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Exploring Wanderlust with Houston’s Waterfalls

Exploring Wanderlust with Houston’s Waterfalls

Houston, the city of soaring skyscrapers and bustling streets, might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of waterfalls. But, hold on to your swimsuits and hiking boots, because this concrete jungle has some surprising hidden waterfalls! 

From stunning natural cascades nestled in lush greenery to ingenious man-made wonders, we’re here to spill the secrets of the best waterfalls inside and nearby Houston. So, do go chasing waterfalls!

Get your cameras ready, because these falls are picture-perfect and just a short drive within or on the outskirts of the city! Let’s dive in and discover the magical world of waterfalls in and around Houston.

Airfield Falls Trailhead and Conservation Park 

Address: 200 Pumphrey Dr, Westworth Village, TX 76114, United States

Phone Number: +1 817-720-4551


Hours: Everyday – 5 am to 10 pm

Entrance Fee: Free

Located in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Airfield Falls is the tallest natural waterfall in the region. It’s a great destination if you’re looking for your next nature trip just near Houston. 

Flowing from the Trinity River, the falls cascade over jagged limestone rocks, creating a mesmerizing sight that looks like a natural staircase. 

The park surrounding the falls has a wooden bridge that gives you a perfect view of the small creeks and ponds teeming with fish and tadpoles, and even a butterfly garden. 

After checking out the waterfalls, it’s a great place to take a leisurely hike or bike through the scenic trails, savor a delightful picnic at the pavilion, and cool off in the natural pools. 

Pro Tip: 
Try to time your visit during the weekdays to avoid the weekend crowds and enjoy a more peaceful experience.

Boykin Springs 

Address: Forest Service Rd 313, Zavalla, TX 75980, United States

Phone Number: +1 936-897-1068



  • Monday to Saturday – 7 am to 5 pm 
  • Sunday – 7 am to 10 pm 

Entrance Fee: $5 for day use 

A short escape from the bustling city of Houston, Boykin Springs has a tranquil waterfall that’s fed by a crystal-clear spring. The waterfall flows over a rock ledge that falls into a shallow pool that you can wet your feet in while you enjoy the sounds of nature. 

Beyond the falls, we enjoy walking through the national forest, where hiking, fishing, camping, and picnicking is allowed. If you’re into wildlife observation like birdwatching, you’ll love it here!

The area also features a lake where you can go boating and swimming if you want even more water-based fun to add to your day at the falls. 

Pro Tip: 
To get to the waterfalls, you have to trek the Sawmill Hiking trail which is a 5 mile walk that takes you past the waterfalls and then eventually to the Neches River. If you follow the trail further, make sure you check out the historic Old Aldridge Sawmill!

Capote Falls 

Address: Capote Falls, Presidio County, Texas 79843, United States

Hours: 24/7

Entrance Fee: Private Booking

Along the western slope of the Sierra Vieja Mountains in Presidio, Texas, Capote Falls stands tall as the state’s highest waterfall, soaring over 175 feet. 

After you embark on a short hike through the canyon, the awe-inspiring sight of the falls greets you. Even though we’ve been here more than once, every time we reach the falls, the sheer size and height of the water still leaves us quiet. 

While the falls are located on private property, you can go to the area and ask around on how to get in touch with the owner because they don’t post anything on social media. 

Pro Tip: 
For a unique adventure, reach out to the landowner and secure permission to go to the falls. You can even rent out a helicopter to view the falls from a bird’s eye view!

Cattail Falls 

Address: Cattail Falls, Big Bend, Texas 79834, United States

Phone Number: +1 432-477-2251


Hours: 24/7

Entrance Fee: Free

Tucked away in the Big Bend National Park, Cattail Falls has 80-foot waterfalls that descends over a limestone ledge and falls into a tranquil pool below. 

The falls are located on the slope of the Chisos Mountains’s western slope. You need to take an unmarked trail that starts from the Sam Nail Ranch for around 3 miles to access the falls, but the view during the hike is well worth it. Be wary of the wildlife! 

The Cattail Falls actually gets its name because the flowing water stream looks like a cat’s tail if it were sitting on the ledge of the rocks behind the falls. 

Pro Tip:
Since the trail is unmarked, try to seek out a local or a park ranger for insider tips on finding it. 

