10 Surprisingly Beautiful Waterfalls in California

Experience the unique and most beautiful cascading waterfalls in California.

Do you love getting out seeing the natural wonders? Well, California truly has an amazing amount of natural wonders all up and down the state.

However, it doesn’t get better than the stunning variety of waterfalls one can find throughout California.

California is the hotspot for waterfall lovers. It is a place with some of the spectacular hiking trails and some hidden falls, resting away from the clutter of city life.

These waterfalls are stunning, and there is no fee to visit them.

When the falls are flowing, they are imposing and leave no doubt that they are great wonders.

But choosing the best waterfall to visit in California can be a difficult task. Therefore this post will help make your selection simpler.

Because some are now popular tourist destinations while others lie almost unvisited, with that being said, here are my favorite top 10 California waterfalls.

1- Yosemite Falls

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The majestic land of California is rich with unbelievable natural sites that are eye-popping or awe-inspiring as Yosemite falls.

Yosemite Falls are in the middle of Yosemite Valley, and it is one of the tallest waterfalls in North America with three tiers and a combined drop of over 2,400 ft.

The waterfalls are impressive to see the park or the base, which is an easy walk.

However, if you want to push yourself, you can hike to the top of the waterfall on a challenging 8 miles round trip hike.

Do not underestimate this and don’t it without training as it is that tough.

On the way up, you get some fantastic views of the upper tier of the waterfall.

And once you get to the top, you get to look down on the waterfall all of the Yosemite Valley, which is quite an accomplishment.

2- Alamere Falls

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Alamere Falls is one of the best waterfalls in California, and it has the longest hike, but it is worth the effort to see the beautiful waterfall that cascades right onto the beach where it is quite a sight to see!

It is located deep in the Phillip Burton Wilderness; this waterfall offers us an incredible panoramic view.

This waterfall has the height of 30 ft and the official hike of 13 miles round trip; and you need to watch the tide schedule so you can make it out to the waterfall.

Once you get there, you will be greeted by the beautiful waterfalls that you can see up close.

Alamere Falls is not to be missed out on for its scenic setting and unique landscape.

3- Brandy Creek

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With the fall of 25 ft, Brandy Creek surprise us with an incredible view and a very green landscape at the bass and rocky on the height.

The 1.5 miles one-way hike to the waterfall offers the beautiful views of brandy creek and there are lots of areas to explore along the way.

This beautiful waterfall in Northern California is located in Whiskeytown, and it consists of multiple falls divisions and separated pools, offers stunning scenic views.

The waterfall is divided into two sections the top one drops from the height of 25 ft straight into the pool, which make another drop into the lower pool.

The stream then descends nearly 100 feet.

While multiple layers and drops of the falls look astonishing, the falls are now increasingly tourist destinations in California.

And its heavy roar provides the perfect soundtrack to the dramatic settings.

4- McWay Falls

Big sur, Mcway falls, hiking in Big sur

California State is home to many breathtaking waterfalls.

Sits at number four The McWay Falls are the beautiful waterfalls in California that surprise us with its 80 ft height.

The great falls are located in the McWay Cove, which is a part of the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in the Big Sur region of California.

This is one of California’s most famous waterfalls as is picturesque and it falls right on the beach.

While you can only view it from far, but it is still a great waterfall to see in California. Especially at sunset and it requires almost no effort as the viewing platform is near to the car park.

McWay Cove is mainly a sunset location and when the orange and red light from the setting sun hits the cove, the vegetation, and the waterfall.

It’s hard to describe with words how beautiful this waterfall is.

5- Bridalveil Fall

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This waterfall will leave you amazed when you look at it. Bridalveil Falls are also located in Yosemite Valley are one of the most prominent waterfalls in the valley.

The Bridalvale Fall, jumping down 189 meters, is the first major waterfall you will ever see when you come into the Yosemite Valley.

In the spring, it flows heavily down the side of the mountain face, and the mist is so strong you can get wet; however, in the rest of the year, the flow is normal.

A concrete road leads from the park to the bottom of this falls, which runs all year round.

While this approach has been revitalized, wheelchairs are not available because of their position.

If you love photography like me, then this place is for you. It is one of the beautiful waterfalls in CA.

