There are many waterfalls in Northern California, stretching from Yosemite to the Oregon border. Whether you’re looking for a fantastic place to take your next viral Instagram pic or just want to go for a relaxing hike, northern California has waterfalls for everyone.
These are 10 of the most beautiful waterfalls in Northern California that you will instantly fall in love with.
1. Yosemite Falls
|Location:||Yosemite Village, CA|
|Nearby Attractions:||Yosemite National Park|
|Animals to See:||Western Tanager, Western Pond Turtle|
Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. The falls are actually made up of three cascades: Upper Yosemite Fall (1430 feet), Intermediate Falls (675 feet), and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 feet). It is possible to see Yosemite Falls from several locations in Yosemite Valley, including Yosemite Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge. While there are many beautiful waterfalls in Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Falls will definitely take your breath away.
2. Alamere Falls
|Location:||Marin County, California|
|Nearby Attractions:||Point Reyes National Seashore|
|Animals to See:||Northern Elephant Seals, Long-tailed Weasel|
Alamere Falls is a captivating waterfall located in the Phillip Burton wilderness. In addition, it is also a “tidefall,” a waterfall that flows directly into the ocean. In fact, it is one of the area’s only two tidefalls, the other being McWay Falls. It’s a breathtaking sight to see the water pouring down a steep cliff 30 feet deep into Wildcat Beach.
3. Bassi Falls
|Location:||El Dorado County, California|
|Nearby Attractions:||El Dorado National Forest|
|Animals to See:||Western Honeybee, Common Nighthawk|
In the beautiful El Dorado National Forest, Bassi Falls stands at 109 feet tall. It’s hard to believe this gorgeous waterfall in Northern California is only a short hike away and is so captivating as it cascades over granite boulders. This waterfall is best visited in the spring when water is flowing most powerfully. Also, don’t wait until the summer to see this beauty! If you wait until summertime, you’ll find the waterfall all dried up.
4. Root Creek Falls
|Nearby Attractions:||Castle Crags State Park|
|Animals to See:||Ring-necked Snake, Downy Woodpecker|
Located in Northern California’s Castle Crags Wilderness, Root Creek Falls is yet another hidden gem. There are four waterfalls that cascade from the creek over to the pools below. From a distance, it looks like one big waterfall, but if you hike above the ravine or even into the gorge, you will see how these falls differ from one another.
5. Kings Creek Falls
|Location:||Old Station, California|
|Nearby Attractions:||Lassen Volcanic National Park|
|Animals to See:||Black Bear, Sierra Nevada Red Fox|
The most spectacular waterfall in Northern California is Kings Creek Falls. Located in Lassen Volcanic National Park, the 40 ft (12 m) waterfall is popular among hikers who seek a nature experience out in the wild or photographers who hope to get an amazing photograph. Kings Creek Falls, with its gushing descent down the cliffside, is among the most dramatic waterfalls in the region.
6. Hedge Creek Falls
|Nearby Attractions:||Castle Crags State Park|
|Animals to See:||Gopher Snake, Rattlesnakes|
If you’re looking for a magical experience, then Hedge Creek Falls is the best waterfall in Northern California for you. This small waterfall provides an experience for tourists that is a lot more personal than some of the other waterfalls. The cascading waterfall, which is set against the backdrop of a cave 12 feet high (3.7 m), seems so mysterious. This charming waterfall will instantly capture your heart.
7. Potem Falls
|Location:||Montgomery Creek, CA|
|Nearby Attractions:||Shasta-Trinity National Forest|
|Animals to See:||Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Elk|
One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Northern California can be found along the Pit River, part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. It is only a short hike to Potem Creek, which cascades 70 feet over Potem Falls, before crashing into a rock-lined swimming hole. Since it’s off the beaten path, there aren’t as many people at Potem Falls as at falls like Burney Falls or McCloud River’s three waterfalls. In the summer, many people take advantage of the large pool area to cool off and relax.
8. Feather Falls
|Location:||Butte County, California|
|Nearby Attractions:||Plumas National Forest|
|Animals to See:||Canada Geese, Coyotes|
There is a magnificent waterfall of Yosemite-like proportions in Northern California called Feather Falls, which plunges 410 feet into the Sierra Nevada environment. Feather Falls in Oroville was previously considered to be the sixth highest waterfall in the United States until careful measurements were taken. Many people like the fall because of the swimming holes and breathtaking scenery. The view of the canyon from the edge is breathtaking. However, make sure to be careful when you’re taking a look!
9. Whiskeytown Falls
|Nearby Attractions:||Whiskeytown National Recreation Area|
|Animals to See:||Hummingbirds, Pacific Giant Salamander|
Known as Hidden Falls, this 220-foot tall marvel remained a secret almost for years, unless you were lucky enough to find it. Before the establishment of the Whiskeytown National Recreation Center, there was no direct access to the waterfall. For a long time, only loggers and miners who worked in the area knew that the waterfall existed. The interesting feature of this waterfall is that the staircase that runs along the left side of the waterfall allows tourists to get up close to the rushing water as it cascades down the granite face of the waterfall. Overall, this is one waterfall in Northern California you don’t want to miss out on.
10. Rainbow Falls
|Location:||Mammoth Lakes, CA|
|Nearby Attractions:||Devils Postpile National Monument|
|Animals to See:||Big Horn Sheep, Mule Deer|
Two miles downstream from Devil’s Postpile, the San Joaquin River tumbles over a 101-foot drop, creating rainbows visible in the mist. Midday is the greatest time to see rainbows since the sun is at its highest point. Following the easy 1.5-mile hike from the Reds Meadow area to Rainbow Falls, the thundering of the falls and the soothing mists entice you to remain and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Summary of the 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Northern California
|4||Root Creek Falls|
|5||Kings Creek Falls|
|6||Hedge Creek Falls|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Bartfett
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