Top 10 PNW Waterfalls
Palouse Falls – Palouse Falls is one of the most breathtaking waterfalls Washington has to offer. However, you won’t find any lush green forests near it. It’s about a 4 hour drive from Seattle, but it is absolutely worth it. The walk from the parking lot to the falls is no more than a few hundred feet. As you come up to the cliff the view hits you as you look down at the enormous waterfall and canyon. To get closer to the falls there is a trail that goes along the canyon wall and down to the very top of the falls. It might take some scrambling to get down to the trail or you can take a long way around from behind the falls. The flat landscape surrounding the falls can make for a nice break from the mountains and forests Washington is known for.
Map with directions to Palouse Falls:
Toketee Falls – Toketee Falls is a very short hike located in central Oregon. From the geological formations along the sides of the waterfall to the turquoise blue water, this waterfall is more unique than most. To get down to the falls you have to climb down from the main viewpoint, using the ropes that are set up. The view from the bottom is much better than from the viewpoint. I definitely would recommend climbing down to the bottom.
Map and directions to Toketee Falls:
Wahclella Falls – Wahclella Falls is one of my favorite spots in Oregon. It’s often visited by many tourists, and for good reason. The hike is fairly short and the falls are very photogenic with plenty of angles to capture. Once at the falls it’s pretty much a guarantee of getting wet, but it is absolutely worth it. For some interesting angles, you can hike up a steep incline to some good spots, that will get you a shot of the falls from higher up.
Map with directions to Wahclella Falls:
Sol Duc Falls – This is one of my favorites from Washington as it resides in Olympic National Park. The hike is short (a little over 2 miles round trip), and the falls are breathtaking and very photogenic. The water is split into three waterfalls which flow underneath a footbridge that has some great vantage points. Other angles can be found if you walk behind the falls and shoot them from the top. This waterfall is also very close to Lake Crescent, which has some spectacular views and trails such as the Marymere falls trail and Mount Storm King.
Map with directions to Sol Duc Falls:
Multnomah Falls – This is one of the most visited falls in Oregon, and despite the huge number of tourists that are normally here, I had to put it on this list. The composition of the two falls passing under the bridge makes for some great photos. I highly recommend going in the morning as it can be extremely hard to find parking.
Map with directions to Multnomah Falls:
South Falls – South Falls is part of Silver Falls State Park, near central Oregon. There are plenty of falls to visit in the park, but this one stands out from the rest. This waterfall is unique because visitors are able to walk behind it, making for some interesting angles. Though it may seem small when walking up to it, the scale hits you as you walk next to and behind the cascading water.
Map with directions to South Falls:
Murhut Falls – This waterfall resides near Olympic National Park in Washington. There are two parts to the falls with some fallen logs directly in front of them that makes for some interesting compositions. To get down to the bottom of the falls there’s a short descent that takes some scrambling, but the beauty of the waterfall makes it all worth the effort.
Map with directions to Murhut Falls:
Koosah Falls – Koosah Falls is located along the McKenzie River near Bend, Oregon. The walk from the parking area to the falls is very short. Once at the falls, there are numerous angles to shoot it from. The main road leading to the falls is also very photogenic, and there are many other trails nearby to explore.
Map with directions to Koosah Falls:
Snoqualmie Falls – Snoqualmie Falls is a Washington classic. Though it may be overshot by many, its massive scale and photogenic qualities can’t be denied. This spot is great for a quick outing with incredible views.
Map with directions to Snoqualmie Falls:
Franklin Falls – This waterfall is very popular, and is a quick stop along Snoqualmie pass. The hike is very short, and the waterfall is breathtaking. Though the falls are gorgeous year round, my favorite time to go is towards the start of winter. There are some incredible ice formations, making for some amazing photos.
Map with directions to Franklin Falls: