The Largest Waterfalls in the United States

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Published: February 18, 2024
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Nature is a beautiful sight. Every time you go outside of your house, you look at the trees and the sky and everything is just so beautiful. Every now and then we come across a natural phenomenon that is absolutely stunning. For example, we can go trekking down a trail and come face to face with a beautiful waterfall. There are waterfalls all over the United States. Some of them are small and some of them are big. There are even a few hidden through covered forests or tropical jungles. Let’s take a look at the 12 largest waterfalls in the United States.

12. Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Point in the Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls, Montana, in low water season

The falls are located on the Missouri River.

©Strekoza2/iStock via Getty Images

Located in Great Falls, MT, it is upstream from Crooked Falls and also downstream from Colter Falls. Rainbow Falls is part of five waterfalls on the Missouri River. The falls used to flow enormously, but in 1914, it was decided to build a dam for the people in the area. Unfortunately, during summer, the falls can nearly dry up because of that. The waterfall has a flow rate of 7,500 cubic feet.

11. Crooked Falls

Missouri River flows over The Great Falls Dam

The falls are located on the Missouri River in central Montana.

©GRAWLLF/iStock via Getty Images

Part of the five falls that flow along the Missouri River, Crooked Falls is a beautiful sight to see. In fact, when explorer Meriwether Lewis saw the falls, he called it the grandest sight he had seen. The Crooked Falls is also called the Great Falls (but not to be confused with the Great Falls on the Potomac River). The waterfall has a flow rate of 7,500 cubic feet.

10. Black Eagle Falls

Beautiful view of the Great Falls in Montana, in twilight. Black Eagle Point

The falls are located along the Missouri River in central Montana.

©Strekoza2/iStock via Getty Images

The Black Eagle Falls are part of the five major waterfalls along the Missouri River. It is located in Great Falls, MT, and it is now dammed and called the Black Eagle Dam. Water dropped 26 feet over the falls before being dammed, which was an impressive sight to see. The waterfall has a flow rate of 7,500 cubic feet.

8. Sandstone Falls

Sandstone Falls on the New River

The falls are located in Summers County, WV.

©Kenneth Keifer/iStock via Getty Images

Sandstone Falls is also called New River Falls or New Richmond Falls. There was a quarry located nearby there and that is how the falls were named. The falls were made famous because part of the 1994 movie Lassie was filmed here. The waterfall has a flow rate of 7,800 cubic feet.

7. Kanawha Falls

Kanawha Falls

The falls are located on the Kanawha River in West Virginia.

©6381380/iStock via Getty Images

The Kanawha Falls have been around for over a million years, but as recently as 1920, there was a damn that was built to generate electricity for the communities nearby. The waterfall is 24 feet high and has a flow rate of 9,005 cubic feet.

6. Saint Anthony Falls

Located near downtown Minneapolis, MN, Saint Anthony Falls is on the Mississippi River.


The Mississippi River is known to be the second-longest river in the United States. But in all of that length, only one major waterfall exists. That major waterfall is the Saint Anthony Falls. The falls used to be called Owámniyomni but were changed to pay homage to St. Anthony of Padua. The waterfall has a flow rate of 13,000 cubic feet.

5. Great Falls

The falls are located on the Potomac River, a few miles from Washington DC.

©Doubletree Studio/

The Great Falls are not just one waterfall, but several waterfalls and rapids, as well. Great Falls Park is an area that is filled with many outdoor activities like kayaking and white water rafting, as well as hiking. These tiered cascades have a height of about 47 feet, a width of 350 feet, and a flow rate of 16,750 cubic feet.

4. Kootenai Falls

Autumn along Kootenai River.

These falls are located on the Kootenai River in Montana.

©gjohnstonphoto/iStock via Getty Images

The Kootenai Falls are the largest falls in Montana (that haven’t been dammed). The area is a sacred site to the Kootenai Tribe and now has become a tourist spot popular with those who love nature. Kootenai Falls has been the subject of several movies over the years, too. It has a flow rate of 25,820 cubic feet.

3. Willamette Falls

Willamette Falls

These falls are located on the Willamette River in Oregon.

©Kathryn Farley/iStock via Getty Images

The Willamette Falls is the largest waterfall when it comes to volume in the Northwestern region of the US. It is also the seventeenth-widest waterfall in the entire world. It is located on the Willamette River and has a height of 40 feet, a width of 1,500 feet, and a flow rate of 30,849 cubic feet.

2. Cohoes Falls

Mighty Cohoes Falls

These falls are located on the Mohawk River in New York.

©Jennifer Virag/iStock via Getty Images

Located between Cohoes and Waterford, NY, Cohoes Falls is an impressive sight. The waterfall is important to the Mowhawk people who lived in New York prior to the European arrival. Today, springtime is the perfect time to see the falls because they run a whopping 90,000 cubic feet of water every second. The waterfall has a flow rate of 34,000 cubic feet and an impressive width of 1,000 feet.

1. Niagara Falls

The falls are located on the border between Canada and the United States.


Niagara Falls is in actuality three waterfalls — Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe Falls is the largest and most famous one that is located on the US-Canada border. The falls are one of the largest in the world and the largest in the US and Canada. The waterfall has a flow rate of 5.9 million cubic feet during peak time.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jam Norasett/

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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