25 OF THE BEST WATERFALL HIKES IN THE WORLD
Plitvice Lakes National Park Loop Croatia
Featuring 16 gorgeous lakes and numerous travertine waterfalls, this 9-mile trail is relatively flat and takes you through both the upper and lower sections of the park. Over 4-5 hours, you’ll experience top attractions, including the enchanting blue-green lakes and the Big Waterfall, or Veliki Slap, at 256 feet (78m) high.
Havasu Falls, Arizona United States
Lying deep in the Arizona wilderness on Havasupai tribal lands, this trek requires a permit on arrival but it's well worth it. The waterfall tumbles 90-100 feet (27 to 30m) into a turquoise pool that beautifully contrasts with the surrounding red rocks. The trail is 10 miles (16 km) each way, and day hiking is not allowed.
Fairy Pools Scotland
Located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, these clear blue pools and waterfalls are straight out of a fairy tale. You can even take a dip in the cold water if you dare! The hike to Fairy Pools is only about 1.5 miles (2.4km) and takes 40-60 minutes. Enjoy views of the Black Cuillin range from the trail.
This 11-mile (17.7-km) trail includes four giant, stunning waterfalls in Norway’s Hardangervidda National Park. The challenging hike begins in Kinsarvik and travels up the Kinso River. The river drops 2,756 feet over 2.5 miles (840 meters over 4km), so prepare for some strenuous ascents.
Cola de Caballo Spain
Cola de Caballo is a breathtaking 328-foot (100-m) tall waterfall in Spain’s Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. The 11-mile (17.7-km) waterfall hike in the Pyrenees features dramatic mountain vistas and an amphitheater-like valley called a glacial cirque. Plan on a full-day excursion for this challenging but rewarding hike.
Waterfalls in Ngare Ndare Forest Kenya
We've always dreamed of autonomous friends and helpers. The idea of non-human servants and companions date at least as far back as ancient mythologies. One being mechanical handmaidens built by the Greek god Hephaestus.
Gocta Waterfall Peru
At 2,530 feet (771m) tall, this impressive waterfall in Amazonas, Peru, is one of the tallest waterfalls on the planet. Gocta Waterfall is in a unique landscape where the Andes Mountains meet the Amazon Rainforest, and it was not known to the outside world until the early 2000s.
Tappiya Falls Philippines
This exciting journey starts at the remote village of Batad, famous for the UNESCO-protected Batad Rice Terraces. Expect to hike around 45-60 minutes in each direction. Leave early in the morning if you want to swim in the refreshing pool beneath the 98-foot (30-meter) falls.
Baatara Gorge Waterfall Lebanon
The Baatara Gorge Waterfall, also called the Cave of Three Bridges, plummets 837 feet (255m) into the Balaa Pothole, a limestone cave on the Lebanon Mountain Trail. This natural wonder formed from limestone erosion over millions of years.
Upper Yosemite Falls California, USA
This trail in Yosemite National Park offers panoramic views of the towering Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Valley. The full-day hike is strenuous - it takes 6 to 10 hours and is 7.6 miles (12.2km) long, with around 2,600 feet (800m) of elevation gain. The hike is best when the falls have plenty of water in spring or early summer.
Iguazu Falls Argentina
This awe-inspiring destination near the Brazilian border is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. A 5.3-mile (8.5-km) loop trail takes you up close to the falls and offers views of dense jungle, rainbows forming in the mist, and wildlife like toucans, monkeys, and caimans.
Multnomah Falls Oregon, USA
At 635 feet (193m) tall, Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s tallest and most recognizable waterfall. The 2.4-mile (3.7-km) trail to the waterfall starts at Multnomah Falls Lodge and provides stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge. Enjoy a dizzying view of the falls from the iconic footbridge known as Benson Bridge.
Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail Hawaii, USA
Located near Hanalei on the island of Kauai, the Hanakapi'ai Falls Trail features unforgettable views of Hawaii’s picturesque jungles, mountains, and coastline. With 2,664 feet (812m) of elevation gain over 9.1 miles (14.6km), the hike is strenuous and has numerous stream crossings. The awe-inspiring 300-foot (91-m) waterfall at the end makes it worth the effort.
