You don’t need to go on a long hike to see gorgeous waterfalls here in Washington. We have beautiful cascades hiding in plain sight everywhere, most of which can be seen along just a short walk. Whether you’re not much of a hiker, bringing the little ones or just don’t feel like going on a strenuous trip, these 10 easy-to-reach cascades should definitely be on your list this summer.
1. Narada Falls
Narada Falls is a two-tiered beauty in Mount Rainier National Park, just west of the Paradise area. It's only about 0.1 of a mile walk from the parking lot to the overlook, where you can enjoy a misty view of the waterfall veiling down a massive basalt rock wall.
2. Myrtle Falls
Myrtle Falls is another gem by the Paradise area in Mount Rainier National Park. It can easily be seen about a half-mile in along the Skyline Trail. A short path to the right leads over to a viewpoint, where you can stop and get photos of the 72-foot cascade and beautiful Mount Rainier backdrop.
3. Merriman Falls
Visible from South Shore Road, Merriman Falls is one of the easiest cascades to access in the Quinault area. It drops about 40 feet down a short cliff into a pile of rocks covered in moss and ferns.
4. Madison Creek Falls
This horsetail-shaped waterfall plunges about 50 feet by the Elwha River, just west of Port Angeles. Luckily, the path out to the cascade is short, paved, and wheelchair accessible, so everyone can enjoy its splendor.
5. Spokane Falls
This thundering waterfall drops downtown by Riverfront Park. It's a perfect reminder that even in our state's big cities there's still magnificent natural beauty everywhere. You can even take
this Gondola ride
over the falls to enjoy impressive aerial views of the cascade.
6. Marymere Falls
Marymere Falls can easily be reached off Highway 101, just south of Lake Crescent. The 90-foot waterfall is hidden at the end of a short 0.9-mile stroll through old-growth forest.
7. Panther Creek Falls
A short 0.4-mile walk through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest leads to this other-worldly cascade. The waterfall consists of multiple tiers, with the largest dropping 102+ feet over a huge, moss-covered rock wall.
8. Tumwater Falls
Tumwater Falls consists of both an upper and lower cascade on the Deschutes River, in the Olympia area. You can walk out on a wooden footbridge to get a good view of the lower falls, or sit and enjoy a meal at Falls Terrace Restaurant overlooking the water out the window.
9. Sunbeam Falls
While driving down Stevens Canyon Road in Mount Rainier National Park, you can spot this waterfall near the end of the canyon, by Louise Lake. As the road crosses Sunbeam Creek, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the cascade in all its glory.
10. Rocky Brook Falls
Rocky Brook Falls is one of the most impressive cascades on the Olympic Peninsula, and it's not a very far walk at all. A short, 200-yard path leads out to this cascade dropping 229 feet over a giant rock wall. The pool at the bottom also serves as a popular swimming hole during the summertime.
If you’re looking for more short, family-fun trips, check out these 15 trails that are all
5 miles or less.
Have you been to any of these gorgeous waterfalls before? What are some of your favorite cascades that are hiding in plain sight?