Here in Washington State, we’re known for our breathtaking mountain ranges, our diverse national parks, the beauty of the Puget Sound, and of course, our healthy amount of rainfall. Whether we like the quantity of precipitation or not, we can all admit that it leads to some seriously gorgeous greenery and fantastic waterfalls. We have no shortage of falls, and you can find them in almost every corner of the state. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites and shared them below.
Palouse is an unexpected gem in the middle of a dry and rocky desert. Off the beaten path, the falls appear out of nowhere and are all the more spectacular juxtaposed against the rural surroundings. The falls are a part of the larger Palouse Falls State Park, which offers first-come, first-served tent camping and is an ideal spot for a picnic and spotting yellow-bellied marmots soaking in the sunshine. From the parking lot, a short walk to an overlook provides interpretive signs and impressive views of the 198-foot waterfall, but a five-minute walk to Upper Palouse Falls will really leave you dazzled. This is the prime location for photo opportunities, particularly during sunrise or sunset.
Located just 30 miles from Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most accessible falls in the state, and thus one of the most popular. A large platform next to the parking area provides views of the 270-foot tall waterfall that can grow to 150 feet wide at its pinnacle. If you want to venture further, walk the 1.3-mile out-and-back trail that winds through western hemlock, Douglas fir, alder, and bigleaf maple trees. At the bottom of the trail, a boardwalk leads to a sensational viewpoint that faces the base of the falls. Finish off your trip with a stop at the Snoqualmie Falls store for a box of their famous “Old Fashioned” pancake and waffle mix. It makes a great breakfast if you’re on the road in a ROAMERICA campervan.
If you want to work for your waterfall view, Bridal Veil Falls is for you. Located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, a short 2-mile hike leads you to one of the tallest waterfalls in the state. The water flows 1,328 feet down from nearby Lake Serene (which you can hike to from the waterfall) over the rocky wall of Mount Index. It consists of seven tiers, but only a third of the total height can be seen from the trail, keeping much of its size hidden. The gentle misty spray at the base is a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day.
Wallace Falls is a 5.6-mile round-trip hike located in the Central Cascades. With 1,300 feet of elevation gain, the moderate climb makes it an accessible hike for all, and there are scenic spots to stop and catch your breath along the way. The hike is comprised of three main areas to view the waterfall: lower falls, middle falls, and upper falls. The lower falls has a picnic and shelter area, making it a great stop for a snack, while middle falls provides the most impressive panoramic sights on the trail. Get your camera ready, and if you’ve had your fill, it’s a great spot to turn around and head back down. Pro Tip: This hike is dog friendly (furballs must be kept on leashes) and a great hike for families.
Olympic National Park has a lot of attractions to experience, and Sol De Lac Falls is one of them. At just 1.6 miles round trip, you’ll walk through incredible old-growth trees and lush green rainforest landscapes. Depending on the season and water volume, the falls can split into as many as four pathways as it cascades over 45 feet into a rocky canyon. Start the walk early to avoid crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet in nature. Pro Tip: Permits are required for an overnight stay, and reservations are in effect May 1 through September 30 for the Sol Duc-Seven Lakes Basin area. Tent and RV camping is allowed in the area, and ROAMERICA's fully equipped adventure van rentals are designed for beautiful places like this.