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Photo-Op Heaven: 11 Best National Parks For Incredible Waterfalls

If you’re as obsessed with national parks as we are, you’ll know that some of the best ones come with their own spectacular waterfalls.

We’ve trekked through quite a few of these awe-inspiring spots ourselves, so trust us when we say we’ve seen waterfalls that’ll knock your socks off—if you’re wearing any while hiking, that is.

For the waterfall chasers and nature lovers wondering where to head next, we’ve got the inside scoop on the national parks with the most jaw-dropping cascades.

So grab your hiking boots and your sense of wonder; you’re in for a splash-tacular ride!

1. Yosemite National Park, USA

picture of yosemite national park, with the falls running down the rocky mountain behind a pond and greenery
© Depositphotos

Yosemite National Park is nature’s version of a show-off. Seriously, if there’s an award for the most photogenic waterfall, Yosemite Falls would probably win, hands down.

Standing tall at 2,425 feet, it’s the highest waterfall in North America. So, if you’re into feeling tiny and insignificant next to breathtaking natural wonders, this is your spot.

And don’t forget your camera—you’ll want evidence to prove to folks back home that, yes, places this stunning do exist.

2. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

a boardwalk along multiple waterfalls seen from above in plitvice lakes national park
© Depositphotos

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia, is like a fairy tale coming to life—minus the talking animals.

With its 16 terraced lakes joined by waterfalls that shift from emerald green to azure blue, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a color palette gone wild. The tallest waterfall here, Veliki Slap, boasts a 255-foot drop.

If you ever wondered where your dreams go to vacation, it’s probably here.

3. Iguazu National Park, Brazil (& Argentina)

a landscape of iguazu falls with a couple small boats in the water below the falls and a rainbow crossing the scene
© Discover Parks & Wildlife

Iguazu National Park, on the Brazil and Argentina border, is Mother Nature’s way of saying, “You think you’ve seen waterfalls? Hold my drink.”

With a whopping 275 individual falls stretching out over nearly two miles, it’s no wonder this spot has people grabbing their passports faster than you can say “Iguazu.”

The star of the show, Devil’s Throat, plunges an impressive 262 feet, reminding us all that nature can throw a pretty epic tantrum when it wants to.

4. Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe (& Zambia)

victoria falls barely seen through all the mist from the power of the falls from the heavy rain for the season
© Discover Parks & Wildlife

Victoria Falls National Park is the place where waterfalls go to make other waterfalls feel bad about themselves.

Known locally as “The Smoke That Thunders,” these falls stretch over a mile and plummet 354 feet. So, if you’re ever in need of a humbling experience, just stand next to this massive cascade and try not to cry.

Oh, and bring a raincoat—unless you enjoy getting drenched. And we mean that…you will get drenched!! We went when there had been a lot of rain so there was so much mist just covering everyone who got close.

5. Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

beautiful haew suwat waterfall in khao yai national park in thailand falling behind a curved tree
© Depositphotos

Khao Yai National Park is like hitting the waterfall jackpot. This lush paradise is home to around 300 bird species and the famous Haew Narok Waterfall, which takes a dramatic 492-foot tumble.

It’s essentially nature’s way of saying, “Surprise! Here’s a masterpiece.”

Pro tip: watch out for the cheeky monkeys who might eye your snacks. They know a good trail mix when they see one.

6. Olympic National Park, USA

sol duc falls flows in 3 streams over the rocky and greenery filled edge in olympic national park
© Depositphotos

Olympic National Park is the overachiever of the park world when it comes to…just about everything. It’s got forests, mountains, beaches, and, oh yeah, some dazzling waterfalls to boot.

Ever heard of Sol Duc Falls? It’s a triple treat, with not one but three cascades for the price of one hike! At 48 feet tall, it may not be sky-high, but it’s got charm that’ll have you snapping photos like there’s no tomorrow.

And for those who think drizzle is just part of Washington’s charm, this park gets around 150 inches of rain annually. Bring an umbrella… or three!

7. Jasper National Park, Canada

a close up of Athabasca falls in Jasper National Park
© Depositphotos

Jasper National Park is that overachieving friend who’s great at everything and rubs it in without even trying.

Situated in the Canadian Rockies, this park is home to the stunning Athabasca Falls—an 80-foot spectacle through a narrow gorge. Sure, it’s not the tallest on our list, but the sheer power is like nature shouting, “Look what I can do!”

Plus, if you’re into dodging selfie sticks, this place is your jam.

8. Zion National Park, USA

the emerald pools falling from red rock cliffs surrounded by greenery in zion national park
© Depositphotos

Zion National Park is nature’s playground for those who crave a bit of drama—and we mean that in the best way.

Featuring the breathtaking Emerald Pools, this park gives you waterfalls with a side of sheer cliffs, a sprinkle of serenity, and a chance to walk behind one of the falls. With three pools to choose from, you can’t go wrong on this hike.

If you’re looking for an adventure that’ll get your heart racing, Zion’s got you covered. And it is one of our favorite parks in the USA.

9. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

stirling falls flows from high above along greenery down into milford sound
© Depositphotos

Fiordland National Park in New Zealand is where epic landscapes meet jaw-dropping waterfalls, and you almost expect to find elves and hobbits.

With some falls tumbling as high as 1,904 feet like the mighty Sutherland Falls, it’s basically showing off.

So, if you’ve ever dreamt of walking through a movie set, this park’s fjords, rainforests, and cascades might just make that dream come true—minus the Hollywood crew trailing you with cameras.

10. Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

Salto Grande, AKA Big falls, seen from the top of the waterfall as it flows down over the dark rocks and into the pool far below
© Depositphotos

Torres Del Paine National Park is THE showstopper of Patagonia. With its rugged mountains, shimmering glaciers, and vibrant blue lakes, it’s practically begging to be your next screensaver.

This place is home to the incredible Salto Grande Waterfall, which plummets around 50 feet with the force of a thousand stampeding llamas. And the glacial backdrop is so stunning you’ll start questioning if you’ve accidentally walked into a postcard.

Forgot your camera? Just borrow your friend’s pictures and pretend they’re yours—no judgment here!

11. Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland

Lauterbrunnen valley in switzerland surrounded by tall rocky cliffs and cute swiss cottages, with the tall falls pouring down the cliffside
© Depositphotos

This one might be cheating just a bit, as it is a nature conservation area rather than a national park. But what are you gonna do about it? Tattle?

Lauterbrunnen Valley is the Michelangelo of natural beauty—with a bit more water. Boasting 72 waterfalls (yep, you read that right), this valley is definitely flaunting its stuff.

Stand in awe of Staubbach Falls, cascading down nearly 1,000 feet, making you question all your life choices. And the charming alpine village in the backdrop? Just icing on the glacial cake.

Seriously, it’s almost unfair how picture-perfect this place is.

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