California Waterfalls


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California Waterfalls dot the Golden State in terrain as varied as mountains to deserts to coastlines and volcanoes. It's this diversity that makes California a great place to live as well as visit.

California is blessed with beaches, rugged coasts, mountains, deserts, forests, cities, you name it. Of course, the comfortable climate draws people from around the world - regardless of whether they plan to live here or visit. The result is one of the most open-minded and ethnically diverse places in the world.

Being a resident of Los Angeles most of my life, I have been fortunate to see and experience much of this variety. However, I must honestly say that it wasn't until my mid to late 20s did I truly start to open my eyes and see what I had been missing most of my life - the waterfalls!

The catalyst of it all began with a few trips to see California Waterfalls in our local area. Now, with the help of my wife, we have visited a fairly large collection of California Waterfalls, and we're eager to share them with you in this section.

Upon a visit to the natural beauty that the Golden State has to offer, you'll realize that California Waterfalls exist near cities such as Los Angeles and San Fransisco (and even San Diego), along its ruggedly beautiful coast (such as Big Sur and Point Reyes), within its towering snow-capped mountains (such as the Sierras and Yosemite [in it's own separate section]), and even in the hottest place in the lower 48 states (i.e. Death Valley)!

Even though we think we've seen quite a few of the California Waterfalls, there are many more that are out there. We hope to be fortunate enough to see most of them within our lifetime, but that is going to be a tall order...





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OUR FAVORITES

Some of the waterfalls in this region were considered amongst our favorites and thus have made one or more of our top 10 lists. To see which of these lists have featured waterfalls from this region, see below!



Top 10 Waterfalls in Southern California




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WATERFALL SUBREGIONS

Below are the waterfall subregions that we've been to. Click on a subregion for more details about the area and its waterfalls.



Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park Yosemite National Park: This treasure of California features some of the most beautiful scenery in the state - especially its many cliff-diving waterfalls. This place is so beautiful and waterfalls are so abundant that we've created a completely separate series of web pages devoted to the waterfalls and other attractions you'll find here...

Click here to read more about the area and see its waterfalls.
Click here to jump directly to the area's waterfall list.



Escondido Falls in the Santa Monica Mountains Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara): Even though this region is dominated by the greater Los Angeles area, waterfalls can be found in relatively quick short day trips. It was through these trips that our waterfall addiction got started. From the coastal mountains of the Santa Monica Mountains to the rugged forests of the Angeles National Forest to the canyons of the San Bernardino Mountains, we'll show you to some of the waterfall gems that nature lovers can't resist once they know where to look...

Click here to read more about the area and see its waterfalls.
Click here to jump directly to the area's waterfall list.



Alamere Falls Coastal California (Big Sur & Bay Area): This rugged yet alluring strip of land between Coastal Mountains and the Pacific Ocean is affectionately known as the place where "the land meets the sea." Not only will you find one of the most beautiful coastal regions on the planet in Big Sur, but there are waterfalls up and down coast that further motivate you to see the area. Many of the waterfalls here are reasonable day trips (or relaxing weekend trips) from the Bay Area.

Click here to read more about the area and see its waterfalls.
Click here to jump directly to the area's waterfall list.



Rainbow Falls near Mammoth Lakes Southern and Central Sierras: Within these mountains, which encompass the tallest peaks in the lower 48 states, the largest living organism on earth, and numerous National Parks and National Forests, there are several waterfalls that beckon you to come and visit. Amongst some of the prominent places to see in this region (with the exception of Yosemite National Park, which has its own section in this website) include Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Death Valley National Park, Mono Lake, and Sequoia National Forest, among others. The choices of waterfalls to see may seem overwhelming, and we've only seen a fraction of what's out here, which we'll show you within these pages...

Click here to read more about the area and see its waterfalls.
Click here to jump directly to the area's waterfall list.



Burney Falls Reader Submissions: We can't possibly visit every single waterfall in California. Fortunately, there are readers kind enough to share their knowledge and experiences by writing up their own guides for those waterfalls that we haven't been to.

Click here to submit your own write-up.
Click here to jump directly to the reader submissions waterfall list.



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MORE INFO

Are you researching for an upcoming trip to this region? We've got additional information concerning non-waterfall attractions, our own travel stories, reviews of books and maps, or even writeups concerning the logistics of what it takes to come here and what to expect! Check out the following links...



The Race Track Playa California's Other Attractions: There's more to the Golden State than waterfalls. If you're curious about the state's other natural attractions or you're suffering from waterfall fatigue, have a look! [read more]




The Monarch Divide California Travel Stories: Read about the stories behind the World of Waterfalls. See California through our eyes while becoming more informed about this beautiful state. In this section, you will find travel journals that will leave you laughing, smiling, curious, or just about all the emotions you'd expect when you're traveling to an unknown place. [read more]




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THE WATERFALLS LIST

If you already have a waterfall in mind that you'd like to see details about, browse the list below...


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

[Back to Southern California]


COASTAL CALIFORNIA & BAY AREA

[Back to Coastal California & Bay Area]


SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL SIERRAS

[Back to Southern and Central Sierras]


READER SUBMISSIONS

[Back to Reader Submissions]


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Featured Visitor Stories
or Comments


A Wet Day
First, thanks for this cool website its nice to know about hidden gems in our backyard. We went on May 24th, 2008 and had the pleasure of seeing a running stream all the way...[more]


Moon Walking & Rock Slides
We would climb up the falls along the crevice to the left of the falls all the way up then over to the chute to the left of the falls and run down the gravel chute...[more]


CMarie (Upper Escondido Falls)
This hike is AMAZING! I was happy going through this trail with a few friends as it was quite pretty. The road up is a long one and there were...[more]


Burney Falls - Burney, California
Glad to know there are waterfall lovers like myself. I am enjoying the website. I thought I would post to you a picture of a waterfall in California that is...[more]


Three Sisters Waterfall - San Diego, CA
I was so surprised not to see the Three Sisters Waterfall in Descanso, CA (San Diego County) on your list & then remembered it's a fairly well kept secret...[more]


Heart Rock Falls
I absolutely loved the scenery of this whole hike and destination. It was very confusing to get there and we had to make a few U-Turns, but it was definitely worth...[more]


Blackstar Canyon - Hidden Falls of Orange County
About a year ago, I was given a newspaper article describing these hidden falls in Orange County. The article itself did not specify the exact location, so I did some hunting online...[more]


Emerald Falls (near Fillmore, CA)
Here is what I can only assume is called "Emerald Falls" just north of Filmore in Southern California. (In Los Padres National Forest) I think it is hands down...[more]