This summer plan and epic road trip to the best waterfalls in Texas.
That’s right The Lone Star State has several amazing waterfalls which are perfect for hiking, camping, swimming, and just splashing around.
The best part about these waterfalls is that they are right in your backyard and you don’t have to travel anywhere to enjoy their beauty. Some of these are truly off the beaten path and will take you deep into the woods.
You can hike the fantastic trails to these waterfalls in Texas, enjoy their cascading beauty, and combine it with a scenic drive or some gorgeous bluebonnets if you visit in the spring.
Fun fact: Did you know that Marble Falls once had a large pretty cascading waterfall that gave the city its name? When the dam was built on the Colorado River and Lake Marble Falls was created, the waterfall was submerged. It still remains today on the lake bed and can be seen if the water level is lowered for maintenance work!
Best Natural Waterfalls in Texas
Texas is perfect for chasing waterfalls. In fact this is our ultimate summer adventure in the state, followed by camping on the beaches of the Gulf Coast and floating on the rivers in Texas!
The state’s dramatic scenery and variety of landscapes have resulted in some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. Of course, many of these are located in the undulating terrain of the Texas Hill Country.
There are several Texas State Parks with waterfalls that are popular among visitors from spring to fall. However, some of these waterfalls are on private land and need prior tickets to see them. We recommend researching times and costs before you go.
Chasing these amazing waterfalls and swimming in their cool waters is an amazing way to beat the Texas heat.
Here is our list of best waterfalls in Texas to visit for the entire family.
Located in Colorado Bend State Park, Gorman Falls are one of the most popular waterfalls in Texas. It is also the most spectacular among the Texas Hill Country waterfalls. This beautiful waterfall is over 65 ft tall and flows over a lush green rock wall of ferns and mosses.
To visit the Falls, visitors need to take a moderate 1.5 miles long one way hike. The terrain is rocky, hence we recommend hiking boots. It also has little to no shade and can be exhausting in the summer. However, the waterfall is well worth the hike.
But a visit to Colorado Bend State Park is not just about the waterfall. The park has limestone karst topography and has many swimming holes, caves, pools, and other treasures that make for an exciting visit.
Hamilton Pool Waterfall
Hamilton Pool Waterfall is one of the best waterfalls in Texas to swim in. Located in Dripping Springs, the 50 feet high waterfall is an easy day trip from Austin. To reach the waterfall, you need to make an hour long drive from the state capital to Hamilton Pool Preserve.
Hamilton Pool is definitely one of the most photogenic places in Texas. Hamilton Creek spilling into the narrow canyon creates a majestic sight. The turquoise swimming hole at the bottom of the waterfall looks simply amazing. You need to hike a short and easy quarter mile trail to access the waterfall.
The only downside to Hamilton Pool is that it gets pretty crowded on hot summer days and you need to plan your trip early in the morning or you will get turned away. Reservations are necessary in the peak months and spots get full months in advance.
Krause Springs Waterfall
The Krause Springs Waterfall is located in Spicewood, just 30 miles away from Austin. This waterfall is located on private land. There are over 32 springs in this natural paradise but just one forms a beautiful waterfall as it drops into a swimming hole.
The waterfall looks beautiful as it cascades over the granite walls into a pool surrounded by the bald cypress trees. Huge elephant ears and a variety of ferns grow above the falls creating a leafy canopy. There is also a rope swing in the hole that is a favorite with kids of all ages.
Other activities at Krause Springs include camping, exploring the butterfly garden, and hiking. The Krause Springs Waterfall makes the perfect day trip from the state capital.
Pedernales Falls is located in Pedernales Falls State Park, located about 30 miles west of Austin and 75 miles north of San Antonio. The 50 foot high waterfall is the premier attraction of this park. It is formed by the Pedernales River rushing over a limestone bed and making several quick drops.
While you can’t swim in the waterfall because of its dangerous currents, you can enjoy the beautiful views from the rocky river banks. You can also swim in other shallow areas of the river within the state park.
The state park is also excellent for wildlife watching and birding. You can easily spot deer, armadillos, rabbits, herons, owls, and eagles in the park. Fishing is also a popular activity with the river being home to bass, catfish, and carp.
Pedernales Falls is located in Johnson City and is an easy day trip from Marble Falls.
Located in the McKinney Falls State Park, the McKinney Falls are a beautiful sight. There are two waterfalls: the Upper McKinney Falls and Lower McKinney Falls.
The Falls are caused by the waters of the Onion and Williamson Creek rushing over the limestone rocks. The falls cascade into big, tranquil pools. Visitors can enjoy swimming and fishing in the pools.
The flowing water has also made lots of shallow rock pools. The hike to the falls is just a little over a mile and takes about 45 minutes. The state park is located just 10 miles away from Austin and is actually within the city limits.
Located in Airfield Falls Conservation Park in Fort Worth, this natural waterfall is one of the newest waterfalls accessible to the public. The park is located about 40 minutes from Dallas.
The waterfall is formed by the water flowing over craggy limestone steps. Visitors can wade in the waterfall and relax on the stratified limestone ledges or explore the shallow pools.
There are many other things to do at the park including picnic tables, butterfly garden, walking trails and more. You can also spot wildlife including deer, turtles, eagles, egrets, etc.
Capote Falls in Marfa is the tallest waterfall in Texas. It is over 175 ft high and looks just beautiful. However, the waterfall is located on private property and is not accessible to the public.
