Have you ever been hypnotized by a cascading waterfall? There is something brilliantly captivating about them. Carved into land and developed over time, waterfalls are visible year-round and in nearly every state. It’s no wonder, then, that waterfalls are often described as one of the most intriguing wonders of the world.

Which waterfall should you visit first? From gushing waterfalls in our nation’s National Parks to hidden cascades in the countryside, there are hundreds of waterfalls throughout the United States.  While you probably won’t have time to visit all of them, we’ve gathered our favorite falls that you surely won’t want to miss. Here are our picks for The Nation’s Most Magnificent Waterfalls:

Lake Havasu (Arizona)

Havasu Falls Waterfall

Named one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, Havasu Falls is located in the Grand Canyon. Set upon a backdrop of red rock, the cascading crystal blue waters of this unique waterfall have been featured in a number of travel documentaries. If you want to see this waterfall for yourself, be prepared to hike the last ten miles of the trip. The road to Havasu Falls is inaccessible by car.

Niagara Falls (New York/Canada)

Horseshoe Falls

Our list would not be complete without one of the world’s most renowned waterfalls, Niagra Falls. Did you know, however, that Niagra Falls is actually the collective name for three waterfalls that overlap the international border between Canada and the USA? From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.

Ruby Falls (Tennessee)

Ruby Falls, TN

Have you ever heard of an underground waterfall? Located more than one thousand feet beneath the surface, Ruby Falls is a massive underground waterfall that has been a favorite attraction among families for more than 85 years. Fed by rainwater and natural springs, the water collects in a pool in the cave floor and continues through the mountain until finally joining the Tennessee River.

Yosemite Falls (California)

Yosemite Falls

The crown jewel of Yosemite’s waterfalls, Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest in North America and fifth highest in the world. Fed by melted snow, Yosemite’s waterfalls varies its currents throughout the year, but can be seen best from November through July, with it’s highest flow in May.

Sempervirens Falls (California)

Sempervirens Falls

A personal favorite of mine, Sempervirens Falls is a breathtaking waterfall located in Big Basin Redwoods State Park of California. The gentle falls make an elegant backdrop among the towering Redwood trees that surround it. For nature lovers who enjoy a good forest hike, this waterfall is a must see.

While waterfalls are fun to visit at just about any time of the year, they are often their scenic best during months of significant rainfall. Depending on the season of your trip, your experience might be different. A bit of research ahead of time may help you decide the best time to plan your visit. Do you have a waterfall that you would like to see added to our list? Tag your photos with #DriveTheNation and share your snapshots with us via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Image Sources:

  1. Havasu Falls via ROSHAAN Tahir on Flickr
  2. Niagara Falls via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Ruby Falls via RubyFalls.com
  4. Yosemite Falls via Wikimedia Commons
  5. Sempervirens Falls via Christian Arballo on Flickr