular spot for visitors from around the area.
5. Geysers of the Upper Geyser Basin
The geysers of the Upper Geyser Basin are some of the most spectacular sights in California. This basin is located in Yellowstone National Park and contains twenty geysers, including Old Faithful, which sprays water out every hour on average. The hot spring basins here also contain a variety of other thermal features, such as mud pots and hot tubs. Visitors can explore the area on foot or by horseback, and many outfitters offer guided tours.
6. High Peaks Wilderness
The High Peaks Wilderness covers an area of more than 950,000 acres in the eastern Sierra Nevada. It’s one of the most diverse wilderness areas in California and is home to peaks over 12,000 feet. The wilderness includes dozens of beautiful waterfalls, some of which are accessible only by foot or horseback.
Some of the highlights of the High Peaks Wilderness include Chester Lake, Phelps Lake, Thimble Peak, Mount Whitney, and Half Dome. The lakes and falls are perfect places to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.
7. Indian Bar Campground
If you’re looking for a scenic California waterfall trip, look no further than Indian Bar Campground. The campground is located just minutes from three beautiful waterfalls: Lower Yosemite Falls, Middle Yosemite Falls and Upper Yosemite Falls. All three falls can be seen by hiking just a short distance from the campground entrance. In addition to the waterfalls, Indian Bar Campground features a well-maintained trail system that leads hikers to terraced meadows and alpine lakes. There are also several picnic areas with tables and hammocks perfect for enjoying the views.
8. Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park, located in southeastern California, is a world-renowned natural wonder. Over 1 million visitors come to Kings Canyon each year to enjoy its awe-inspiring waterfalls and giant sequoia trees. Although the park is large—containing over 350 square miles of wilderness—it is easy to explore on your own.
Waterfalls are a major attraction in Kings Canyon. The most popular falls are King’s Fall, Lower Yosemite Falls, and Bridalveil Fall. All three were named among America’s “100 Greatest Hikes” by Adventure magazine. Other attractions in the park include Indian Garden, an unusual botanical garden with talus slopes and picnic areas; Tunnel Viewpoint, which offers spectacular views of Half Dome and other Yosemite Valley landmarks; and White Wolf Campground, where you can relax on beautiful meadows or pitch a tent near roaring rivers.
If you’re looking for more action than hiking provides, consider rafting the Tuolumne River or skiing at Tenaya Lake. If you’re feeling ambitious, arrange a backcountry camping trip through one of the park’s ranger stations. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on exploring Kings Canyon National Park–one of California’s most beautiful natural wonders.
9. Lassen Volcanic National Park
If you’re looking for a natural wonder to add to your California bucket list, look no further than Lassen Volcanic National Park. Located in the southern Central Valley, the park is home to over 100 waterfalls, including some of the most impressive in California. While there are plenty of hikes and attractions available inside of the park, several trails also take you outside of the boundaries of the main park area.Whether you’re looking for a spirited hike down a wild river gorge or an easy stroll through a lush meadow, Lassen Volcanic National Park has something for everyone. Make sure to bring your camera and prepare to be awed!
10. Mammoth Lakes
Mammoth Lakes is a popular hiking destination for the California Central Valley. The area is home to more than 100 waterfalls, ranging in height from 8 feet to 125 feet. Visitors can explore the lakeshore or take a hike up one of the many trails that lead to the falls. Some of the most popular hikes include:
The Donner Pass Trail leads visitors to 16 named waterfalls, including Nevada Fall and North Fork Fall. The trail is 10 miles long and takes between two and three hours to complete.
The Richardson Grove Trail leads hikers to 21 named waterfalls, including Eagle Creek Falls and Echo Canyon Falls. The trail is 12 miles long and takes four hours to complete.
The Lakeshore Trail winds its way through meadows, woodlands, and rocky outcroppings before reaching several beautiful waterfalls. It’s 14 miles long and takes around six hours to complete.