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8 National Parks With Waterfalls in California to Explore

8 National Parks With Waterfalls in California to Explore

California has some beautiful waterfalls and National Parks. In fact, California has more national parks than any other state! There are ten National Parks in California and eight of these parks have waterfalls.

The National Parks in California truly have it all. From the oceans of Point Reyes National Seashore to massive volcanoes like Lassen Volcanic National Park there is something unique to see at all of these destinations. 

You should take some time to explore these seven National Parks with waterfalls in California.

1. Death Valley National Park

Darwin Falls a Waterfall in Death Valley National Park.

Who would have thought that the driest spot in North America would have a waterfall! 

Death valley is a National Park in Southern California is known for being the driest and hottest spot in North America. 

Surprisingly, on the western edge of the park is Darwin Falls. The hike to this year round waterfall is 2-miles round trip and you will even pass a few creek crossings on the way. 

Once you reach Darwin falls it doesn’t even feel like you are in Death Valley as you are surrounded by lush green trees. 

A hike to this 20-ft waterfall will have you feeling like you are in more of an oasis than in Death Valley.

2. Yosemite National Park

Waterfall in Yosemite National Park California.

If you are looking to see some of the best waterfalls in the state, then a trip to Yosemite National Park will not disappoint. 

There are over 25 waterfalls in Yosemite ranging in size from the largest and most popular (Yosemite Falls) 2,425 ft to the smallest (Alder Creek Falls) at 100 feet. 

Here are the top two waterfalls at Yosemite National Park:

  • Yosemite Falls
  • Bridalveil Falls

The largest and most popular waterfall in Yosemite (Yosemite Falls) can be seen from many different areas in the park. You can also walk to the base of the falls on the 1.2-mile Lower Yosemite Falls Loop Trail

Another icon and second most popular waterfall in Yosemite National park is the 617-ft Bridalveil Fall. It can also be seen from many areas of the park or you can walk to it’s base on the easy 0.5-mile round trip Bridalveil Falls Trail

These top two waterfalls are some of the best in California, there are many more waterfalls in this park. There are more waterfalls located within Yosimite national park then there are in any of the other parks. 

3. Point Reyes National Seashore

Alamere Falls a waterfall on the beach in California.

A visit to Point Reyes National Seashore will give you some of the best ocean views in California. 

Make sure you take time to explore the stunning Alamere Falls that cascades 30 feet down the cliffside right onto the beach. 

The hike to Alamere falls will take about 4-6 hours as it is a strenuous 14.2-mile hike, but you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of this California beach waterfall. You can even walk right up to the falls. 

While the hike is long, you will get to see some beautiful views and scenery of the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

The hike is even more stunning in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom. Just make sure you check the tide schedule to make sure the tide will be low when you reach Alamere Falls. 

4. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Kings Creek Falls in Lassen National Park California

In the lush and beautiful forests of Northern California you will find the Lassen Volcanic National Park. 

This National Park is home to two impressive waterfalls. The 40-foot Kings Creek Falls and 75-foot Mill Creek Falls

Kings Creek Falls requires a 2-mile hike that ends at the amazing waterfall. The hike to Kings Creek Falls is down hill, but keep in mind that it will be uphill the entire way back. 

Mill Creek Falls is a much easier 1.6-mile hike that takes you to the tallest waterfall in the Lassen National Park. 

5. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Waterfall in a California National Park

This National Park has the largest remaining grove of sequoia trees in the World. It also has some pristine views of it’s valleys, trees, and canyons. 

It is also home to some four spectacular waterfalls. 

  • Roaring River Falls 
  • Mist Falls
  • Grizzly Falls
  • Tokopah Falls

The biggest of these waterfalls is Tokopah Falls at a 1200 feet high drop. This waterfall is made up of small cascades that stream down the rocky face of the mountain side. You can get to the waterfall by hiking the 1.7 mile Tokopah Valley Trail

Mist Falls is a 100-ft waterfall that cascades over a granite ridge. This waterfall is a 8.7-mile out and back hike on the Mist Falls Trail

The 75-ft Grizzy Falls is best viewed in spring and is one of the easier waterfalls to access in the park. You can get to the base of this waterfall by an easy 0.1- mile walk from the Grizzly Falls Picnic Area

Another easy to access waterfall is the 20-ft Roaring River Falls which is only 0.2-mile walk from the on a paved walkway from the Roaring River Falls Parking area

6. Devils Postpile National Monument

Rainbow Falls a waterfall in Devils Postpile National Park.

Located near Mammoth Mountain, this National Park has some impressive rock formations of columnar basalt. It is actually known as one of the most impressive places to see columnar basalt in the world. 

The Devils Postpile National Monument has two waterfalls. 

  • Rainbow Falls
  • Minaret Falls

The smaller and easier to access waterfall is the cascading 150-ft Minaret Falls. You can get to this waterfall from the easy 1.3 mile Minaret Falls Trail.

Rainbow Falls is a 100-ft high waterfall that is accessed by the 5 mile out and back Devils Postpile Trail.

7. Pinnacles National Park

The entrance sign to Pinnacles National Park.

This national park is known for its beautiful spring wildflowers, sheer-walled canyons and massive monoliths. Pinnacles National Park is located in central California and has a small waterfall called Bear Gulch Cave Falls.

The Bear Gulch Cave Falls is actually a man made waterfall which cascades into bear gulch cave. While this waterfall is not a very heavy flow, it can be seen cascading down within the caves along the 7.7-mile Bear Gulch Cave Loop Trail

8. Redwoods National Park

Trillium Falls in Redwood National Park.

In Northern California, almost near the Oregon border is the Redwoods National Park. This park is world famous for its tall old growth Redwood Trees. Most people visit this park to see the massive tall trees, but it is also the home to Trillium Falls

The hike to this waterfall is one of the best hikes through the Redwoods. You can reach the waterfall by the moderate 2.6 mile Trillium Falls Loop Trail. The actual waterfall isn’t very big, but it is stunning.

The sand and water at laguna beach.
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