10 Breathtaking Waterfalls In Kansas

Written by Volia Schubiger
Updated: June 13, 2023
© MS7503/Shutterstock.com
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If you’re under the impression that Kansas is nothing but cornfields and flatlands, you’re not alone. There has been a misconception among many of us that Kansas has no natural beauty to offer. However, despite its flat plains and cornfields, the Sunflower State has a lot of hidden gems. Believe it or not, Kansas has a number of beautiful waterfalls that you simply cannot miss!

Not sure which waterfall to visit? We have compiled a list of ten breathtaking waterfalls in Kansas that will leave you speechless. You’ll be surprised to find that you can’t wait to book a flight to Kansas.

1. The Alcove Spring and Waterfall

The Alcove Spring and Waterfall
Along the Oregon Trail, Alcove Spring served as a watering hole for settlers and their horses.

©PowercatPark / Creative Commons – License

Location:Blue Rapids, KS
Nearby Attractions:Alcove Springs Historic Park
Animals to See:Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch 

Alcove Spring and Waterfall feature ice glaciers and a waterfall. Near this charming waterfall and spring are the legendary fords where Kansas’ founding fathers drove their wagons in search of water. Winter sometimes dries up the spring. In May, however, the water freely pours down the rocks, making it a beautiful sight.

2. Elk Falls Waterfalls

Elk Falls is the world’s largest living ghost town.

©Christopher Mousseau/Shutterstock.com

Location:Elk Falls, Kansas
Nearby Attractions:Town of Elk Falls
Animals to See:Great Blue Herons, Catfish

Elk Falls, Kansas, with a population of fewer than 200 people, promotes itself as the World’s Largest Living Ghost Town. The town takes its name from the Falls, as it is known locally. The natural waterfall is about 10 feet high and 100 feet wide, with a stone outcropping across the river. It was previously the location of a water-powered grain mill erected in 1875.

3. Cowley Lake Waterfall

Cowley Lake Waterfall
Cowley State Fishing Lake near Arkansas City has a beautiful waterfall to explore, and it’s not far from Wichita!


Location:Cowley County, Kansas
Nearby Attractions:Cowley State Fishing Lake
Animals to See:Largemouth Bass, Walleye

The Cowley Lake waterfall is a spectacular 25-foot waterfall with rapids and crashing waves. Towards the bottom of the falls is an ideal spot for exploring and walking through the stream of water if you’re interested in doing so! Another fun fact is that there have been several “must-see” lists written about this waterfall (including AARP, Yahoo, and Most Amazing in the World!). 

4. Prather Creek Falls

Location:Chase County, Kansas
Nearby Attractions:Chase County Lake
Animals to See:Quail, Rabbit

This waterfall is a sight to behold and will have you questioning if you are really in Kansas. Located on the spillway from Chase State Fishing Lake, Prather Creek Falls is a series of falls that cascade down beautifully. The waterfall is stunning all year round, but especially so in October. As you descend, you will see each waterfall one by one, each with a magnificent view.

5. Geary Lake Falls

Location:Junction City, KS
Nearby Attractions:Geary State Fishing Lake And Wildlife Area
Animals to See:Pheasants, Rabbits

Geary Lake Falls, located south of Junction City, is another beautiful waterfall in Kansas. Due to the overflow of Geary State Fishing Lake, this waterfall only appears during rainy seasons. The 35-foot waterfall is a lot of fun to view from the top and then explore at the bottom. You’ll need to follow the trail down a fairly steep hill when you’re ready to explore the waterfall’s base – so be careful!

6. Bourbon Falls

Location:Uniontown, Kansas
Nearby Attractions:Bourbon State Fishing Lake
Animals to See:Catfish, Spotted Bass

The majestic Bourbon Falls in Kansas is a result of the scenic Bourbon County State Lake. Overflow from Bourbon County State Lake is what created this 30-foot waterfall. Surrounding the waterfall is a beautiful forest of greenery. Pathways are available on the north side of the falls. However, they are often muddy, so use caution when walking.

7. Butcher Falls

Location:Sedan, Kansas
Nearby Attractions:Red Buffalo Ranch
Animals to See:Bison, Deer

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kansas is found at Red Buffalo Ranch in Sedan. Butcher Falls cascades about 15 feet between rocks beautifully and uniquely. The falls are located on the Red Buffalo Ranch, which covers an area of 8,000 acres. Owner Bill Kurtis grew up in Independence, Kansas, which bordered Sedan. Throughout the years, he has continually made significant contributions to the community.

8. Idlewild Falls

Location:Waterville, Kansas
Nearby Attractions:Lake Idlewild 
Animals to See:Chipmunks, Cottontail Rabbits

This waterfall is located north of Waterville, Kansas, and is part of a series of two waterfalls that span around 60 feet apart. Each waterfall has a drop of about 10-12 feet. The waterfall is actually an overflow from Lake Idlewild that eventually cascades into the surrounding Little Blue River. When the fall foliage is at its peak, the upper falls offer some of the best views, so be sure to check it out then!

9. Santa Fe Lake Falls

Location:Augusta, KS
Nearby Attractions:Santa Fe Lake
Animals to See:Egrets, Pigeons

Santa Fe Lake Falls is a small man-made waterfall located in Edgerton city, south of Sunflower Road. Despite the fact that it is not as high as some other renowned Kansas waterfalls, this waterfall is still worth seeing after heavy rainfall. As a bonus, Santa Fe Lake, which is a nearby body of water, offers fishing for bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass.

10. Chautauqua Falls

Location:Chautauqua County, Kansas
Nearby Attractions:Sedan City Lake
Animals to See:Wild Turkey, White-tailed Deer

On the spillway of Old City Lake in Chautauqua County is Chautauqua Falls, a 20-foot waterfall. Chautauqua Falls, one of the many waterfalls in Kansas, is an amazing sight. You’ll find it at Sedan City Lakes, which is a city park. Getting to the falls is a four-mile round trip, so make sure to come prepared with the right pair of shoes.

Summary of 10 Breathtaking Waterfalls in Kansas

NumberBreathtaking Waterfall
1The Alcove Spring and Waterfall
2Elk Falls Waterfalls
3Cowley Lake Waterfall
4Prather Creek Falls
5Geary Lake Falls
6Bourbon Falls
7Butcher Falls
8Idlewild Falls
9Santa Fe Lake Falls
10Chautauqua Falls
Summary Table Of Breathtaking Waterfalls In Kansas

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About the Author

Volia Schubiger is a freelance copywriter and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding, and marketing. She has a background in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When she's not writing she loves traveling, perusing used book stores, and hanging out with her other half.

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