best waterfall hikes washington

12 Stunning Washington Waterfall Hikes to Explore

While there’s tons of amazing Washington waterfall hikes worth checking out in this state, what I want to do is share 12 of the best ones for you to prioritize seeing and once you see the list (and photos), you’ll understand why they are highly recommended. 

On top of that, every single Washington waterfall hike on this list also includes the details on where to find them, the trail difficulty and everything else you need to know about it, so you can decide which trails are worth checking out depending on your level/interests.

How many waterfalls are there in Washington State?

Well over 1,000! Most of them happen to be along hiking trails but I can’t exactly list out all of them. We’re just going to focus on the top 10 based on reviews and popularity.

Here are the 12 best waterfall hikes in Washington State:

  1. Panther Creek Falls hike
  2. Strawberry Falls hike
  3. Falls View Canyon hike
  4. Walupt Creek Falls hike
  5. Marymere Falls hike
  6. Keekwulee Falls hike
  7. Lewis River Falls hike
  8. Sol Duc Falls hike
  9. Palouse Falls hike
  10. Comet Falls hike
  11. Rocky Brook Falls hike
  12. Falls Creek Falls hikes

You’ll find these waterfalls and hikes that lead to them all across the state and depending on which part of Washington you’re visiting, you’ll be able to explore a few or many of them.

Panther Creek Falls:

panther creek falls hike 01

Panther Creek Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls I’ve ever seen in my life and this picture alone is not enough to justify how beautiful it is in real life. It’s a waterfall that cascades over a gorge and spread into many streams as it does. Additionally, the great news is that it’s very easy to find and hike to as it’s located close to a main road in Washington (NF-65).

Strawberry Falls:

strawberry falls third beach hike 05

Strawberry Falls is located on Third Beach, on the Washington Coast and while there is no official hike leading up to it (because the waterfall goes straight into the Pacific Ocean), there is an option to view that waterfall from the beach itself, or go to the base of the waterfall when there’s low tide. Strawberry Falls is one of the many beaches with waterfalls across the United States I highly recommend you check out. One important thing to know is that when you do reach the waterfall, there is another 5 mile hike you can do that takes you over it but that is a lot more difficult than the first section of the hike to Strawberry Falls.

  • Height of waterfall: 100+ feet.
  • Where to go: Third Beach trailhead
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 1.5 miles.
  • Difficulty: Easy.

Falls View Canyon:

falls view canyon waterfall hike washington 02

I’ve only been to this spot once and I almost missed it. The waterfall is beautiful, but to me, the hike to the overlook and the base of the waterfall is what really makes this worthwhile. There is a parking lot available from which there are multiple trails to take you to this waterfall, as well as other spots nearby. The picture you see is me standing at the base of it (option 2) and the waterfall is just to the left of me. The thing is, the day I hiked here, the waterfall was very low, which is why I couldn’t get a good view of it from the overlook, and had to hike down to get more of an experience with this hike.

  • Height of waterfall: 80 feet
  • Where to go: Falls View Canyon trailhead
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 0.3 miles
  • Difficulty: Easymoderate

Walupt Creek Falls:

I’ve tried to hike to Walupt Creek Falls on 2 separate occasions, and each time, something ALWAYS happens that prevents me from doing it. Walupt Creek Falls is one of the best waterfall hikes in Washington and just as well very remote. As far as I know, there is no official trail that leads to it, but there are some markers and easy ways to figure out where to go (Alltrails may also have a trail map to it).

The thing that makes this waterfall hike worth it in my opinion is the waterfall itself which is absolutely amazing on many levels. It’s gargantuan and at the same time, mellow and structured in a way that is easy to walk up to and get amazing photos from. I’d only hike to this waterfall if you’re an advanced hiker, and besides knowing how to not get lost in the woods also be someone who is OK with off trail type of hikes. Either way, prep properly for this hike before you go.

Note: There’s no picture for this here because this waterfall is not well known about, but a simple Google search for Walupt Creek Falls will show you exactly why this particular choice was put on this list. And once I finally go there myself, I’ll add the picture (and instructions on the hike too).

  • Height of waterfall: 200+ feet
  • Where to go: Walupt Creek Falls
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 2 miles one way.
  • Difficulty: Moderatehard

Marymere Falls:

marymere falls hike washington 06

The Marymere Falls trail is a really cool hike I’ve done before. It’s not a huge waterfall, but there is an easy and super scenic hike that’ll take you there and along the way, the scenery is stunning with gigantic trees on that trail that are almost as big as Redwoods. Most of the hike is easy to navigate and there’s wooden guard rails to make sure you’re safe too. Aside from this hike, make sure to check out Crescent Lake nearby, as it’s a very beautiful place to explore with very scenic hikes like the Devils Punchbowl Lake Crescent trail.

  • Height of waterfall: 50 feet.
  • Where to go: Marymere Falls trailhead
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 1 mile.
  • Difficulty: Easy

Keekwulee Falls:

Keekwulee Falls hike 04

This is a very cool waterfall with swimming holes that is close to a popular ski resort in WA. Depending on the season, this particular trail and waterfall hike is accessible to most people and it is often warned that during winter or rainy seasons, to avoid coming here as the water level in the river leading up to the waterfall is too difficult to pass. But during Spring and Summer, it’s great and this is a popular waterfall hike people do.