When visiting this waterfall, make sure to come with proper safety and hiking shoes as the rocks above the viewing platform are often slippery.

6- Rainbow Falls

rainbow waterfalls california

Rainbow Falls are one of the most popular attractions in California. It is located near highway 395 in the town of Mammoth Lakes in Devil’s Postpile National Monument.

The National Monument is worth exploring on its own and Rainbow Falls is one of the main draws there.

This waterfall is about 100ft tall and it is accessed by a three mile round trip hike.

It is called Rainbow Falls because of the rainbow that appears in the mist below the waterfalls.

Don’t miss out on experiencing it! The view of the waterfall is simply beautiful and is best appreciated on hot day.

7- Illilouette Fall

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Illiouette Falls is another hidden waterfall in California which is secretly located in Yosemite Valley.

It is accessed from glaciers point road, which means driving out to glacier point about an hour from the valley or taking a shuttle when it’s running.

There is a lot of parking at glacier point but it can fill up during the busy summer days.

This waterfall is one of the least visited in the park, and it is over 370 ft tall; it is only visible by hiking and not from any of the park’s roads like other waterfalls in Yosemite.

The trail is a part of panorama trail which goes 10 miles from glacier point down into the Yosemite Valley.

It is an incredibly popular trail when the shuttle runs between the valley and glacier point, as you only have to hike downhill.

And when the shuttle is not running, it is a thousand feet back up to glacier point after seeing the waterfall.

8- Feather Falls

Feather Falls is one of the best waterfalls in Northern California outside Yosemite; it drops from the height of 410 ft.

Feather Falls runs year-round but is most spectacular in April when the snow melts.

The Feather Falls trail loop consists of two different trail options; the upper loop is 4.5 miles, and the lower is 3.5 miles, mostly downward.

Both offer the scenic views and are surrounded by a beautiful green forest, and along the hike, you will go next to Frey Creek, including a mini waterfall.

It is one of the best hiking trails with waterfalls in California; the views along the way are absolutely stunning, and it is a fantastic waterfall to see with a pretty epic viewpoint.

If you thought of enjoying its spectacular beauty, you should know that it is difficult to get where it is.

9- McCloud Falls

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Located near the town of Shasta, McCloud Falls is a collection of three major waterfalls upper falls, middle falls, and lower falls, which are all incredibly different and unique.

All of the three tiers have their parking lot, each accessible via driving or walking.

To get to the waterfalls from i-5, you will follow the highway 89 east for 10 miles from (i-5) 89 junction.

Much of the McCloud flow that makes up the McCloud River comes from a spring-fed glacier and snowmelt on Mount Shasta.

You can start exploring from any waterfalls; the middle and lower falls are awe-inspiring and offer breathtaking views.

The lower fall is more like wide swimming and plays waterfall with a 12 to 15 ft drop into a deep and emerald green pool.

However, the upper falls are not as breathtaking as the lower and middle fall, but it is still an impressive fall to see, which is about 25 ft tall.

Also, it is a perfect place for camping, hiking, and a picnic.

10- Burney Falls

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This list is incomplete without Burney Falls; no doubt, it is one of the best waterfalls in California that drops from the height of 129 ft, which cascades from Burney Creek down into Lake Britton.

It is located about 60 miles northeast of Redding, right outside the small town of Burney. Make sure you get here early as the park fills up fast in the summer.

These year-round falls are formed by melting snow from Burney Mountain.

Which travels through underground streams before hitting solid rock and flowing back to the surface.

Each day more than a hundred million gallons of water plunge over the falls and don’t miss the fall’s loop trail, a 1-mile hike to the base of the fall and back up.

Besides its height, it is the width that makes it impressive, plus no matter the time of year, the waterfall always seems to be flowing pretty well.

You can view it from the overlook, or you can walk down to the base on a half trail; you will not disappoint visiting this beautiful gem in California.


Waterfalls, however, you look at them impress us and leave no doubt that they are great wonders of nature.

From the tallest to the widest and most beautiful these are my ten favorite waterfalls in California which are fed serene lakes and covered in lush vegetation and mountains.

If you are a waterfall mad man, you should check out these waterfalls which make a perfect day out.

Also, these spots are ideal for camping, hiking, and picnic. So which one is your favorite fall in California? Do let me know in the comments.

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