Top 10 Must-See Waterfalls Near Crater Lake

Sep 20, 2018

Crater Lake is known for its stunning views of the caldera lake, its nearby zipline experience and trolley , and its visitor center but there are some other must-see water views you should add to your list of things to do . Crater Lake boasts some of the most beautiful waterfall sights in the Pacific Northwest. And there are tons to choose from. So let’s go over the top 10 must-see waterfalls near Crater Lake.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #1: Plaikni Falls

On the list of waterfalls near Crater Lake to check out, we’ll start with Plaikni Falls. The word Plaikni translates to “from the high country.” This waterfall is named thusly because of its position along the high slopes of Mount Mazama.

The particular trail you can hike to Plaikni Falls was opened in 2011, making it the newest trail to a waterfall near Crater Lake. You will find a sign at the trailhead of Plaikni Falls that explains its origins. The sign describes Plaikni Falls as, “The high country receives an average yearly snowfall of 44 feet, and this melting snow percolates through loose volcanic soil, hits an impermeable layer, and surfaces as a spring. One spring forms Sand Creek, which cascades down as Plaikni Falls.”

You will also find a lush area surrounding this waterfall covered with wildflowers and even butterflies.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #2: Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls should definitely be at the top of your list of waterfalls near Crater Lake to stop and visit. This waterfall is a picturesque and awe-inspiring sight.

This waterfall is located on the north Umpqua River where it converges with the Clearwater River. The word Toketee translates from Chinook jargon and means “pretty” or “graceful.” This accurately describes this waterfall near Crater Lake that drops 113 feet, with a 28 foot upper tier that plunges into a pool surrounded by a deep alcove, with an 85 foot plunge into an even larger pool.

This waterfall is one of Oregon’s most famous waterfalls, known for its columnar basalt formation.

Toketee Falls is regulated and monitored by a dam built upstream by PacifiCorp which reduces water flow. This has also created a reservoir known as Toketee Lake.

With stunning views and serene surroundings, be sure to stop by this waterfall.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #3: Vidae Falls

Vidae Falls is one of the other most famous and viewed waterfalls near Crater Lake. This is due to the fact that you can drive in front of Vidae Falls and snap a photo. It requires minimal effort to view, but don’t let that fool you. This is still worth your time to look at.

This waterfall originates at Vidae Creek and cascades over a three-stepped bluff as it drops over 115 feet and then flows under Rim Drive. The source of water for Vidae Falls – while many believe it to be leakage from Crater Lake – is actually a local spring further upstream.

You can hike further along the waterfall or spring and get a closer look. This waterfall is ideal for those who wish to see waterfalls with health concerns or small children. Be sure to stop here and snap a photo or two to add to your collection of waterfalls near Crater Lake.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #4: Watson Falls

Watson Falls is a 272 foot waterfall located on Watson Creek, which is a tributary of the Clearwater River. It is located 47 miles from Union Creek off of Highway 138.

Watson Falls is the third highest waterfall in Oregon. This also makes it the highest waterfall in southwestern Oregon. Watson Falls is a perfect waterfall near Crater Lake that you can immerse yourself in. The water cascades over basalt lava cliffs, as it makes its way to the pool below. Another great feature of this waterfall near Crater Lake is that you can walk underneath it.

The trail to Watson Falls is an easy 0.6 miles. You can even take the footbridge that is 0.3 miles from the trailhead. From there, you can get a truly spectacular view of Watson Falls.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #5: Whitehorse Falls

Whitehorse Falls is another waterfall near Crater Lake and it is located along Clearwater Creek. Whitehorse Falls features a 15 foot drop. It flows out of a narrow trough before tumbling into the pool below. This is another waterfall that is easy to catch as you can see it from the Whitehorse Falls Campground entrance.

Whitehorse Falls is a featured point along the drive between Chemult and Roseburg. It is located in the heart of the Umpqua National Forest.

