7 Gorgeous Waterfalls in Washington State

The Evergreen State has no shortage of waterfalls to explore.

From cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush green moss in the west to thundering falls in dry canyons in the east, there are plenty of areas to see waterfalls in Washington State. Here are some fantastic falls that should not be missed.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie

Plunging 268 feet down a cliff, these stunning falls near Snoqualmie famously appeared in the television series "Twin Peaks” and are a sight to behold. One of the state’s most famous waterfalls, Snoqualmie Falls is also one of the easiest to visit. Only 30 miles from Seattle, the area features two observation points and is family- and pet-friendly.

In addition to taking in this iconic view, visitors can also learn about Indigenous culture and the history of the falls, which are protected by the Snoqualmie Tribe.

Nooksack Falls

North Cascades, Mount Baker area

Located off Mount Baker Highway in the northwest corner of the state, Nooksack Falls plummets 88 feet in two segments down the North Fork of the Nooksack River. Less than a mile from the road, watch the clear aqua-hued waters spill over the edge of a jumbled mass of dark rock. Visitors to the area can also explore nearby North Cascades National Park.

Sol Duc Falls

Olympic National Park

In Olympic National Park, an easy 1.6-mile roundtrip hike through lush old-growth forest takes visitors to Sol Duc Falls, which cascades over mossy rocks into a narrow chasm. The trail to the falls starts beyond the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, a favorite destination spring through fall.

Credit: Dave Hoefler

Palouse Falls

Eastern Washington, near Starbuck

This gem in southeastern Washington was named the official state waterfall in 2014. Plummeting nearly 200 feet into a spectacular canyon carved by Ice Age floods, the falls are a photographer’s dream. Time your arrival for sunset to see the layers of rock bask in misty, golden light.

Note: The falls are located in Palouse Falls State Park. In January 2022, state Parks and Recreation Commission voted to permanently close the pool at the bottom of the falls, the cliff sides with narrow trails above the pool and the top of the falls. The closure also includes the Castle Rock formation.

Comet Falls

Mount Rainier area

In addition to profuse wildflower displays and alpine views, Mount Rainier National Park boasts the roaring Comet Falls, which drops more than 300 feet down a sheer cliff. Getting to Comet Falls involves a 3.8-mile roundtrip hike from the trailhead at Van Trump Park. Due to its popularity, aim to arrive at the trailhead early in the morning or visit on a weekday.

Panther Creek Falls

Columbia River Gorge area

In the Gorge Region north of Carson you’ll find this short, easy out-and-back trail perfect for those seeking a less visited waterfall. Panther Creek Falls features two tiers of segmented waterfalls flowing down about 50-70 feet.

Wallace Falls

Central Cascades, Stevens Pass area

Those looking to work a bit for their waterfall view will appreciate the popular Wallace Falls in Wallace Falls State Park north of Gold Bar. With Lower, Middle, and Upper Falls viewpoints, hikers can choose from a short hike or a longer 5.5-mile roundtrip option. To avoid the crowds, plan to visit on a weekday.

About the Author

Craig Romano