Chalk Ridge Falls 

Address: 5600 FM1670, Belton, TX 76513, United States

Phone Number: +1 254-939-2461

Hours: Everyday – 8 am to 7 pm

Entrance Fee: Free

Although not the biggest falls we’ve been to, the details and unique elements of the Chalk Ridge Falls make you want to sit there and stare at the water all day. 

Surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush vegetation, this picturesque waterfall falls over a bed of chalk rock which crumbles more easily than limestone. This helps you appreciate the ridges and uneven surfaces that make the water gleam more in the sunlight!

Pro Tip: 
The hiking trail isn’t what you would normally expect with soil and mud. The path is made more of gravel and stone so it can be a bit slippery especially when you get nearer to the waterfalls. So, make sure you wear shoes with anti-slip soles!

Devil’s Waterhole 

Address: 3630 Park Rd 4 W, Burnet, TX 78611, United States

Phone Number: +1 512-793-2223


Hours: Everyday 8 am to 10 pm 

Entrance Fee: $7 for day use across the whole Inks Lake State Park 

Despite its name, we think the Devil’s hole is a heavenly oasis. This is a serene and picturesque watering hole situated west of Burnet, just a short drive from Houston. 

Located within the Inks Lake State Park, the lake offers a plethora of activities, from kayaking and boating to water skiing and swimming. You can even fish here without getting a license or permit as long as you bring your own equipment. 

If you visit when the creeks are running, you’ll be treated to the sight of waterfalls upstream. The park and lake welcomes visitors year-round, with 200 camping sites and 22 cabin options lakeside. 

Pro Tip: 
You don’t need to worry about packing snacks and drinks for your trip. The park has food, water, and other supplies available in the park store located in the central park area! 

Dolan Falls 

Address: 6501 Dolan Falls Dr, Flower Mound, TX 76226

Phone Number: +1 703-841-5300


Hours: 24/7

Entrance Fee: N/A

A hidden gem within the Houston Metro area, Dolan Falls may be smaller in terms of height but is no less enchanting. This waterfall is fed by a spring, gently cascading over rocks and into a serene pool below. 

While Dolan Falls Preserve is not open to the general public, you can seek permission from Devils River Nature Preserve for special visits or explore the adjacent Devils River State Natural Area for a similar experience. 

Pro Tip: 
Although accessing the falls themselves is not allowed, there are areas in the creek and rivers that feed the waterfalls which are. The Three Tier Rapids about 19 miles from the falls is great for experienced kayakers looking for an adrenaline rush!

Gorman Falls 

Address: 2236 Park Hill Dr, Bend, TX 76824, United States

Phone Number: +1 325-628-3240


Hours: Everyday – 6 am to 10 pm

Entrance Fee: $5 for a day trip to the Colorado Bend State Park 

For adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts, Gorman Falls is a must-visit destination. Located in the Colorado Bend State Park and standing 70 feet, this waterfall is one of the tallest in the state. 

Though visitors cannot get close to the falls, the hike to the viewing spot is a memorable experience. Just remember to carry essentials like water, a hiking stick, sunscreen, and a hat during the summer months. 

Pro Tip: 
Try to plan your visit during late spring for a quieter experience. This is also a good time to see rainbows as the water vapor spews out. The Colorado Bend State Park also has camping spots if you want to stay overnight!

Hamilton Pool Waterfall 

Address: 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620, USA

Phone Number: +1 512-264-2740


Hours: Everyday – 9 am to 5:30 pm 

Entrance Fee: $8 for day use with access to the Hamilton Pool Preserve

A short road trip away from Houston takes you to the Hamilton Pool Waterfall that plunges 50 feet into a narrow canyon. 

During the summer, because of weather conditions like heat and the evaporation it causes the flow of the falls slows down a bit but doesn’t run out completely. 

So, if you’d rather see it in all its glory, it’s best to go during the spring when the movement of the water creates bursts of cool air that’s very inviting for swimmers looking to take a refreshing dip. 

The trail to the falls is around a quarter of a mile and slightly steep, but is very rewarding to visitors with its great views. You can view the falls from the viewing platform at the end of the trail.

Pro Tip: 
You need to make an initial reservation online through their website for $12 which includes parking for 1 car.  Although, day use passes can be availed on the spot at the park center on a cash basis for additional people that you’ll bring

Japanese Garden Waterfall

Japanese Garden Waterfall
Image Source: Hermann Park Website 

Address: 6000 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030, United States

Phone Number: +1 713-524-5876


Hours: Everyday – 9 am to 6 pm

Entrance Fee: Free

The blend of history and nature is celebrated at the Japanese Garden in Houston, symbolizing the bond between the United States and Japan. These quaint waterfalls flow directly into the huge pond in front of the traditional Japanese Tea House. 

