California’s Best Waterfalls

California is home to hundreds of waterfalls, ranging from small, ten-foot trickles over rocks, to massive, thousand-foot curtains of water pouring over the side of cliffs (hello, Yosemite!) While these are some of the most iconic waterfalls in each region of California, there are plenty of other can’t-miss cascades that call California home. A little bit of research before a weekend trip for locals or multi-stop road trip for our out-of-state friends will likely lead you to your new favorite hiking, swimming, and photo spot at the base of a refreshing waterfall.

North Coast

Stony Creek Falls in Mendocino National Forest

Shasta Cascade

Potem Falls in Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Yosemite Falls

High Sierra

Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park (the tallest waterfall in the United States!)

Gold Country

Bassi Falls in El Dorado National Forest

Central Valley

Feather Falls in Plumas National Forest

Alamere Falls

San Francisco / Bay Area

Alamere Falls in Point Reyes National Seashore

Central Coast

Salmon Creek Falls in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Eaton Canyon Falls

Los Angeles / Orange County

Eaton Canyon Falls in Angeles National Forest

San Diego

Three Sisters Falls in Cleveland National Forest

Inland Empire

Ortega Falls in Lake Elsinore


Tahquitz Falls on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation