Every state except two have waterfalls that would make any nature lover planning a trip and packing a bag. The one state, in particular, that has slightly more waterfalls than any other is Washington - with its neighbor, Oregon, being a close second. Washington's landscape is chiseled by the most extreme and breathtaking mountains, rivers that curve through cliffsides, and lush forests that envelop much of the state. Its pacific location gives it the best of both worlds, both beach and mountainscape, making it one of the most stunning states in the country.
Many who visit are in awe of its towering mountains but its waterfalls, deeply tucked away in its storybook woodlands, are some of its best features. And some of them aren't even that tucked away, making for an easy day hike. If you happen to be someone who feels grounded in the presence of one of these powerful giants, get ready to plan your Pacific trip.
If there's any waterfall that should be first on a Washington newcomer's list, it should be Palouse Falls. This waterfall has been designated the official waterfall of the state and once you witness its beauty in person, you'll understand why.
Rarely does one want to be at the top of a waterfall for the best view of it but in the case of Palouse Falls, this is truly the only way to take it all in. Its unique gorge landscape shows how a powerful stream of water is able to cut through the canyon rock, and there are three observation platforms from which to view this tremendous flow of water.
While Palouse is the official state waterfall, Snoqualmie Falls, in Snoqualmie is the most famous. This waterfall is close to Seattle so it also makes a good starting point if your goal is to see as many as possible in one trip, it's also known for being the waterfall featured in the TV show Twin Peaks.
It sits at a height of 270 feet and absolutely towers over the land around it, which is full of native flora and fauna that only add to the intensity of this landscape during the spring and summer months.
It'll take a two and a quarter-mile hike to reach Spray Falls but it's well worth the effort. Located in Mount Rainier National Park, the trail to get to this waterfall is just as beautiful as the waterfall itself.
Standing at a height of 350 feet, there's no need to be directly under this incredible water flow to appreciate its commanding presence. During the summer months, hikers can continue on past the waterfall to reach Spray Park where wildflowers are in full bloom in the meadow.
Marymere Falls can be found in western Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. Starting in Olympic National Park, Marymere Falls also happens to be one of the most scenic hikes, and it's also less than two miles round-trip.
The hike itself is relatively flat, as well, so this trek provides some great payoff for the view that visitors will have by the end of it. Once you're face to face with this 90-foot waterfall, you'll appreciate the extra time you've saved after only 30 minutes or so of hiking.
Panther Creek Falls
While it's not likely you'll actually run into any panthers along this hike, Panther Creek Falls is a great, easily accessible waterfall that's pretty overwhelming in size. It's less than a half-mile to the overlook platform, and the waterfall itself reaches a height of 70 feet.
The incredible thing about Panther Creek Falls is that it's not one, but multiple flows of water that create an amazing cascading effect when the waterfall is flowing at full capacity. Smaller, higher streams of water meet up with the main waterfall, creating a ripple effect as they all flow into the blue pool below.
The longest hike is to Wallace Falls and it's not even that long of a trail at just under three miles. It's located in the Cascade Mountains and the landscape surrounding this waterfall is truly dramatic - and well worth the hike.
Come prepared, though, because hikers will be ascending an elevation of roughly 1,300 feet thanks to switchbacks at the end of the trail. If hikers don't want to hike all the way to the upper falls, however, there's a pretty good view of the middle falls just before the trail gets steep and curvy.