Texas is known for a lot of things, but it’s managed to keep its waterfalls a secret. Though less talked about than other Texas traditions and landmarks, the state’s falls are all worth visiting. To narrow down which one to visit first, here’s a list of the top 10.
The Best Waterfalls in Texas
1. Hamilton Pool Waterfall
The Hamilton Pool Waterfall is one of the prettiest natural landmarks in the Dallas area.
This 50-foot cascade located just 0.75 miles upstream from the Pedernales River is tucked away in the woods.
The hike is a leisurely one, however, some casual or rookie hikers might get tired out by the uneven terrain if they try to rush the route.
Though it’s not a guarantee (or safe), swimming has been allowed in the waterfall’s pool during times when there’s no danger of falling rocks.
In any case, the surrounding area is gorgeous and relaxing.
2. Gorman Falls
Colorado Bend State Park is worth visiting for its scenic trails alone. However, when you consider that this park is also home to Gorman Falls, it really deserves to be on your must-visit list.
Gorman Falls is a 70-foot water drop that is even more impressive thanks to the terrain’s 200-foot elevation.
You can hear the rumbling water from a distance as you make your way down the 1.5-mile trek to get up close to the falls.
However, be prepared for a moderate challenge on the trail if you’re not a veteran hiker.
3. Wichita Falls
The Texas city of Wichita Falls gets its name from the cascade that first drew settlers to construct a town in the area.
While that waterfall has ceased to exist, a new one was created in its honor.
Nowadays, the Wichita Falls cascade is a surprisingly impressive 50-foot artificial waterfall that seems as if it has been on the land for centuries.
The falls might not be natural, but they bring some of the serenity of nature to the otherwise bustling metropolitan area and allow for a nice relaxing walk to find it.
4. Pedernales Falls
The Pedernales Falls State Park in Johnson City, Texas, gets its name from the famed Pedernales Falls waterfall.
This cascade is a picturesque waterdrop that makes visitors feel as if they’ve entered another world.
In fact, though it’s the star of the park, it still feels as though it’s tucked away, allowing hikers to stumble upon it while on the trail.
There are miles of trails in the park to meander down, many of which can lead you to the falls. So, be prepared to spend a full day or weekend exploring.
5. Krause Springs
Krause Springs differentiates itself from many other waterfalls in the state as it’s one of the few that is a designated swimming area.
With a camping area for overnight guests, this is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway during the hot summer months.
The swimming areas vary in depth between 3 and 8 feet, so it’s perfect for the whole family no matter what your swimming level is.
You can also just sit on the shore and admire the water cascade and surrounding area as they lull you into a state of relaxation.
6. Westcave Preserve Falls
The Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center is a natural preserve that aims to maintain the beauty of the Round Mountain landscape.
Outdoor lovers will be able to spend hours on the premises, but no visit is complete without seeing the Westcave Preserve Falls.
This canyon waterfall was at risk of being destroyed thanks to carelessness, but thanks to the center’s efforts, it’s being protected for future generations.
Currently, you can take the 0.7-mile loop trail to get up close and personal with the waterfall. It’s considered a moderately challenging route for most hikers.
7. McKinney Falls
The McKinney Falls is the namesake of the McKinney Falls State Park.
Located where the Onion Creek meets the Williamson Creek, this state park is a favorite among Texans when it comes to outdoor fun during the warmer months.
The falls themselves are a dynamic duo of two cascades, each measuring between 15 and 20 feet in height.
Though the trail to get to the falls isn’t a particularly long one, it succeeds in making you forget you’re within the busy Austin area.
You can even bring your dog, as long as it’s leashed.
8. Cattail Falls
Cattail Falls isn’t a destination for the faint of heart when it comes to hiking.
The full route is on a 5.7-mile looping trail that, on top of everything, is considered moderately challenging. So it takes some effort to reach.
However, the cascade views are worth it if you decide to make the trek. You can even take an easier trail if your only concern is to see the falls and you don’t care about exploring the surrounding area.
It’s recommended to visit during the spring and summer months to ensure the falls aren’t dry.
9. Dolan Falls
The Dolan Falls Preserve is home to many beautiful views. However, the Dolan Falls cascade that lends the park its name is the clear star.
Though it might not be the largest waterfall, measuring just 15 feet in height, it’s one of the most cinematic.
Visitors can see and hear the rhythmic rumbling of rushing water that will lull you into thinking you’re in a nature documentary.
Considered one of Texas’ best-kept secrets, this waterfall is rarely crowded. That means it’s even more relaxing if you decide to explore the area.
10. Capote Falls
Capote Falls has the honor of being the tallest waterfall in the great state of Texas.
Measuring an impressive 175 feet in height, the falls tower over the surrounding landscape in a way that will take your breath away.
Thanks to a consistent water supply from the Rio Grande Rift and Sierra Vieja, no matter when you visit, you’ll be able to see the falls in action.
However, unlike many falls in the state, the Capote Falls cascade is on private property. That means you have to plan ahead with the landowners before your visit.
Amar was born and raised in England and embarked on an 11-country round-the-world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second, which ended up being a 23-country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then, Amar has spent the last 14 years traveling the 7 continents.