Waterfalls in Northern California

10 Waterfalls in Northern California

Northern California is home to numerous natural treasures, with its mesmerizing waterfalls standing out as some of the most memorable. Dive into our exploration of “Waterfalls of Northern California” to uncover the variety and beauty of these striking water features that grace the region’s stunning scenery.

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Top 10 Waterfalls in Northern California

1. Burney Falls

Waterfalls in Northern California

Burney Falls, situated within the captivating McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park in Northern California, is a breathtaking spectacle of nature’s grandeur. Nestled amidst lush greenery and volcanic landscapes, this 129-foot waterfall emanates a timeless beauty that draws visitors from far and wide.

What makes Burney Falls truly magical is its unique water supply, which flows continuously all year round, fed by underground springs.
Waterfalls cascade over moss-covered cliffs, creating a magical veil of mist that sparkles in the sunlight. Pristine water with a striking blue hue flows into a crystal-clear pool below, surrounded by vibrant ferns and ancient lava rock.

Waterfalls in Northern California

A network of trails leads visitors to various viewing points, allowing them to view the falls from different angles.
An observation deck near the parking lot offers panoramic views, and the Barney Creek Trail offers a closer, more immersive experience. The paths winding through the varied forest enrich the entire trip.

Referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by President Theodore Roosevelt, Burney Falls is not only a testament to Northern California’s geological wonders, but also a refuge for those seeking solace in unspoiled natural beauty.

2. Yosemite Falls: Majestic beautiful waterfalls in Northern California

Waterfalls in Northern California

Yosemite Falls, a crowning jewel of Yosemite National Park in California, stands as an emblem of natural magnificence, captivating visitors with its sheer beauty and grandeur. Plummeting a staggering 2,425 feet in three distinct cascades—Upper Yosemite Fall, Middle Cascades, and Lower Yosemite Fall—it ranks among the tallest waterfalls in North America.

The journey to witness Yosemite Falls begins with the melodious rush of water audible from a distance. As you draw closer, the cool mist fills the air, creating an invigorating atmosphere. Spring and early summer bring the falls to its peak, with the snowmelt feeding the torrents, resulting in a thunderous display of power.

Yosemite Falls

The vantage points, such as Sentinel Bridge and Yosemite Valley Loop Trail, offer awe-inspiring panoramic views, showcasing the falls against the iconic backdrop of granite cliffs and verdant pine forests. Yosemite Falls’ magical beauty isn’t limited to sunlight. Moonbows, or lunar rainbows, can be witnessed during the full moon.

A symbol of Yosemite’s pristine wilderness, Yosemite Falls enchants adventurers, photographers, and nature lovers alike, inviting them into a realm of unparalleled natural splendor.

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3. McCloud Falls

McCloud Falls

McLeod Falls is a trio of waterfalls set in the beautiful surroundings of the Shasta National Forest near the town of McLeod, offering an enchanting display of natural beauty. The journey to the falls follows a well-marked path where you can hear the constant sound of the McLeod River.

Upper MacLeod Falls: Your adventure begins at Upper MacLeod Falls. There, the river flows gracefully over rocks and foliage. The waterfall is made up of a series of smaller waterfalls, each adding to the magic of the whole. Crystal clear water meanders through the lush landscape, creating a tranquil and picturesque backdrop. The surrounding forest, with its towering conifers, enhances the falls’ natural allure.

McCloud Falls

Middle McCloud Falls: As you progress downstream, Middle McCloud Falls reveals itself with a majestic 50-foot drop into a pristine azure pool. The falls invite visitors to immerse themselves in the refreshing waters or simply bask in the mesmerizing beauty of the cascading water. The lush greenery and the cool mist in the air add to the sensory delight.

Lower McCloud Falls: The journey culminates at Lower McCloud Falls, a serene conclusion to this natural trilogy. The falls gracefully spill over a basalt shelf, creating a gentle yet enchanting display of water and mist. The ambiance is tranquil, and visitors can appreciate the falls from various viewpoints, surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature.