Whitehorse Falls has a small trail that lies a short distance from the location where the North Umpqua and Clearwater Rivers converge.

Like all of the other previous mentioned waterfalls near Crater Lake, you will find beautiful scenery to take photos of. The area features moss covered rocks, and a large canopy of Douglas Fir Trees.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #6: Clearwater Falls

Clearwater Falls is a different experience. While most waterfalls have a noticeable point where they originate from, Clearwater Falls appears to spring out from beneath the green foliage, moss covered rocks, and intermingled tree roots. This is due to the soft soil under the falls which allows the river to seep in and out of the ground.

Clearwater Falls is located high up in the Umpqua River drainage, along Clearwater River. It is the first interruption you will find along the river. It features a 29 foot drop as it falls over the mossy rocks.

This waterfall near Crater Lake is definitely an experience because of how it bubbles out of the surrounding environment. Be sure to make a stop at Clearwater Falls for a very unique experience.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #7: Mill Creek Falls

The Mill Creek Falls is located near Prospect, Oregon. This waterfall near Crater Lake takes a 175 foot tumble over its cliff into a pool. This set of towering falls can be spotted from across the nearby Rouge River Canyon across a steep gorge.

Mill Creek Falls has a forceful push of water that careens over the edge into the pool below and the overgrowth of trees. If you like the tall waterfalls, this is definitely one you will want to stop by on your way to Crater Lake.

And while you’re here, you can hop across the way and see its sister waterfall, Barr Creek Falls.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #8: Barr Creek Falls

Barr Creek Falls features a larger and more graceful fall than its sister waterfall, Mill Creek Falls. Barr Creek Falls, another great waterfall near Crater Lake, is a multi-stepped waterfall.

The water here initially falls over a 60 foot wall that is partially obstructed by trees, before falling another 30 feet, and finally 150 feet to the canyon floor below.

Barr Creek Falls is surrounded by walls made of petrified volcanic ash from Mount Mazama’s long ago eruption.

If you stand in the right location, you can even see both Barr Creek Falls and Mill Creek Falls at the same time, as they are on the same rock cliff. Be sure to stop by both of these and see the comparisons and differences.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #9: Annie Falls

You won’t have to look far for this waterfall near Crater Lake. Annie Falls is the the tallest of three waterfalls named thusly within Crater Lake National Park. It is located at the south end of Rim Village Historic District along Annie Creek.

Annie Falls cascades over 53 feet down a slope located in Annie Creek Canyon. It is also surrounded by walls of petrified volcanic ash from Mount Mazama.

You can safely view Annie Falls from the picnic area located nearby. Make a nice afternoon out of it, and take lunch to eat while you listen to the nearby cascading waterfall.

Must-See Waterfall Near Crater Lake #10: Duwee Falls

Duwee Falls is considered to be the largest of three named waterfalls within Crater Lake National Park. Like Annie Falls, you won’t have to go far for this waterfall near Crater Lake. This waterfall is often considered the best waterfall in the national park.

The word duwee is loosely translated from the local Klamath language meaning the sound of a rushing stream and/or cascade.

Duwee Falls is a steep tiered waterfall located on Munson Creek that makes a dramatic plunge into a yawning canyon below. It falls for 100 feet, making it the biggest within the Crater Lake Park’s grounds.

Duwee Falls initially plunges for 15 feet followed by 40 feet then splits as it cascades down two tiers of about 25 each. For the best view of Duwee Falls stop by the pullout on Highway 62 near Mazama Village.

More Waterfalls to Visit

While these are only a small selection of many of the waterfalls near Crater Lake, adventure and pick out a few more wonderful selections. A few other notable ones to keep your eye out for are Stuart Falls, Red Blanket Falls, National Creek Falls, or Fall Creek Falls. Grab a map and mark the locations of all these beautiful natural wonders.

Whether you make a whole day out of it just stop by a few notable waterfalls to enjoy the serene beauty, these are certainly something to add to your Crater Lake visit.