These 15 Hidden Waterfalls in Northern California Will Take Your Breath Away

by Placerville Newswire / Mar 22, 2016 / comments

When you think about Northern California, do you think about waterfalls? You should! The Pacific Ocean borders our coastline and takes our breath away with each rocky peak and sandy shore. But there’s a lot more to water in our part of the country than sandy beaches and rocky crags.

Waterfalls, for example.

When was the last time you packed a lunch and took Mother Nature’s hand for a quick hike? Discover the hidden beauty Northern California has to offer – we promise there’s much more to see than the Pacific Ocean.

How about you? Which of these waterfalls have YOU seen up close and face to face? Which ones did you just add to your bucket list?

Yep, we have our fair share of incredible spots that will help you forget the Pacific Ocean for a while. Spots you can hike to, picnic below or just throw caution to the wind and jump on into. Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Burney Falls

1. Burney Falls

Fickr/Clint6

These falls were called the "eighth wonder of the world" by President Theodore Roosevelt. They're located in McArthur-Burney Fall Memorial State Park, Shasta County.

2. Fairy Falls

2. Fairy Falls

Fiickr/Justin Seabrook Rocha

AKA: Shingle Falls & Beale Falls. You can find this one at the Spenceville Wildlife Refuge.

3. Feather Falls

3. Feather Falls

Yelp/Caroline S.

Plumas National Forest is where you can find this beauty. It free falls at an awesome 410 feet. Feather Falls is the sixth highest in the nation. A favorite of many, the fall boasts swimming holes and killer views. The view of the canyon from the brink is to die for.

4. Mossbrae Falls

4. Mossbrae Falls

Flickr/Chewei Chang

Tucked away in the tiny scenic town of Dunsmuir just south of Mount Shasta. But you can’t actually get there—not legally, anyway. There's controversy surrounding this waterfall, which, until further notice, is officially closed to the public. But we hear hikers are lawbreakers when it comes to hiking here. Apparently, this one is worth it.

5. Potem Falls

5. Potem Falls

Flickr/Ryan Crundwell

70 feet of glorious cascading water falls into the Pit River. Who needs Hawaii, anyway?

6. Whiskeytown Falls

6. Whiskeytown Falls

Flickr/Whiskeytown Falls

For over 40 years this waterfall was a well-kept secret, but a 220-foot waterfall is a tough secret to keep.

7. Mt. Whitney Portal Falls

7. Mt. Whitney Portal Falls

Flickr/David O

Hiking on Mt. Whitney brings some of the most beautiful scenery this side of heaven. A waterfall is the jewel of this hike.

 

8. Battle Creek Falls

8. Battle Creek Falls

Tripadvisor/MichaelP29

At a mere 20 feet high, this waterfall is an easy hike to see and is gracious enough to make room for the perfect watering hole.

9. Hidden Falls

9. Hidden Falls

Yelp/JohnM

Hidden Falls Regional Park is where this cutie resides. This park opened in 2006 and includes seven miles of hiking trails. We approve!

10. Bassi Falls

10. Bassi Falls

Yelp/AngelaS

Spring is one of the best times to visit this 109-foot beauty! Have plans for the weekend? Now you do!

11. Horsetail Falls

11. Horsetail Falls

Flickr/Calvin Hodgson

Located in Yosemite, there are two waterfalls that cascade side by side over 1500 feet! If Horsetail Fall is flowing in February and the weather conditions are just right, the setting sun illuminates the waterfall, making it glow orange and red. Pretty awesome!

12. Yosemite Falls

12. Yosemite Falls

Flickr/Rajpal

Since we're already in Yosemite, we need to show you Yosemite Falls. The highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park, dropping a total of 2,425 feet. Yeah, she's kind of a big deal.

13. Alamere Falls

13. Alamere Falls

Flickr/Jess

Alamere Falls is a rare "tidefall", a waterfall that flows directly into the ocean. (You know you're impressed.) It is one of only two in the area, the other being McWay Falls.

14. Sardine Falls

14. Sardine Falls

Flickr/CatsPictures2008

Sardine Falls is located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Its highest point is 9,000 feet, with the trailhead elevation at 8,800 feet. It's known to be a desolate hike, so bring essentials in your backpack.

15. Cataract Falls

15. Cataract Falls

Flickr/Alan Grinberg

These falls show off after a good rain storm. Consisting of about seven separate cascades along Cataract Creek. They are all in the neighborhood of 30 to 60 feet and are a whole lot of gorgeous.