You can wander through the park amidst cherry trees and distinctive architectural elements, and listen to the sound of the cascading waterfall in the background. This makes it an ideal spot for a serene stroll or a meditation session.

Pro Tip: 
The cherry trees in the garden only bloom once a year during the end of fall and the beginning of winter. So if you want the full immersive Japanese experience, try to time your visits between December and January. 

Krause Springs

Address: 424 Co Rd 404, Spicewood, TX 78669, United States

Phone Number: +1 401-236-7554


Hours: Everyday 9 am to 8 pm

Entrance Fee:

  • 12 years and above: $10 
  • 4 to 11 years old: $6 
  • 4 below: Free

Krause Springs is a renowned camping and swimming destination nestled in Spicetown, Texas, just a short trip from Houston. 

Owned by the Krause Family and listed in the National Registry of Historical Sites, this picturesque property is home to twin waterfalls that cascade into inviting natural pools. 

With 32 springs, including both natural and man-made pools that eventually merge with Lake Travis, Krause Springs offers year-round access to its emerald springs. The site also features a butterfly garden and a man-made swimming pool!

Pro Tip: 
If you visit during winter, the natural springs might get a bit chilly. You can still enjoy seeing the waterfalls from afar and enjoy a dip in one of their man-made springs that stays heated year-round.

Madrid Falls 

Address: 21800 FM170, Terlingua, TX 79852, United States

Phone Number: +1 432-424-3327


Hours: Every day 8 am to 4:30 pm

Entrance Fee: $5 for day use of the entire Big Bend Ranch State Park 

The Big Bend, Texas’ largest expanse of roadless public lands, hosts the Big Bend Ranch State Park. This is a great place for an outdoor adventure – it has mountains, canyons, and in the center, a must-see waterfall. 

The Madrid Falls is a stunning 100-foot waterfall and the second tallest publicly accessible one in Texas. If you want to see it in person, you have to take on a challenging hike or take advantage of the four-wheel ATVs you can rent on site.

Pro Tip: 
You can’t actually go swimming in the falls, but there are loads of viewing decks that let you see the falls from different angles. Make sure you inquire about the best routes to take at the service center of the Big Bend Ranch State Park. 

McGovern Centennial Gardens

Address: 1500 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004, United States

Phone Number: +1 713-524-5876


Hours: Everyday 9 am to 7 pm

Entrance Fee: Free

The McGovern Centennial Gardens, a splendid 15-acre site developed in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Hermann Park was formerly known as the Houston Garden Centre Site. 

The garden compound is made of huge wide lawns and specialty gardens dedicated to different plantlife, but the showstopper is the McGovern Centennial Gardens Waterfall embedded into the central garden mount which stands 30 feet tall. 

Although manmade, the McGovern Centennial Gardens Waterfall doesn’t fall short in giving a sense of awe to the people who visit it. The hill mount itself looks like a layered cake while the water flows down granite steps from the top all the way to the bottom. 

Pro Tip: 
There are 2 vantage points that offer the best view and photography opportunities for the waterfall. You can stand far away in front of the fountains or you can stand at the very top and look downward. 

McKinney Falls State Park 

Address: 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744, United States

Phone Number: +1 512-243-1643


Hours: Everyday 8 am to 10 pm 

Entrance Fee: $6 per day 

McKinney Falls State Park is a beloved destination for hiking enthusiasts, birdwatchers, and picnic lovers in the east of Houston. 

This scenic park has well-maintained trails that lead you to a picturesque waterfall and lush forests. The falls is the result of Williamson Creek and Onion Creek merging together on rocky slopes.

To add to the experience, the visitor’s center features exhibits that delve into the region’s natural resources and history. The park also has other activities you can do like hiking to swimming. 

Pro Tip: 
You need to book a reservation online through the website before going to visit the park. This is especially important if you want to stay overnight on one of their 81 campgrounds. 

Oyster Creek Park Waterfalls 

Address:  4033 Hwy 6, Sugar Land, TX 77478, United States

Phone Number: +1 281-275-2885


Hours: Everyday – 6 am to 10 pm 

Entrance Fee: 

Oyster Creek Park, which is just on the outskirts of Houston, is one of our top spots. The area is set over 111 acres of land with hiking and biking trails totalling 3 miles. 