Palouse Falls Washington, USA
Carved over 13,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, Palouse Falls is a stunning sight that attracts nature lovers, hikers, artists, and photographers. Various paved trails to the viewpoints are accessible to everyone, but hikers seeking a challenge can explore more of the canyon on the 1.4-mile (2.3-km) Palouse Falls Trail.
Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail Japan
Located south of Osaka, the 43-mile (70-km) Nakahechi Route on Japan’s Kumano Kodo pilgrimage rewards hikers with views of stunning Nachi Falls. The waterfall drops 436 feet (133m) and is Japan’s tallest cascade. Day hikers can take a bus to Daimonzaka Chushajo then enjoy a short walk to the falls.
Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail Hawaii, USA
This easy hike in Haleakala National Park is one of Maui’s best hikes and is suitable for all skill levels. Over 3.8 miles (6.1km), you’ll hike through dense vegetation, including a bamboo forest and giant banyan trees. The main attraction is Waimoku Falls, which drops 400 feet (122m) down a sheer volcanic rock wall.
Acqua Fraggia Waterfall Italy
Italy has no shortage of spectacular scenery, and the Acqua Fraggia Waterfall in the Lombardy region does not disappoint. A moderate 2.3-mile (3.7-km) out-and-back trail takes you to the two-tiered waterfall that drops around 427 feet (130m). Enjoy a picnic lunch, swim in the river pools, and take in the Alpine scenery.
Whangarei Falls New Zealand
This easy hike in the Whangarei Scenic Reserve is 3 miles (4.8km) round-trip. In addition to the picturesque Whangarei Falls, hikers will experience a kauri forest with giant kauri trees and have the chance to spot abundant flora and fauna unique to New Zealand.
Translated as Black Falls, Svartifoss is fed by meltwater from the Svinafellsjokull glacier in Skaftafell National Park. The easy hike is 1.9 miles (3km) round-trip and takes about 1.5 hours. Hikers are rewarded with views of the 80-foot (20-m) tall chute and unique hexagonal rock columns behind it.
Salto de la Jalda Dominican Republic
Hikers on this moderate to challenging 7.8-mile (12.5-km) trail will get to see the Caribbean’s highest waterfall - Salto de la Jalda. The area features dense jungle and is not often visited, making it a perfect hike for adventurers who want to experience a remote and unspoiled spot.
Glymur Waterfall Iceland
This 4.3-mile (6.9-km) moderate trail in western Iceland takes you to the country’s second-highest cascade, Glymur Waterfall. In addition to the scenic falls, hikers can enjoy views of a gorgeous mossy canyon, the Botnsá River, and a small cave. Go between June and September for the best experience.
Kuang Si Waterfall Laos
Hikers on this moderate 1.4-mile (2.3-km) loop trail will experience the most visited and arguably the most beautiful waterfall in Laos - Kuang Si Falls. The trail is short but quite steep. Enjoy a swim in the enchanting turquoise pools and head to the top of the falls for a jaw-dropping view of the surrounding forests and mountains.
Lower Oneonta Falls Oregon, USA
Located in Oregon’s Oneonta Gorge, the hike to Lower Oneonta Falls is nothing short of spectacular. The chute drops 100 feet (30m) down a dark volcanic gorge covered in ferns and moss. The hike is only 0.8 miles (1.3km), but it can be challenging - you’ll need to wade through the water in the gorge and climb over obstacles.
Seven Sisters Trail Geiranger, Norway
This trail provides magnificent views of an impressive group of seven waterfalls known as the Seven Sisters. The cascades tumble around 820 feet (250m) into a Norwegian fjord near Geiranger in Møre og Romsdal. Prepare for a challenge! The trail packs in 2,165 feet (660m) of elevation gain in 4.3 miles (6.9km).
Middleham Fall Dominica Republic
This moderate hike takes you through dense rainforest in Morne Trois Piton National Park on the Caribbean’s “Nature Island,” Dominica. You’ll hike 4 miles (6km) to Middleham Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls on the island. Enjoy a swim in the chilly pool underneath the cascade before hiking back.
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