Chasing Waterfalls In California

There are many waterfalls that dot the map of California and the diversity of these waterfalls is what makes this state a special place. From rare tidefalls that flow directly out into the ocean to the majestic waterfalls of Yosemite, here are 7 of our favorite waterfalls in California.

McWay Falls, Big Sur

There are only a few waterfalls in the world that empty out into the ocean and California has two of them. One of these is McWay Falls, an 80 feet waterfall located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur.

McWay Falls, California


Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore

The other tidefall located in California is Alamere Falls in Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County. Unlike McWay Falls, the beach under Alamere Falls is easier to get to.



Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is home to numerous waterfalls but Yosemite Falls is its star attraction. At a majestic height of almost 2,500 feet, it is the highest waterfall in North America and sixth highest in the world.



Horsetail Fall, Yosemite National Park

Also in Yosemite National Park is Horsetail Fall. The seasonal waterfall flows in the winter and early spring and is famous for the “firefall” that sometimes occurs in February. If the water is flowing and the weather conditions are just right, the light from the setting sun illuminates the waterfall, making it glow orange and red, giving it the appearance of lava flowing down the cliff.

horsetail fall


Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park

One more waterfall in Yosemite is Bridalveil Fall. This waterfall flows all year round and is one of the most prominent waterfall in Yosemite, as it is usually the first one visitors see when entering the valley. The native people of Yosemite, the Ahwahneechee, believed that Bridalveil Fall was home to the spirit named Pohono, who was protector of the valley. They believed that inhaling the mist of this waterfall would improve one’s chances at marriage and that those leaving the valley must not look directly into the waterfall or they would be cursed by Pohono.

\Bridalveil_Fall_Yosemite_National Park


Burney Falls, Burney

While Burney Falls cannot compete with the waterfalls of Yosemite in terms of size and power, it can definitely be considered one of the most beautiful. This waterfall, located in McArthur Burney Falls State Park, is fed by underground springs and flows year-round.

burney falls(source: reddit)


Mossbrae Falls, Dunsmuir

Mossbrae Falls is another spring-fed waterfall that flows all year-round. The hike to this waterfall is along an active railroad so beware of any trains that might go by. But once you reach your destination, you’ll find the breathtaking, ethereal, natural wonder, Mossbrae Falls.



Emelia Kirk

Emelia Kirk

20-year-old student in California. I'm a proud treehugger from The Bay who loves nature, traveling, and writing.