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Five Best Waterfalls In The US

Five Best Waterfalls In The US

Blue Hole Falls, Tennessee, Enfield Falls, New York, Looking Glass Waterfall, North Carolina, Lower Lewis River Falls, Washington, Ousel Falls, Montana, waterfalls in usa, niagra falls united states, sightseeing in niagara falls ny, maid of mist usa, waterfall vacations united states, best waterfalls in the us, niagara falls zipline usa

The United States is home to an abundance of waterfalls, numbering over 17,000 according to some estimates, and among them are globally renowned cascades. Tourists from around the world flock to the northwest corner of New York state to witness the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, while enthusiasts of the great outdoors can revel in the dramatic descent of Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park. While waterfalls offer a delightful spectacle with their mesmerizing sights and soothing murmurs, the true appreciation of their inspirational might comes from the experience of sitting beneath them.

Experiencing the intense rush of the cascading rapids, the water enveloping you with its powerful force, is simultaneously invigorating and humbling. It’s a therapeutic encounter, akin to a natural massage, as the ceaseless streams gently push and knead away your knots.

While not all waterfalls across the country permit or ensure safe swimming beneath them, the ones highlighted in this list offer precisely that. Beyond being ideal for underwater splashing, these waterfalls are visually stunning, whether admired from a distance or up close. Prepare for a unique travel adventure by donning your swim trunks and immersing yourself in the enchanting world of waterfall swimming at what are perceived to be the best waterfalls In the US.

Best Waterfalls In the US: Blue Hole Falls, Tennessee

Reached via a loop trail requiring less than 15 minutes, this waterfall in proximity to Elizabethton derives its name from the mesmerizing blue water in the pool beneath its cascade. It isn’t an extensively developed location featuring a vast parking lot and numerous signposts. Instead, the trailhead departs from a dirt parking area, and spaces tend to fill up swiftly during the summer. The trail leading to the falls descends along the side of a hill, bordered by trees, with fallen leaves providing a soft cushion for each step. The audible rumble of water serves as a prelude to the breathtaking sight of the falls.

Descending from a narrow channel nestled between towering rock faces, the water cascades into a pool of strikingly brilliant blue water. To fully grasp the vivid colors, it’s recommended to visit on a sunny day. Beyond its hypnotic beauty, the water is exceptionally clear, particularly in the shallower sections of the swimming hole. Even those who don’t partake in swimming can revel in the scenic surroundings, as there are ample rock perches surrounding the falls and pool, providing ideal vantage points to admire the natural splendor.

Best Waterfalls In the US: Enfield Falls, New York

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For swimmers seeking the reassurance of a lifeguard’s watchful presence, opting to swim beneath waterfalls in a state park is a prudent decision. Recognized as the Lower Falls, this natural wonder is located within Robert Treman State Park, a destination boasting over 10 waterfalls scattered throughout its vast terrain. Enfield Creek serves as the watercourse meandering through Enfield Glen, featuring gorges and layered, moss-covered rock faces that ascend to impressive heights.

The falls exhibit a wide and rounded formation, resembling the crown of a mushroom that appears to release water from its apex. Swimmers have the option to position themselves beneath the falls or utilize a diving board for an exhilarating plunge into the pool. Accessing Enfield Falls is convenient, facilitated by a brief paved walkway leading to the site and steps that ensure easy entry into the swimming area. Set in the picturesque Finger Lakes region of New York state, the park is not only easily accessible but also situated in one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of the state.

Best Waterfalls In the US: Looking Glass Waterfall, North Carolina

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Located southwest of Asheville within the Pisgah National Forest, these alluring falls, surrounded by woodsy surroundings, attract a considerable crowd during the scorching days of summer. The accessibility factor plays a significant role in drawing a large number of visitors, thanks to the conveniently located parking lot in close proximity to the falls. However, the true allure lies in the opportunity to swim in the refreshing waters. The waterfall’s name is inspired by the nearby Looking Glass Rock, a massive boulder peak.

While the waterfall itself may not match the grandeur of the rock, its enchantment is undeniable—a broad curtain of water gracefully descends over 50 feet into a shallow pool. There are numerous spots to experience the refreshing mist, ranging from directly beneath the falls to the expansive swimming hole where water flows over the rocks, creating smaller rapids below. The falls maintain their allure even in winter, adorned with ice formations that bestow upon them an ethereal beauty. During this season, the frozen water transforms into a reflective mirror when touched by sunlight.

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Best Waterfalls In the US: Lower Lewis River Falls, Washington

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Within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, in the south of Washington, the Lower Lewis River Falls is one of a trio that hikers usually include as part of a multi-hour trek. It is, however, the only one where visitors can take a dip without having to put in a lengthy slog on the trails. It is located in a remote forest with cedar and fir trees, as well as plenty of moss, and the healthy branch cover makes the hike a relatively shady outing. Be aware that this is quite a remote part of Washington state, and cell service can be patchy. 

Located in close proximity to the Lower Falls Campground, the lower falls can be reached with a brief walk of less than 15 minutes. Gracefully cascading over various sections of rock, the falls provide multiple spots for visitors to immerse themselves, with a spacious swimming pool at the base. Some opt to take a dip in the river at the falls’ summit or in the streams that flow over the rocks before the descent. For the more adventurous, there’s the option to leap from the top into the inviting swimming hole below. Given the chilly water, it’s advisable to time your plunge when the sun is directly overhead—its warming rays will assist in making the exit more comfortable.

Best Waterfalls In the US: Ousel Falls, Montana

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Explorers in Montana’s expansive landscapes need not venture far to encounter this waterfall. The journey to the cascade entails following a trail along the South and West forks of the Gallatin River, crossing a series of bridges along the way. The well-maintained, paved trail offers easy navigation, treating hikers to glimpses of smaller cascades throughout the journey. Depending on the chosen destination, there are several routes leading to the falls.

Visitors have a couple of routes to choose from, with one leading to overlooks and another taking them to the top of the falls. The fourth option guides adventurers to the base of the waterfall, unveiling a swimming hole nourished by the powerful cascade, along with a designated picnic area. For a comprehensive appreciation of the falls, it’s recommended to first visit the overlooks, providing a glimpse of the delicate beauty and allowing observers to trace the water’s journey down a series of small, stepped rock faces before converging into the pool at the base.

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