The United States, with its vast and varied landscapes, is home to some of the world's most breathtaking natural wonders, particularly its waterfalls.
From the thundering cascades of the Northeast to the serene falls nestled in the heart of the Southwest's deserts, America's waterfalls are as diverse as they are stunning.
This guide takes you on a journey to discover 22 of the most scenic waterfalls across the country, each offering a unique glimpse into the natural beauty that defines the American wilderness.
Niagara Falls, New York
Perhaps the most famous waterfall in the United States, Niagara Falls is a colossal natural wonder straddling the border between the U.S. and Canada.
This mighty waterfall is known for its impressive width and volume, creating a thunderous roar and mist that can be seen for miles.
Kaaterskill Falls, New York
In the heart of the Catskill Mountains lies Kaaterskill Falls, a two-tiered cascade that offers a serene escape.
Best visited during the spring or after heavy rains, the falls are surrounded by lush foliage, making it a picturesque spot for nature lovers.
Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvania
Often referred to as the "Niagara of Pennsylvania," Bushkill Falls features a series of eight waterfalls, each accessible through hiking trails.
The area is a haven for wildlife and offers various recreational activities, making it a perfect family destination.
Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee
As one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern U.S., Fall Creek Falls plunges 256 feet into a beautiful gorge.
Surrounded by a state park, it offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and bird watching.
Ruby Falls, Tennessee
Unique for being America's deepest commercial cave and largest underground waterfall, Ruby Falls boasts a 145-foot cascade located over 1,120 feet below the surface.
The falls are part of a fascinating cave system that offers a one-of-a-kind subterranean experience.
Dry Falls, North Carolina
Aptly named for the pathway behind the falls that keeps visitors dry, Dry Falls offers a rare perspective.
Easily accessible and located along a scenic highway, it's a must-see for those exploring the Appalachian Mountains.
Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota
A gem in the urban setting of Minneapolis, Minnehaha Falls is celebrated for its 53-foot drop and the beautiful Minnehaha Park surrounding it.
The falls have a rich cultural history, often featured in local Dakota legends.
Blackwater Falls, West Virginia
Known for the amber-colored waters caused by tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles, Blackwater Falls in West Virginia is a unique sight.
The falls are easily accessible and are a central part of the scenic state park.
Yosemite Falls, California
As one of the tallest waterfalls in North America, Yosemite Falls is a stunning three-tiered cascade totaling 2,425 feet.
Located in the famed Yosemite National Park, the falls are at their peak in the spring, drawing visitors from all over the world.
Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Oregon's tallest waterfall, Multnomah Falls, is a breathtaking two-tiered cascade with a total height of 620 feet.
A landmark bridge offers a perfect vantage point for visitors to admire the falls, which are surrounded by lush Pacific Northwest forests.
Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado
This picturesque waterfall is known for its graceful flow and the striking rock formations that surround it.
Accessible year-round, Bridal Veil Falls is a popular spot for both tourists and locals.
Havasu Falls, Arizona
In the heart of the Grand Canyon lies Havasu Falls, famous for its turquoise waters and dramatic red-rock backdrop.
Reaching the falls requires a hike through the Havasupai Indian Reservation, but the sight of the falls is well worth the effort.
Lower Calf Creek Falls, Utah
Nestled in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, this waterfall is a reward at the end of a 6-mile hike.
The falls plunge 126 feet into a serene pool, with ancient petroglyphs adorning nearby rocks.
Mendenhall Glacier Waterfall, Alaska
Near Juneau, this waterfall is unique for its location near the Mendenhall Glacier.
The combination of glacial ice and cascading water creates a surreal landscape, often accompanied by local wildlife.
Waimoku Falls, Hawaii
Located along the famous Pipiwai Trail in Maui, Waimoku Falls is a towering 400-foot-tall cascade.
The trail to the falls takes you through a lush bamboo forest, adding to the tropical adventure.
The Falls at Watkins Glen State Park, New York
This series of 19 waterfalls within Watkins Glen State Park is a spectacular display in the Finger Lakes region.
The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls, providing an immersive experience.
Ricketts Glen State Park Waterfalls, Pennsylvania
This park is home to 22 named waterfalls, including the 94-foot Ganoga Falls.
The Falls Trail allows visitors to see several of these cascades in a single hike.
Cumberland Falls, Kentucky
Known as the "Niagara of the South," this 68-foot tall waterfall is famous for its moonbows, a rare natural phenomenon.
The surrounding park offers various outdoor activities and scenic viewpoints.
Starved Rock State Park Waterfalls, Illinois
After heavy rains or snow, the park's numerous waterfalls, including St. Louis Canyon Falls, become a spectacular sight.
The park's canyons and trails make it a great destination for waterfall enthusiasts.
Shoshone Falls, Idaho
Dubbed the "Niagara of the West," Shoshone Falls is higher than Niagara Falls and offers breathtaking views, especially during the high water flow of spring and early summer.
Palouse Falls, Washington
This stunning 198-foot waterfall is the centerpiece of Palouse Falls State Park.
The surrounding rugged landscape offers a striking contrast to the falls' natural beauty.
Seven Falls, Arizona
Located in the Sabino Canyon, Seven Falls offers a series of cascades with pools for swimming.
The hike to the falls is scenic, traversing through desert landscapes and canyon views.
Horsetail Falls, Alaska
Visible from the Richardson Highway, these falls near Valdez drop over a cliff in a horsetail shape, especially majestic during the spring melt.
America's waterfalls are a testament to the country's vast and varied natural beauty.
From the thundering falls of Niagara to the serene cascades in remote deserts, each waterfall presents a unique experience.
As we explore these natural wonders, it's crucial to do so with a sense of responsibility and awe, ensuring that they continue to inspire and mesmerize for generations to come.