You’ll Be Blown Away By The 10 Tallest Waterfalls In California


The waterfalls in California aren’t only breathtaking but some are larger-than-life. Especially in Yosemite Valley, where many cascades plunge thousands of feet in multiple tiers off rocky cliffs. Just looking up at them from only 5 or 6 feet tall is a stunning reminder of how small we really are. But California is a huge state with hundreds of cascades – which ones drop higher than the rest? Check them out below.

10. Chagoopa Falls

Height: 1,200 feet
Location: Sequoia National Park

Chagoopa Falls is one of the tallest falls in the High Sierras. The only way to see this 1,200-foot-beauty is by way of a multi-day hike – deep in Sequoia National Park wilderness – along a few paths like the High Sierra Trail.

9. Tokopah Falls

Height: 1,200 feet
Location: Sequoia National Park

Tokopah Falls is an easy canyon hike in Sequoia National Park. The trail follows a tumbling river, through pine woods and alpine meadows for about 1.7 miles one-way. It leads up to a rocky area beneath the lower falls, where you can get the best views.

8. Lehamite Falls

Height: 1,180 feet
Location: Yosemite National Park

Lehamite Falls is probably the most underrated waterfall in Yosemite National Park. It plummets over 1,100 feet in a series of cascades, but doesn’t get nearly as much attention because it’s located in a canyon next to the more-popular Yosemite Falls. Another reason it’s fairly unheard of is because the falls are seasonal, and can only be seen in the spring after heavy rainfall.

7. Royal Arch Cascade

Height: 1,250 feet
Location: Yosemite National Park

Royal Arch Cascade pours over 1,200-feet down a granite cliff until about June every year. It’s within walking distance of Yosemite Hotel, which provides 4-star lodging in the park with views of Half Dome & Yosemite Falls.

6. Staircase Falls

Height: 1,700 feet
Location: Yosemite National Park

Like the name suggests, Staircase Falls drops in multiple tiers as if it’s pouring down granite steps. But it’s hard to catch on camera. The falls, located behind Camp Curry, are ephemeral and can only be seen after it rains every year (usually before May).

5. Sentinel Falls

Height: 1,920 feet (in six drops)
Location: Yosemite National Park

Sentinel Falls doesn’t only have one enormous drop. It’s got six tiers flowing along Sentinel Rock, with the highest descending about 500 feet. Despite its towering height the waterfall isn’t very powerful and generally becomes dry around July.

4. Horsetail Fall

Height: 1,575 feet
Location: Yosemite National Park

Horsetail Fall is best known for its fiery phenomenon every February. As long as the weather conditions are just right, and the sky is clear after sunset, the falls become illuminated and look just like lava pouring off a cliff. Read more about it here.

3. Ribbon Fall

Height: 1,611 feet
Location: Yosemite National Park

Ribbon Fall is the highest single-drop waterfall in North America – plummeting over 1,600 feet off the west side of El Capitan. Because the fall’s mostly fed by melting snow, it usually remains dry throughout most of the year. But the best time to see it is in the spring, so plan a trip soon before it dries up for the season.

2. Snow Creek Falls

Height: 2,140 feet (in seven drops)
Location: Yosemite National Park

When Snow Creek is running high, you can see this long series of cascades plunging in seven drops, the highest falling 500 feet. In fact it’s such a long waterfall, we felt the best way to show you all of its tiers wasn’t with a photo, but the short Youtube clip above. Check it out for the full view!

1. Yosemite Falls

Height: 2,425 feet (in three drops)
Location: Yosemite National Park

The grand Yosemite Falls is California’s tallest waterfall, and the highest cascade in the country. It consists of three sections, with a steep 7.2-mile trail that climbs all the way to the top.

California never fails to enchant us with all of its natural beauty. Have you seen any of these gorgeous waterfalls before?

If you liked this post, check out the beautiful Burney Falls.