Via readers share their favorite spectacular waterfalls in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah.
TUMALO FALLS Bend, Ore. “Walk to an amazing view from the top of the 97-foot-high plunging falls,” says Donna McClung. “You can continue up the trail to Double Falls, Middle and North Fork falls, and more.” visitbend.com.
BURNEY FALLS McArthur-Burney Memorial State Park, Burney, Calif. “The most beautiful in Northern California,” says Angela Fong. “I’ve visited with friends dozens of times and the majestic views, refreshing mist, and waterfall trail are always spectacular.” www.parks.ca.gov.
DONUT FALLS Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City “At these unique falls the water rushes through a ‘doughnut hole’ and pools in a cave, then trickles down and turns into a waterfall,” says Melissa DeMordaunt. “Throw in a doughnut picnic at the top.” utah.com/hike/donut-falls-trail.
EAGLE FALLS Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, Calif. “Find breathtaking views of this rushing waterfall up a mile-long trail a short distance from Vikingsholm castle,” says Paul Andrew. “Feeling the spray of the crisp, clean water is exhilarating.” www.fs.usda.gov/activity/ltbmu/recreation/hiking.
FEATHER FALLS Plumas National Forest, Oroville, Calif. “The most impressive California waterfall north of Yosemite,” says Barbara Schroeder. “The Fall River hurtles 640 feet into the Feather River’s middle fork.” www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/plumas/recarea/?recid=11228.
MCWAY FALLS Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, Calif. “It may not be very tall, but not many waterfalls can boast of falling straight into the Pacific Ocean,” says Eileen Fukunaga. “It runs year-round, and the cove is usually a gorgeous shade of blue.” www.parks.ca.gov.
LATOURELL FALLS Guy W. Talbot State Park, Troutdale, Ore. “Just darn wonderful,” says Michael Hare. “This waterfall is often overlooked after people visit the well-known Vista House, then continue on to famous Multnomah Falls. Latourell is in a lovely dell, with a very short walk to the base. And it’s wheelchair accessible.” oregonstateparks.org/park_154.php.
MESA FALLS Ashton, Idaho “Magnificent falls nearly 300 feet across and 114 feet tall,” says Ron Gabriel. “You can drive to a parking lot about 50 feet from the crest. What a sight when you stand near the falls and look down into the Henry’s Fork River below.” fs.usda.gov/recarea/ctnf/recarea/?recid=54791.
SAHALIE AND KOOSAH FALLS East of Eugene, Ore. “These two spectacular falls on the McKenzie River are about a half mile apart,” says Annetta Forrer. “Start at the thundering Sahalie Falls and listen to the roar of water and feel the mist. Then follow a path or drive half a mile downstream to Koosah Falls, which cascades into a wide, tree-lined basin.” byways.org/explore/byways/2148/places/12271.
SILVER FALLS Silver Falls State Park, Silverton, Ore. “There are so many waterfalls here, it’s hard to pick just one,” says Rudy Van Pelt. “South Falls near the main picnic area is easiest to hike to. The Trail of Ten Falls really does go to—and occasionally behind—10 waterfalls on an eight-mile trail.” oregonstateparks.org/park_211.php.
This article was first published in May 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.