Summer is in full swing, and if you are a Reno-local looking for an adventure without traveling too far, Nevada has some fantastic waterfalls sure to take your breath away. While most people think of the desert or Vegas when thinking about Nevada, there is so much more to offer.
These waterfalls are often an oasis formed by melting snow or excessive rainfall. So next time you escape the city for a quick retreat, be sure to visit these top waterfalls for a day filled with fun and recreation.
Mary Jane Falls: Located in Spring Mountain National Recreation Area near Las Vegas, Mary Jane Falls is near one of the most popular places to hike, the Mount Charleston area. The hike is easy to manage and is conveniently located near Las Vegas. While the waterfall may be little more than a trickle at certain times of the year, it is still an excellent location for outdoor recreation.
Big Falls: Big Falls is also located in the Mount Charleston area of Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, as it splits from the Mary Jane Falls trail. The hike is a bit more intense as it is about four miles to get to Big Falls and back. But when it is active, the waterfall goes between limestone cliffs and falls into a serene pool of water.
Lost Creek Falls: This waterfall is located in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area and can be accessed by taking the Lost Creek Canyon Trail. It is less than a mile to get there, and you can see this 200-foot waterfall.
First Creek Falls: Also located in Red Rock Canyon is first Creek Falls. This hidden waterfall takes about two hours to hike. The hike goes through a desert valley and many cottonwood trees. While the waterfall is a bit smaller than other options, it offers shade and a large pool for swimming. It’s an ideal location to cool off after a long hike.
The small waterfall flows into a large pool cut into the rock and surrounded by willows, cottonwoods, and foliage. The dense vegetation also attracts many animals, making it a great spot to view wildlife.
Kings Canyon Falls: Located just west of downtown Carson City, King Canyon Falls is easy to reach. A hike of less than a mile is ideal for families. It’s a gorgeous waterfall that many describe as a hidden gem in Nevada.
Hunter Creek Falls: Hunter Creek Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in Nevada. It is very popular with experienced hikers, as the hike is 5.7 miles round trip. This hike showcases the nearby wilderness to the west. In addition to hiking, you will see many other activities at Hunter Creek Falls, including horseback riding and mountain biking in the summer and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Hunter Creek Falls is near the Reno area. The best time to visit Hunter Creek Falls is right after a heavy storm.
Galena Creek Falls: Galena Creek Falls offers visitors stunning views of Lake Tahoe and Mount Rose. It has many wildflowers near the trails. It is an easy hike that many families enjoy. The falls themself are gorgeous.
Thomas Canyon Waterfalls: Located in Lamoille Canyon, Thomas Canyon is a beautiful waterfall. It is set in the Ruby Mountains, part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest near Elko, Nevada. The hike is approximately 2.5 miles and is family-friendly. You will encounter many smaller waterfalls along the way. There is also a campground nearby.
Ice Box Canyon Waterfall: Like other falls on this list, Ice Box Canyon Waterfall is located in Red Rock Conservation Area near Las Vegas. Hikers may view multiple waterfalls along the hike through beautiful red rocks, trees, cacti, and wildflowers. The Ice Box Canyon Waterfall is 160-feet after rain, making it an impressive view to see.
Even though the hike to Ice Box Canyon Waterfall is only about 2.2 miles, visitors should know it is considered a strenuous hike covering the open desert. Despite being short, the hike takes an average of two hours to complete.
Stonewall Falls: Stonewall Falls is an incredibly unique view as the waterfall is molded by a spring that flows out of Stonewall Mountain and down the side of the mountain 400 feet. However, the hike to Stonewall Falls is not for everyone since it can be challenging and takes approximately seven hours round trip.
Tamarack Creek Falls: Tamarack Creek Falls is located near Reno and East Lake Tahoe. It is also situated at Galena Creek’s upper end. It is a great hike during any season that is approximately six miles long and can be completed in under a couple of hours.
The hike circles around one of the region's most impressive peaks and provides phenomenal views of nearby Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Meadows. These falls are very popular with those who want to spend the day in a cool spot.
Cascade Falls: Cascade Falls is located near Lake Tahoe and offers a great hike for all ages. This waterfall looms large over Cascade Lake and is robust right after the seasonal snowmelt. In addition, it is located within the Bay View Campground, making it easily accessible for nearby campers.
Nevada is known for many things, but its waterfalls may be considered a hidden secret. With several nearby mountain ranges, this state boasts some awe-inspiring waterfalls. If you are looking for some summer fun, visit some of the best waterfalls in Nevada!