California Waterfalls (USA)

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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]), the southern extremes of the Cascade Ranges and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the state's northernmost regions, 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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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 California

Top 10 Waterfalls in Southern California

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

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.

Feather Falls Northern California: This extensive part of the Golden State encompasses much of the state's gold mining past, active volcanoes, remote yet pristine old growth forests, and some of the most spectacular waterfalls to be found outside of Yosemite National Park! It's kind of our state's "last frontier" as we had yet to visit any of the waterfalls in this region until now! By this fact alone, it just underscores the size and diversity of California, and we'll be keen to add to our humble survey of waterfalls in this part of the state every chance we can get.

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.

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.

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.

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


[Back to Coastal California & Bay Area]


[Back to Northern California]


[Back to Southern and Central Sierras]


[Back to Southern California]


[Back to Reader Submissions]

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