Non-Texans may be more likely to associate desert landscapes and open plains with the Lone Star State, but in reality, Texas’ extreme diversity means that there’s a surprising number of cool waterfalls in Texas!
Here are some of the best Texas waterfalls around, including popular local swimming holes, treasures hidden inside state parks, and even a few urban waterfalls.
Best Texas Waterfalls in National + State Parks
Texas’ system of 80 state parks, along with its 2 national parks, means that you’re never far from an interesting natural highlight when exploring Texas.
Here’s where to head if you’re chasing waterfalls in Texas!
Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park
Gorman Falls is widely considered to be one of the most popular Texas waterfalls, and for good reason: its incredible width paired with its height makes it incredibly striking!
It’s a 3-mile round-trip hike to visit Gorman Falls, and the trail does get congested at times–consider getting an early start to avoid the crowds.
Pedernales Falls State Park
The Pedernales Falls are one of the most subtle waterfalls on this list: they gently cascade down the Pedernales River, from pool to pool, without any huge drops.
That being said, they’re beautiful, and one of the best waterfalls in Texas for swimming!
Cattail Falls, Big Bend National Park
Tucked into a quiet corner of Big Bend National Park, the Cattail Falls are serene and lovely to observe.
Keep in mind, though, that the environment around them is quite fragile, so be very careful not to disturb anything as you visit.
McKinney Falls State Park
The McKinney Falls may be small, but they are lovely–and make for a fantastic place to swim near Austin!
Window Trail, Big Bend National Park
The Window trail is one of the most popular hikes in Big Bend National Park–and the window itself looks down upon a beautiful Texas waterfall (the intensity of the waterfall, though, depends on the weather).
Be sure to watch your step on the slick rocks during the final portion of the hike!
Cool Urban Waterfalls in Texas
Not all of the coolest waterfalls in Texas are nature-made–engineering and art has brought some remarkable waterfalls to Texas’ cities, as well.
Here are some of the most notable!
Waterwall Park, Houston
Houston’s Water Wall is obviously artificial, but that doesn’t detract from its mesmerizing beauty: at 64 feet tall and with a semi-circular shape, the water wall is positively striking to look at.
Zilker Botanical Garden Waterfalls, Austin
Zilker Park is a beloved centerpiece of Austin, and its botanical garden includes plenty of stunning waterfalls that are perfect for snapping photos of or simply relaxing in front of while in the heart of the city.
Wichita Falls, Wichita Falls
The current 54-foot Wichita Falls that grace the city of the same name are definitely manmade, complete with a bridge in front of them that you can walk across for the best view.
However, there were once natural waterfalls nearby, which is where Wichita Falls got its name. Those original waterfalls, though, washed away in a flood in the 19th century.
Japanese Tea Garden Waterfall, San Antonio
San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden is a beautiful, peaceful corner of the city–and its impressive 60-foot waterfall certainly adds to the beauty!
More Texas Waterfalls to Visit
Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs
As one of the most popular swimming holes in Texas, the Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs is an absolute marvel to behold.
The collapsed grotto formed a beautiful pool, which is fed by a 50-foot waterfall–check out the top photo on this Texas waterfalls blog post to see what it looks like.
Depending on conditions, you can sometimes swim here.
Krause Springs, Spicewood
Featuring 32 springs, plenty of small waterfalls, and a variety of places to swim, Krause Springs is one of the best Texas waterfalls to visit if you’re looking more to cool off on a hot day in the Texas Hill Country than to photograph a particularly tall set of falls.
Chalk Ridge Falls, Belton
These short-but-wide falls along the Lampasas River are perfect for swimming in!
Westcave Waterfall, Round Mountain
Located on private property not far from the much more famous Hamilton Pool Preserve, visiting the gorgeous Westcave Waterfall requires a guided tour–but this grotto is beautiful enough to be worth the trouble.
Map of the Coolest Texas Waterfalls