Explore the enchanting beauty of the great outdoors with our carefully curated list of “10 Stunning Waterfalls You Can Hike to This Year.” If you’re an adventure seeker, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking to embark on an unforgettable journey, these natural wonders scattered across the globe offer the perfect blend of scenic hikes and breathtaking waterfalls. From the iconic Multnomah Falls in Oregon to the secluded Angel Falls in Venezuela, each of these destinations promises a unique experience, whether you seek tranquil serenity, an adrenaline-pumping trek, or a combination of both. Get ready to lace up your hiking boots, pack your camera, and embark on an exploration of some of the world’s most awe-inspiring waterfalls amidst the pristine beauty of the great outdoors.
Multnomah Falls, Oregon, USA:
Multnomah Falls is a true gem of the Pacific Northwest, located in the heart of the lush Columbia River Gorge. It’s one of the most photographed waterfalls in the United States, and for a good reason. A paved trail takes you to the base of the falls, where you’ll feel the cool mist on your face as you gaze up at the two-tiered cascade. The vibrant green surroundings and the iconic Benson Bridge, which spans the lower tier, make this waterfall a must-visit for hikers and nature enthusiasts.
Havasu Falls, Arizona, USA:
Havasu Falls is a breathtaking oasis nestled deep within the Grand Canyon. The journey to reach this pristine waterfall involves a challenging hike through the arid canyon landscape, but the reward is worth every step. The striking turquoise waters and the vibrant red rocks create a surreal and unique natural wonder. Havasu Falls is renowned for its cascading waters and the series of turquoise pools below, making it a bucket-list destination for adventurous hikers.
Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos:
Kuang Si Falls, located a short drive from the charming town of Luang Prabang, Laos, is a delightful surprise in the midst of lush greenery. A gentle hike through a dense forest leads you to the main waterfall, which tumbles gracefully into a series of vibrant blue pools. The contrast between the white water and the azure pools is stunning. You can swim in some of these pools, making it a perfect place to cool off in the heat of Laos.
Plitvice Lakes Waterfalls, Croatia:
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is a natural wonderland filled with cascading waterfalls. A network of well-maintained wooden boardwalks and trails allows visitors to explore the interconnected lakes and waterfalls, offering stunning views at every turn. The water here is crystal clear, and the terraced, multicolored lakes make this a surreal landscape. The Plitvice Lakes waterfalls are a true testament to the beauty of the Balkan region.
Vernal and Nevada Falls, California, USA:
Yosemite National Park is renowned for its natural beauty, and the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls is a testament to this reputation. The trail is challenging but immensely rewarding, especially in the spring when the water flow is at its peak. Vernal Fall greets hikers with a refreshing mist, and Nevada Fall offers panoramic views of the surrounding valley. The power and grandeur of these falls, set against the backdrop of the towering granite cliffs of Yosemite, create an unforgettable hiking experience.
Angel Falls, Venezuela:
Angel Falls is a natural marvel located deep within Venezuela’s Canaima National Park. The world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, Angel Falls plunges over the edge of the Auyán-tepui mesa, creating a jaw-dropping freefall of nearly 3,212 feet. To reach this remote wonder, you’ll embark on a multi-day trek through the pristine jungle, venturing through lush rainforests and crossing streams. The awe-inspiring sight of Angel Falls, with its misty spray and verdant surroundings, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for intrepid adventurers.
Iceland’s Gullfoss, also known as the “Golden Falls,” is a mesmerizing natural spectacle located on the Hvítá River. A short walk from the parking area brings you to the edge of the falls, where you can witness the water tumbling down in two powerful tiers before disappearing into a rugged canyon. Gullfoss is particularly enchanting in winter when the surrounding landscape is blanketed in snow, creating a striking contrast with the cascading water.
Takachiho Gorge, Miyazaki, Japan:
The Takachiho Gorge, located in the Miyazaki Prefecture of Japan, is renowned for its stunning waterfalls and captivating scenery. A pleasant hike along the gorge’s well-maintained trail takes you to the beautiful Manai Falls, which gracefully cascades into the emerald waters below. The lush greenery, unique basalt columns, and serene atmosphere make this a perfect spot for those seeking natural beauty and tranquility.
Snoqualmie Falls, Washington, USA:
Snoqualmie Falls, located just a short drive from Seattle, is one of Washington’s most iconic waterfalls. An easy stroll to the viewing platform offers a spectacular view of the falls as they drop dramatically into a misty gorge. The falls are particularly captivating after heavy rainfall or during the snowmelt, when the water roars with power, making it a delightful year-round destination for nature lovers.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil:
Iguazu Falls, straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil, is a natural wonder of epic proportions. A network of well-maintained trails surrounds the falls, offering visitors numerous vantage points to witness the sheer scale and beauty of this colossal cascade. The falls, surrounded by lush rainforests and teeming with diverse wildlife, create an enchanting and memorable hiking experience, making it one of the most iconic waterfall destinations in the world.