Lewis River Falls:

Lewis River Falls hike 03

One of the most popular (and scenic) waterfalls (and hikes) in eastern Washington is Lewis River Falls. It’s a huge and very wide waterfall with a swimming hole next to it as you can probably tell from the photo.

  • Height of waterfall: 40 feet high.
  • Where to go: Lower Falls Campground WA
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 1 mile from the campground.
  • Difficulty: Easymoderate

Sol Duc Falls:

sol duc falls hike washington 02

It’s likely that Sol Duc Falls trail is the most popular and best waterfall hikes in Washington (and Olympic National Park). I’ve done it once and there’s a lot of good things to say.

  1. First, the trail from the parking lot to the actual falls is stunning.
  2. The second is that there is a bridge that takes you over the falls to view it, but there are other trails nearby and if you know where to go, you may even be able to get down to the base of the falls (not for beginners).

Also do note that there is another trail that goes around the river and people think it makes for a loop trail back to the parking area. It doesn’t (as I found out the hard way and had to walk through the river to get back to the parking lot).

  • Height of waterfall: 80 feet.
  • Location: Sol Duc Falls Trailhead
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 1.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy

Palouse Falls:

palouse falls hike 07

Of all the waterfalls on this list, Palouse is the most popopular to view. At the same time, the hike to this waterfall is one of the easiest on the list (you can also see more Washington waterfalls here). The great news is that this location is very photogenic and there are ways to get to the bottom of the waterfall (advanced hikes).

  • Height of waterfall: 200 feet.
  • Where to go: Palouse Falls State Park
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 0.3 miles
  • Hike difficulty: Very easy

Comet Falls:

Comet Falls hike 09

Comet Falls is the highest waterfall on this list and the hike to reach it is also one of the longest as well. Yet, it’s very much worth it because it’s normally not as crowded as the other hikes on this list.

To get the full benefit of this hike, it’s recommended to come here between Spring and Fall to avoid the snows. If you look at certain photos, the trail and river leading to this waterfall is frozen throughout half the year literally. But if you can make it here, do it, because there’s some stunning scenery and photo opportunities to be taken. There’s also 4 drops to this waterfall and I couldn’t fit in the entire picture here to show you that (just know this).

  • Height of waterfall: 400 feet
  • Where to go: Comet Falls trailhead
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Rocky Brook Falls:

rocky brook falls hike in washington 03

I’m amazed at this rarely I’ve seen this amazing waterfall get mentioned on other sites and it’s actually why I missed it so many times while traveling through Washington. Rocky Brook Falls is easily one of the top waterfalls you will find in WA in my opinion and I would even say it’s less crowded than many others because it’s hard to find. Ironically the way I did it was by using a strategy in my article on how to find waterfalls near me, where I literally was driving around Olympic National Park, typed in “waterfalls” on Google maps and this came up, and funny enough it wouldn’t the previous times I was here!

  • Height of waterfall: 100+ feet.
  • Where to go: Rocky Brook Falls area
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 1.5 miles.
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Falls Creek Falls:

falls creek falls picture washington waterfall hikes

Falls Creek Falls is a recent Washington waterfall hike I was encouraged to include by several people and it is indeed an amazing place! It’s a 2 layer cascading waterfall with incredible scenery, but the only downside to it is that there are rugged roads for a few miles you need to take to get there, and then a rather moderate hike to reach.

  • Height of waterfall: 300+ feet.
  • Where to go: Falls Creek Falls trailhead
  • Hiking distance to waterfall: 2.5 miles.
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Questions about waterfalls in Washington:

What is the largest waterfall in Washington State?

Technically Colonial Creek Falls is considered the largest waterfall in Washington, although it is a cascade waterfall. There is another very large one called called Palouse Falls.

How many waterfalls are in Washington?

There are about 100 or more officially listed waterfalls in Washington, although there are likely way more.

Why does Washington have so many waterfalls?

Washington actually doesn’t have that many waterfalls (over 100), but it does have many beautiful ones because the terrain and elevation of the state and also because there is a lot of rain there too.


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  1. And the winner is, Drum roll please, LEWIS RIVER FALLS!! To be honest these are all beautiful sites and very well captured. Makes you wonder how they were formed, how they came to exist. Its a dream of mine to one day be able to visit amazing places like this where you just give yourself to nature and enjoy such breathtaking views. You’ve got yourself a big fan here. Thanks.

    1. Thanks. I used to be like you as well in regards to wanting to see these kinds of spots. It honestly just takes will power and planning, then actually doing it. That’ll become a habit and that’s how I’ve been doing these trips to see these places. I personally do this twice a year and every time I try to find brand new areas to explore and if it’s a repeat path, to make sure I see new places on the same path I didn’t before. I would recommend you read my article on how to find easy hikes and use the same strategies I do. Odds are, you’ll find a lot of awesome hiking trails near or close by.

  2. I just love waterfalls. You’ve captured some amazing images! My favorite waterfall on the list is Palouse Falls, because it’s easiest to get to (I’m not lazy, only in pain) and I could spend more time exploring.

    However, I would really enjoy a swim in Lewis River Falls swim hole. It looks so beautiful, relaxing and hopefully healing. Do any of these waterfalls claim to have natural healing elements in them like those in Hot springs, AR and warm/hot springs? 

    1. There aren’t any on this list that I know off, but the Pacific Northwest does have hot springs (like in Oregon) and possibly in Washington. Other than this, healing elements is subjective. For me, I think any clean mountain water is itself an amazing element to drink and swim in (provided the weather is warm enough).

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