10 Must See Waterfalls in Northern California


waterfalls in northern california

There are so many beautiful waterfalls in Northern California. Here are the top 10 must see waterfalls in the north state. 

Waterfalls in Northern California

While the list starts with the most popular waterfalls first, all these waterfalls are amazing in their own way. You should really try and see them all!

1. Burney Falls

Possibly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of California. Burney Falls is number one on the list of must see waterfalls in northern California. 

This 129 foot waterfalls is located in the Burney McAurthur State Park. It’s about an hour drive from the northern California city of Redding, CA. 

Not only is Burney Falls easily accessible, only a few minute paved hike from the parking area leads to the bottom of the falls. Get there in the morning as the park fills up fast.

Related: Burney Falls Northern California – Visit McArthur Burney Falls State Park

2. Yosemite Falls

Located in the Sierra Nevada of California Yosemite falls is 2,425 feet from the upper falls to the base of the lower falls. 

This amazing waterfall is on of the major attractions in the popular Yosemite park. The waterfall is viewable from many places within Yosemite National park.

If you love to hike you can hike to the top of the falls. It is an 8 hour hike that ends with amazing views of the falls. It flows November through July with a peak flow in May. 

Here is a great resource with information about visiting Yosemite Falls.

3. McCloud Falls

McCloud Falls is made up a 3 different waterfalls. Upper, middle, and lower falls. It is located near McCloud, Ca.

The largest of the 3 is upper falls which is about a 25 foot drop. Middle McCloud falls is about 5 minutes from upper falls via trail. 

The smallest is lower falls. While it is the smallest it’s very popular because you can get right up near the falls and even swim in it. 

4. Mossbrae Falls

This is one of the harder to access northern California waterfalls. It’s located near the town of Dunsmir, Ca and you have to pass private land to visit. 

While it is technically on private property there are many people that still make hike to Mossbrae Falls.

If you do decide to visit you will be rewarded with one of the most pristine and hidden waterfalls in California. 

5. Hedge Creek Falls

Also located in Dunsmuir Ca this is a popular 35 foot waterfall. A short trail leads to the waterfall from a trailhead right off interstate 5. 

The hike to the falls is only a 0.6 mile round trip. Hedge Creek falls is unique because you can actually walk behind the falls and look out. 

6. Whiskytown Falls

To get to Whiskytown falls its a strenuous 3.4 mile roundtrip hike. While it’s a hike to get there it’s worth the trip. 

Located in Whiskeytown National Park right outside Redding, CA. The waterfall is an impressive 220 feet. Since Whiskytown Falls are so popular the trail can get busy. 

Try to go first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. There is another smaller and easier accessible waterfall near Whiskeytown falls called Crystal Creek Falls.

Related: Crystal Creek Falls – Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

7. Potem Falls

Located near Montgomery Creek, CA Potem Falls is a must see northern California waterfall. While amazing this waterfall is a more hidden or lesser know waterfall in California. 

You do have to drive about 5 miles down a gravel road, and its a short hike to the actual falls. You can hike down to the base of the 60 foot falls. You can even swim if you would like. 

8. Feather Falls 

Located near Oroville, CA Feather Falls is accessible via a 8 mile loop trail. While the hike is long you will not want to miss this 410 foot waterfall. 

9. Phantom Falls

Also located near Oroville, CA Phantom Falls is a seasonal waterfall. From the trail head you hike about 5.5 miles round trip. The trail itself is flat and you will be walking through a field. 

While the trail is easy and flat, its not marked so you might want to bring GPS or download a trail app for your phone. There are actually 2 falls, lower and upper Phantom Falls. 

10. Kings Creek Falls

Located in Lassen National Park you won’t want to miss Kings Creek Falls. It’s about a 5 mile round trip hike to the falls. The hike itself is beautiful, but the falls are amazing with a 40 foot drop. 

I hope that this list of the top Northern California Waterfalls helps you plan your adventure to see some of the best waterfalls around! 

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