That’s right, the tallest waterfall in the state is not on public land! That’s one of the random things I have come to love about Texas. However, there are many other amazing waterfalls on this list which you can easily enjoy.
Dolan Falls is a short waterfall located in the Dolan Falls Preserve near Devils River State Natural Area. It is just 10 ft high but a memorable adventure because it is difficult to access.
To visit Dolan Falls, plan a trip to the Texan town of Del Rio in southwestern part of the state. Visit the Devils River State Natural Area and hike one mile along the river with your kayak. Then paddle downstream from Baker’s Crossing half a mile to Dolan Falls!
There is really no other way to reach this beautiful waterfall as the riverbanks surrounding the falls are private property so spend only as much time here as necessary. Also, this is a Class II to III waterfall, so be cautious. And off course, get out of the boats before the falls.
Devils River is also popular for other water activities during the summer season. You can go paddling on the river. Single day as well as multi-day trips are very popular here.
Madrid Falls are located in Big Bend Ranch State Park, the largest state park in Texas. Seeing this waterfall located in the Chihuahuan desert is a wonderful surprise for most visitors.
This is the second tallest waterfall in Texas at 100 feet tall but not popular due to its inaccessibility. There are three different viewpoints from where you can view the falls but all of them are difficult to access. You need a 4WD vehicle to access the trailhead to the falls then hike the last 2.5 miles to Chorro Canyon to see the falls.
These falls are definitely not for the faint of heart! We recommend planning a trip to see the Madrid falls in August or September: the rain makes the falls run full. Another good time to visit is in spring. You may not see the waterfall but the bluebonnets and other wildflowers make the park very pretty.
If you can’t make the trip to Madrid Falls then consider a hike to Mexicano Falls. This waterfall is also located in Big Bend Ranch State Park and is 80 ft tall. You also need a four-wheel drive vehicle to access the trailhead. The trail is very faint and you need to keep looking for cairns to not get lost.
Westcave Preserve Waterfall
The Westcave Preserve is a 30 acre wildlife rich oasis in the Texas Hill Country. It is home to a limestone canyon and the Westcave grotto at the head of the canyon. The standing 40-ft tall waterfall is located inside the cave.
The walk through the lush, fern dotted canyon is as beautiful as the waterfall at the end. The hike almost makes you forget that you are in Texas and is one of our favorite day hikes near Austin.
Wildcat Hollow Waterfall
Wildcat Hollow Waterfall is located in Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose. The waterfall appears only after a heavy rainfall and is about 50 feet high.
This is a great waterfall to check out if you are in the area during heavy rains and cannot see the dinosaur tracks due to the deep water on the river bed.
Boykin Creek Waterfall
Looking for the best waterfalls to visit in East Texas? Head over to the Boykin Waterfall located in Angelina National Forest. To reach the waterfall visitors need to hike the one mile long Sawmill Trail.
This small waterfall is located in the Piney Woods region of Texas and has beautiful fall colors. In fact, it is one of the best places to see fall colors in Texas. That’s why, our favorite time to visit this waterfall is in October or November.
Windows Trail Waterfall
The beautiful Windows Trail Waterfall is located in Big Bend National Park. It is really pretty and on the way you can find little pools and cascades. The waterfall is seasonal, so check the status with a park ranger before you go.
The trail to the waterfall is two miles long. This is the most popular hiking trail in the park. The trail is overall easy with a few rocky steps in the last part of the hike.
The trail follows the deep and wooded Oak Creek Canyon and leads you to the view known as the window. From the window, you can see the seasonal stream plummeting down the mountainside.
The beautiful 80 ft high seasonal Cattail Falls is also located in Big Bend National Park in southern Texas near the Mexican border. This is also one of the most difficult to visit waterfalls on this list.
The hidden waterfall is located in a wooded canyon on the west side of the Chisos mountains. The 3 mile round trip trail here is unmarked and you need to ask for directions at the Ranger Station.
The trail has an elevation change of 360 feet as it crosses undulating desert hills. The trailhead is located on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Park rangers can provide the best route as well as let you know if the waterfall is currently flowing.
Best Man Made Waterfalls in Texas
In this list of the best waterfalls in Texas we have also included some spectacular man-made falls like the water wall in Houston.
These are even closer to most people than the natural waterfalls in Texas and can be easily seen in a couple of hours or on a day trip.
Here are some of the best man-made waterfalls in Texas
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall
Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park in Houston is one of the most beautiful artificial waterfalls in the state. This is also one of the most photogenic places in Houston and is perfect for a romantic date in the city.
The waterfall is a true engineering marvel. Over 11,000 gallons of water cascades over the circular structure everyday. The waterfall is over seven stories high and looks simply majestic. Experiencing the rushing waterfall and its cooling mist on a hot summer day is an amazing experience.
The oak trees and lawn in front of the water wall are a great place to play frisbee, throw a ball, or spend fun time with the family. The waterfall is lit up at night and looks stunning, making it one of our favorite things to do in Houston.
The waterfall at Wichita Falls has some pretty interesting history. The city originally did have natural falls but they were washed away in a flood that occurred in the 1800s. Since then a new man-made waterfall has been constructed in 1987.
These multi level cascading falls are 54-ft tall and are just beautiful to see. Visitors can park and walk along one mile round-trip trail to the falls and enjoy their stunning beauty. Seeing these falls is definitely one of our favorite things to do in the city.
We hope you liked our list of best waterfalls in Texas. Did we miss any beautiful waterfalls in Texas? Let us know in the comments.