California is famous for its many, sky-shrinking sequences, awesome mountains, stunning beaches, but for some reason, people forget all the beautiful waterfalls in California. You may think of McWay Falls in Big Sur, but there are several hidden gem waterfalls in California, few know about it, which are worth adding to the California bucket list. This article is about some of the most famous waterfalls in California, such as Big Sur and Yosemite Falls, as well as some California waterfalls that are probably only known to a California native or experienced California explorer!
Amazing Waterfalls in California
1. Darwin Falls
Located on the western edge of Death Valley National Park, Darwin Falls is a unique waterfall in the desert. A paradoxical sight among the deserted area, where even natural water droplets are rare, but this nearly 30-meter waterfall stands firm and beautiful. Death Valley is considered one of the hottest places on earth, and placing a waterfall in such a rugged desert landscape is nothing short of crazy. This top waterfall in California is funded by underground resources, which makes him active all year round. Despite the heat of evaporation and low humidity, Darwin Falls is mostly protected. Reaching the fall is just a mile walk from the parking lot; however, with harsh walking conditions and scorching sunbeams, it can feel even a mile longer and harder.
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2. Rainbow Waterfall
The Rainbow Falls is a 101-foot-high waterfall within the confines of the Devils Postpile National Monument. Lake Mammoth is a 2.5 mile walk and is truly lush. The path that leads to the fall is unfamiliar, so it requires good shoes so you don’t slip off the road. Over the rich waterfall, several rainbows appeared on summer days and it was named after “The Rainbow Fall”. The view of this amazing waterfall in California is simply breathtaking and thus the location is overcrowded with visitors, especially during the hot summer months. The scenery around the site is also fantastic and there is something to turn around or see in every direction.
3. Pit River Falls
The Pit River is a rich waterfall that is undoubtedly one of the most underrated tourist destinations in California. Because it’s hard to get there, the waterfall has gained less recognition, and many locals in California are still unknown about its existence. Sliding down the steep canyon to the bottom of the waterfall is very tricky and almost impossible; however, experienced hikers choose this mode to get to the point. The other path to Pit River Falls is accessible via raft and kayak as several canals lead to the waterfall. It is also a famous site among kayakers. When you fall, the flow of water is sometimes very high, so it is certainly a danger to get into swimming and diving.
4. Yosemite Falls
The highest waterfall in the United States, Yosemite Falls, has a total fall of more than 2,000 feet. A combination of three falls: upper Yosemite, middle cascades, and lower Yosemite, which together form one of the most beautiful waterfalls in California. The upper part of Yosemite is the most impressive stage of the fall, and it’s a bit tricky to walk around there. The fall can be viewed from several remote points, including Yosemite Village, Yosemite Valley Lodge, and the Lower Falls Trail. From a distance, it looks like two different falls; however, it is a continuous fall whose middle turn offers an unreal and beautiful view. One rare view can be captured on full moon nights when moonlight is seen on the water spray.
5. Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls in California, flowing on the lap of clean, clear, and curved rocks. The hike begins with a trip down the mountain and uphill hikes, a return trip from autumn. Even though the trail is easy, the sunshine can still make it tiring and scorching during the summer months. The trail is full of snakes that are often encountered in summer and monsoon. Cedar Creek is almost 100 meters high and flows rainy during and after the rainy season. The large pool below is suitable for swimming and, thanks to the surroundings, is a unique experience in San Diego.
6. Alamere Falls
It is one of the highest falls in the United States, and Feather Falls is without a doubt one of the best waterfalls in California. This 410-foot-high waterfall is active year-round; however, the most spectacular sight can be captured during April, when the ice melts. Thanks to one of the best hiking trails, you can find hikers here in all their glory, which is less visible in the other waterfalls in the state. The road to Feather Falls is carved out by views of the lush green jungle, rainforests, wildflowers, and fantastic canyon. Because of the fall view, hikers often go up to the cooper point, from where the picture is only glorious.
7. McCloud Falls
McCloud Falls is made up of three levels: upper, middle, and lower, each with a separate personality. All three levels are easily accessible on foot or by car and have their own car park. McCloud Falls is definitely the strongest, of various shapes and sizes, the middle wall is the most beautiful. For swimming and playing, the lower McCloud fall is the ideal and safe fall of almost 15 meters into an emerald green pool. However, the pool is deep and not suitable for non-swimmers. The location is an ideal picnic and camping site for California residents.
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8. Escondido Falls
The road to Escondido Falls is one of the best and relatively easy hikes we can try. The hiking trail leads to the highest waterfall in the Santa Monica Mountains, Escondido Falls, one of the flattest and most beautiful waterfalls in Los Angeles. The Escondido flows strongly and has a drop of 100 meters, beautifully tucked into the lush oak canyon. The lower 50-foot level is easily accessible; however, the higher ones are really hard and adventurous to achieve. Although the Escondido Falls radiate light all year round, the view becomes spectacularly beautiful and divine when viewed after monsoons.
9. Alesere leesik
Phillip Burton Wilderness is a rare tide with the Alamere Falls and a must-visit in California. The Alamere flows directly into the ocean and offers scenic views. Although active year-round, the spectacle after the spring and winter seasons is definitely unique and stunning. The fall is accessible after 2.5 hikes from the Palomarin Trailhead’s coastal trails, right at the end of Mesa Road. The trail passes through Bass Lake and Pelican Lake, where travelers often stop and swim during the scorching summers. Alamere Falls is a very popular waterfall in California, so it is sometimes overcrowded and full of travelers. Tidal days can be a bit dangerous in Alamere.
10. McWay Falls
It is a pleasure to visit the coast of Bug Sur and McWay Falls adds the best to this pleasure. McWay is an 80-foot-high waterfall that falls on the shores of Big Sur and finds direct access to the Pacific Ocean. Active all year round; however, at high tide there will be a tide. The walk to the waterfall is a quarter of a mile from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which passes through an underground tunnel on a guarded trail and offers great views of the bays. Both the road to McWay and the fall alone are enchanting and stunning. McWay is glorious at sunset, when the rustic orange and red rays of the sun directly hit the cave and waterfall, providing a more scenic sight than ever before.
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Visiting any of these best waterfalls in California is an ideal way to escape the crowds and return to nature! All these places are well connected to the Californian big cities by bus, and the journey is usually no more than a few hours. While most of them have an entrance fee, you won’t exaggerate the price at all if you want to see a wonderful natural environment in an unspoiled setting.