Discovering Waterfalls

Waterfall Pool

Waterfalls make a great object for outdoor exploration.  If there are hills or mountains and rivers,  there are probably waterfalls.  I written about several in the eMagazine including:

These are all in or near Crater Lake National Park, but you don’t need a National Park to find waterfalls.

Finding Waterfalls Near You

Vidae FallsIf you don’t know where to start looking,  it’s quite simple to start with the World Waterfall Database.  Choose your country and state or province to see a map with clickable markers that provide information about each waterfall.  Unfortunately the database has very limited coverage in most countries; fortunately there is extensive coverage in some U.S. states.  For example,  the database lists 1,302 waterfalls in Oregon.  Other states are not so well covered.  Wisconsin, for example, lists no waterfalls even though we are aware of several (Big Manitou Falls, Amnicon Falls, Copper Falls, Potato River Falls, Long Slide Falls and there are more).  The developers are adding data for more states over time.

Another website that lists waterfalls in all the states, but doesn’t seem to be as comprehensive as the World Water Falls Database intends to become, is the waterfall database.  They list 53 waterfalls in Wisconsin, but only 226 waterfalls in Oregon.  The Oregon list includes only two of the waterfalls around Crater Lake that we have explored.  The site provides the location and name of the waterfall, but that’s all.

Another approach is to Google the word ‘waterfall’ with the name of your state.  Some regions have specialized databases and every state seems to have websites about their waterfalls.  Many state parks are built around waterfalls.

There are also many books about waterfalls that can help you plan a waterfall adventure:

With all these resources, you should be able to find and explore some waterfalls in your neighborhood.

Waterfalls as a Passion

If waterfalls really intrigue you,  you might want to check out World of Waterfalls.  There you will find how Johnny T. Cheng and his wife Julie made waterfalls into the object of their explorations.  They began by exploring the mountains around Los Angeles and then built their vacations on the theme of  waterfalls around the world.  On their website you will find their stories of visiting hundreds of waterfalls.  They offer top ten lists, trip itineraries and other information that can help you find waterfalls to explore.  Even after all their waterfall exploration, they have barely scratched the surface.  For example,  they only found one waterfall in Crater Lake National Park – Vidae Falls.


“While everyone has different reasons for waterfall hunting, after over a decade of engaging in this activity, Julie and I can honestly say that it has been truly an enlightening and life changing experience.” – Johnny T. Cheng

Getting Motivated

If you aren’t motivated to explore waterfalls yet, perhaps this video will help.  It presents a few of the waterfalls visited by the Cheng’s.

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#waterfalls @worldofwaterfalls

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