McLeod Falls, with its layered splendor and harmonious integration into the surrounding forest, is a testament to Northern California’s unspoilt and majestic natural landscape. Taking travelers on a sensory journey, a symphony of flowing water, green foliage and fresh mountain air creates an unforgettable experience.

4. Hedge Creek Falls: Beautiful waterfalls in Northern California

Hedge Creek Falls

Hedge Creek Falls, near Dunsmuir, California, is a fascinating natural wonder that attracts visitors with its accessibility and unique features. Accessed via a scenic trail, the falls stretch along Hedge Creek and offer a mesmerizing sight.

The trail to Hedge Creek Falls winds through the forested landscape, creating a quiet, shady path that inspires anticipation of the natural beauty that awaits. Upon arrival, the falls gracefully descend approximately 30 feet, creating a curtain of water cascading over moss-covered basalt cliffs.

Hedge Creek Falls

Step behind the waterfall and you’ll find yourself in a hidden alcove, protected by a curtain of water and surrounded by the vibrant greenery of the cliffs. Surrounded by lush foliage, the waterfall forms a picturesque landscape that invites visitors to slow down and enjoy the unique beauty of this natural environment.

Hedge Creek Falls is a tranquil retreat in the heart of nature, where the combination of accessibility, beautiful views, and dramatic trails behind the falls make it a must-see in Northern California.

5. Feather Falls

Waterfalls in Northern California

Feather Falls Nestled in the tranquil expanse of Northern California’s Plumas National Forest, Feather Falls is a stunning testament to the area’s natural beauty. Plunging 410 feet from a sheer cliff, this waterfall presents a mesmerizing sight of cascading water that captivates the senses.

As you approach Feather Falls along the trail, the distant sound of falling water gradually gets louder, signaling that you are about to encounter this majestic waterfall. This trail winds through a picturesque landscape filled with wildflowers, moss-covered rocks, and towering coniferous trees, immersing visitors in its pristine surroundings.

Feather Falls

As you draw closer, Feather Falls reveals its grandeur—its waters plummeting gracefully, creating an elegant feather-like appearance. The sheer height of the falls imparts a sense of power and majesty, while the delicate mist adds a touch of ethereal beauty to the scene.

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The natural amphitheater surrounding Feather Falls has multiple vantage points along the trail, each offering a unique view. The falls’ serene and meditative ambiance, coupled with the vibrant hues of the forest, elevates Feather Falls into a captivating sanctuary within the heart of Northern California’s untamed wilderness.

6. Whiskeytown Falls

Whiskeytown Falls

Located within Northern California’s scenic Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Whiskeytown Falls is a hidden gem that enchants visitors with its natural splendor.

The trip to the falls begins with a gentle hike that takes adventurers through a lush forest with rich flora. As the path continues, harmonious sounds of nature guide the path, forming a tranquil prelude to the main attraction.

Whiskeytown Falls descends 220 feet and captivates onlookers with its graceful waterfall. The waterfall empties into a crystal clear pool below, creating a refreshing oasis surrounded by moss-covered rocks and lush vegetation.

The waterfall is surrounded by towering trees, whose canopy filters sunlight and provides a soft glow to the surrounding area. Large rocks form a natural seating area, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

Waterfalls in Northern California

Whiskeytown Falls’ multi-tiered structure adds to its charm as the water moves gracefully between a series of rocks. The mist created by the waterfall enhances the relaxing atmosphere and gives you a break from the outside world.

With its remote beauty and stunning natural setting, Whiskeytown Falls is a testament to Northern California’s pristine nature and attracts those seeking peace and connection with the region’s pristine landscape.

7. Rainbow Falls: One of the beautiful waterfalls in Northern California

Waterfalls in Northern California

Rainbow Falls, nestled within the enchanting Devils Postpile National Monument in California, is a captivating display of nature’s artistry. Accessible via a picturesque trail, the journey unfolds through a pristine forest, setting the stage for the breathtaking spectacle that awaits.

Waterfalls in Northern California

As you approach, you can hear the sound of falling water in the distance, heralding an impending encounter with Rainbow Falls. The waterfall emerges from among the trees and falls majestically to a depth of 30 meters.

