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8 Stunning Roadside Waterfalls in the US That Don’t Require Hiking

Hiking isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of a good time… Luckily, these roadside waterfalls can be viewed with little to no effort from you!

The highlight of any vacation, no matter where you go, is enjoying all the natural attractions. If you love waterfalls, our nation is a fantastic place to explore them. Yet, many of the country’s most beautiful and impressive waterfalls require hiking.

For those of us who prefer not to work up a sweat while on vacation, though, there are several waterfalls easily accessible, minus the exhausting hike. The best part is that they’re conveniently located off a major road.

So, whether you don’t have time for a hike, aren’t physically able to, or simply don’t enjoy it, you can still see these 8 incredible roadside waterfalls throughout the US.

Roadside Waterfall
Photo by Tetyana Ohare at Shutterstock

Hector Falls, Hector, New York

Located a mere five minutes from the center of Watkins Glen, Hector Falls is easily among the most magnificent roadside waterfalls in the New York area. You can find it directly along Route 414 north of Watkins Glen State Park and the eastern shores of Seneca Lake.

While here, you can also enjoy fantastic views of the lake from the waterfall. This waterfall is said to be about 165 feet tall. But only the upper 50 to 60 feet can be seen from the road.

The rest lies below the bridge over the stream and can only be accessed through private land. Fortunately for us, though, this upper portion of the fall is quite incredible to see on its own.

There’s room for cars to pull over on the side of the road near the falls for those who want to get a closer look. Just be sure to tread carefully.

Bridal Veil Falls, Highlands, North Carolina

Bridal Veil Falls is conveniently located en route to another incredible roadside waterfall: Dry Falls. While this one is much smaller, you drive right past it, so there’s no harm in stopping for a quick photo op.

This waterfall’s claim to fame is that it’s the only waterfall in the state that you can drive underneath!

The 45-foot fall is best viewed after a heavy rainstorm, though, because it looks more like a trickle after a prolonged period of drought. July and August are your best bet if you wish to see a solid flow.

After viewing the falls, keep driving for another mile along Highway 64 until you come across the parking lot for Dry Falls.

Kepler Cascades, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Found roughly 2.6 miles from the Old Faithful area in southwestern Yellowstone, Kepler Cascades is a photogenic roadside waterfall in the Firehole River. The cascade drops almost 150 feet, the most significant being 50 feet.

There is a fine viewpoint of Kepler Cascades on the road heading from Old Faithful to West Thumb. This is the place you want to stop to get the best view.

This roadside waterfall a stunning sight, which, according to one member of the 1871 Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition, would be “revered in the East.”

Roadside Waterfall
Photo by Mark Rust at Shutterstock

Upper Falls at Letchworth, New York

Letchworth State Park is another one of this state’s most stunning parks and is home to quite a few incredible waterfalls. Upper Falls is situated at the southern end of the park, running along the Genesee River.

A railroad bridge high above the waterfall still transports trains passing through Upstate New York and makes for a magnificent sight when enjoying the falls.

This roadside waterfall is listed at 70 feet tall and has a trail leading up to near the crest for those who want a closer look. But don’t worry. You can also get a glimpse of this captivating spot from the nearby parking area.

Issaqueena Falls, Walhalla, South Carolina

Issaquena is a dazzling 98-foot waterfall in beautiful Walhalla, home to many breathtaking waterfalls. A brief stroll to an observation deck will take you up close and personal to one of the nation’s most spectacular natural wonders.

And the best part is that seeing this beauty requires ZERO effort on your part. There’s a unique local legend associated with this roadside waterfall, as well. It was named after a Native American who warned settlers of an attack.

She was then chased by her people and was said to have been seen jumping over the falls. So you’ll enjoy a bit of history along with the beauty, all rolled into one, by visiting this fall.

Also in the area is the bizarre Stumphouse Tunnel, an unfinished railroad tunnel for the Blue Ridge Railroad, which is said to be haunted by many ghosts nowadays!

Looking Glass Falls, Brevard, North Carolina

Looking Glass Falls, aka “The Land of Waterfalls,” is probably by far one of the most popular of the roadside waterfall options in the Carolinas. The fortunate distance along Hwy 276 makes it a popular destination for vacationers and road-trippers from nearby cities.

This roadside waterfall is situated within the Pisgah National Forest right off the Blue Ridge Highway. If you have the time to spare, we recommend staying a while because there are multiple additional parks and waterfalls to check out in this part of the country.

This classic single-drop waterfall is 60 feet tall and super mighty! It’s one of the most robust and stunning waterfalls in North Carolina. Being able to hop right out of your car and see it doesn’t hurt either!

If you want a closer view, you just have to walk down a simple staircase. Looking Glass Rock looks like a mirror in winter, thus the name. When the water freezes and reflects the sun, it appears to be like a looking glass.

Winter or not, though, this roadside waterfall is gorgeous enough to warrant a visit any time of the year.

Ithaca Falls, Ithaca, New York

Ithaca Falls is right near downtown Ithaca and is the last in a sequence of waterfalls along Fall Creek. There are a variety of heights listed for this roadside waterfall, which is about 100 feet in height and just as wide.

Even though a quick and fairly easy 150-yard hike will bring you to the bottom of the falls, it can also be viewed from the bridge over the creek located along Lake Street. And if you do decide to take a closer look, you’ll find parking nearby.

The nicely paved sidewalks to the bridge make this site handicapped accessible or easy to check out for anyone having difficulties with uneven terrain.

It’s worth noting that although this roadside waterfall can be seen from the bridge all throughout the year, the trees along the creek block the view a little in the warmer months. So the best views from here happen when fewer leaves are on the trees.

Roadside Waterfall
Photo by Maks Ershov at Shutterstock

Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is famously one of the absolute highlights of a visit to Yellowstone National Park. Its exquisite yellow colors, cliffside fumaroles, sheer depth, and waterfalls make this one of the most famous locations in our nation’s National Parks System.

The show’s star is the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, visible from several viewpoints on both canyon rims, all easily accessible on the North and South Rim Drives.

To see this awe-inspiring 308-foot roadside waterfall, we recommend the North Rim overlooks of Red Rock Point and Lookout Point, both will provide sensational views of the Lower Falls.

For an up-close experience, though, you can hike the Brink of the Lower Falls Trail down to the top of the falls. On the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, nothing compares to the sight from Artists Point. So don’t forget your camera!

One of the most iconic views in Yellowstone National Park is the Lower Falls, which is perfectly framed by colorful canyon walls crowned with forests.

What do you think of our top picks for the best roadside waterfalls in the US? Be sure to let us know of your own experiences or if we missed any in the comments below.

And if you liked this article, we highly recommend you also read: 9 Incredible Shoulder Season Travel Destinations in the US for Your Bucket List

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