But our favorite part is the waterfall. The park’s center is a pond that’s lined with rocks that flows downstream across carefully designed places to create a beautiful man made waterfall. 

You can enjoy a peaceful picnic surrounded by natural beauty on the grass right beside the water feature and be free from the bustling city. 

Pro Tip: 
If you’re planning a wedding or looking for a unique photoshoot location, Oyster Creek Park is a popular destination with its calming waterfalls as the backdrop. 

Pedernales Falls 

Address: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636, United States

Phone Number: +1 830-868-7304


Hours: Everyday 8 am to 10 pm

Entrance Fee: $6 for a day pass to the Pedernales Falls State Park

If you can venture an hour outside of Houston, the view of the Pedernales Falls is definitely worth the drive. This popular 50-foot waterfall attracts tourists from far and wide.

Fed by a creek on its journey to the Gulf of Mexico, the falls offer a serene spot to hike, camp, swim, and partake in various water activities. The park also offers breathtaking views for those who enjoy the feeling of being lost in nature’s beauty. 

Pro Tip: 
The Pedernales Falls State Park management doesn’t allow swimming or wading in the pool below the falls for safety reasons, but they do have a swimming area. The trek to the area is just 0.25 miles, but very steep and slippery, so plan ahead and prepare the right equipment! 

Sesquicentennial Park Waterfalls 

Address:  400 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002, United States

Phone Number:  +1 832-395-7000


Hours: Everyday – 6 am to 10 pm

Entrance Fee: 

  • $6 for adults
  • $3.75 for senior citizens 
  • $3.50 for children 
  • Free for kids under 5

Designed to commemorate Houston’s 150th birthday, Sesquicentennial Park spans over 20 acres and features a multi-level landscape with captivating fountains, promenades, and lush green spaces. 

A hidden gem in the heart of downtown, the park offers opportunities for hiking, biking, picnicking, and family outings. But the best thing is the artificial waterfall that falls over a tall staircase made of stone.

The other side of the staircase is accessible to people so you can literally walk beside the water as it runs down the steps beside you. This is also a great place to get photos taken with the Houston skyline in the background. 

Pro Tip: 
There’s a hidden secret here that locals call “burp the bayou”, in the south end of the park near the banks of the Buffalo Bayou. There, you’ll find a big red button that activates a mechanism that releases air into the bayou’s water that makes it bubble. 

The Waterwall 

Address: 2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, United States

Phone Number: +1 713-850-8841


Hours: Everyday – 8 am to 10 pm 

Entrance Fee: Free

An iconic Houston landmark, The Waterwall stands is an impressive man-made 64-foot tall waterfall. Located in the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park in the Uptown District, this unique 64-foot U-shaped fountain showcases over 11,000 gallons of flowing water.

The park, adorned with tall oak trees, offers a perfect setting for lounging, picnicking, and leisurely strolls. While parking may require a fee on weekends, the captivating views and fantastic photo opportunities make it all worthwhile.

Pro Tip: 
If you have time to spare and a whole lot of patience, try to capture stunning shots of The Waterwall at different times of the day to witness how the changing light accentuates its beauty.

Westcave Waterfalls 

Address: 24814 Hamilton Pool Rd, Round Mountain, TX 78663, United States

Phone Number: +1 830-825-3442



  • Monday and Tuesday – closed 
  • Wednesday and Thursday – 9 am to 5 pm 
  • Friday to Sunday – 9 am to 4 pm

Entrance Fee: $20 per person 

If you’re up for a nature retreat, we suggest you head on over to the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center. There, you can avail of guided tours from the staff about the places within the preserve, and learn of their importance and preservation efforts. 

Set just next to the Pedernales River in Travis Country, a breathtaking 80-foot waterfall acts as the centerpiece of this 76-acre natural preserve that’s open to the public. 

The waterfall is unique because it isn’t backed by rock. The water falls over the entrance of a cave in the preserve so you can stand by and watch the water fall through the air as it mists up and hits the pool of water below. 

Pro Tip: 
On the guided tour towards the base of the falls, you first need to hike down a path that’s mostly lined in limestone. There are some parts where you need to squeeze through the crevices, which might not be ideal for people who don’t like tight spaces.
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