Rainbow Falls

The water cascades over the basalt cliffs, creating a beautiful and magical sight, and on especially clear days, vivid rainbows often appear. The vibrant spectrum of colors dancing in the mist created by the waterfall gives this scene a surreal and mesmerizing quality. Allowing visitors to marvel at the juxtaposition of the majestic waterfall and the surrounding nature.

The immersive experience at Rainbow Falls extends beyond the visual splendor. The soothing sounds of the cascading water and the cool mist in the air create a sensory symphony, enhancing the overall ambiance. The surrounding cliffs, adorned with hexagonal basalt columns, contribute to the geological marvel that complements the falls.

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8. Mossbrae Falls

Waterfalls in Northern California

Nestled within the scenic beauty of Shasta County, Mossbrae Falls is as a testament to the unspoiled beauty that characterizes the waterfalls of Northern California. Accessible via a scenic trail, the journey to Mossbrae Falls unveils the enchanting beauty hidden within the moss-covered cliffs.

As you venture along the trail, the melodic sounds of the flowing Sacramento River accompany the trek, creating a soothing auditory backdrop to the visual feast that awaits. Mossbrae Falls, with a height of around 50 feet, gracefully spills over a basaltic rock wall, creating an ethereal curtain of water.

Mossbrae Falls

One distinctive feature of Mossbrae Falls is the lush green moss that adorns the surrounding cliffs, adding a velvety texture to the scene. The moss-covered rocks, combined with the crystalline waters, create a harmonious blend of colors and textures that is a delight to the senses.

The falls can be observed from various vantage points along the trail, each offering a unique perspective. The open view allows visitors to appreciate the falls against the backdrop of the surrounding forest, enhancing the overall experience.

9. Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall, a splendid natural wonder within Yosemite National Park, and Mossbrae Falls, nestled in the scenic beauty of Shasta County, both stand as distinct exemplars of Northern California’s breathtaking waterfalls.

Bridalveil Fall, with a sheer drop of 620 feet, commands attention with its ethereal beauty. The cascading water, adorned with a delicate mist, descends gracefully from the granite cliffs, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle. The falls, framed by towering sequoias, contribute to Yosemite’s iconic panorama.

Waterfalls in Northern California

On the other hand, Mossbrae Falls, a hidden gem near Dunsmuir, captivates with its unique charm. The falls, around 50 feet in height, elegantly spill over a basaltic rock wall. What sets Mossbrae apart is the lush green moss that blankets the cliffs, creating a velvety backdrop to the crystalline waters.

While Bridalveil Fall is a prominent feature of Yosemite’s granite landscape, Mossbrae Falls offers a tranquil escape surrounded by the verdant beauty of Shasta County. Both waterfalls, each with its distinctive allure, enrich the diverse tapestry of Northern California’s natural wonders.

10. Kings Creek Falls

Waterfalls in Northern California

Nestled in the beautiful surroundings of Northern California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park, Kings Creek Falls is a testament to the region’s geological wonders.

Head to the falls and you’ll see a fascinating blend of nature and volcanic landscape. The trail to Kings Creek Falls winds through a diverse forest and provides insight into the park’s unique flora. As visitors approach the falls, the gentle sounds of Kings Creek lead them to the main sight.

The nearly 40-foot waterfall rises amidst rugged volcanic terrain. Surrounded by moss-covered rocks and surrounded by vibrant wildflowers, Kings Creek Falls exudes tranquil beauty. The falling water forms a delicate veil and releases a refreshing mist into the air.

Kings Creek Falls

Visitors can view the falls from various vantage points along the trail, each offering a different vantage point to admire the grace of nature. The waterfall’s dynamic interaction with surrounding volcanic structures demonstrates the geological diversity of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Whether you’re an adventurer seeking scenic spots or simply someone looking to reconnect with nature, waterfalls in northern california offer a refreshing escape and a reminder of the awe-inspiring landscapes our world has to offer.


I am not simply a nature lover but also a creator, conveying emotions and messages through writing and photography. Each of my works is an attempt to bring understanding and respect to the world around us.

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