When you think about amazing waterfalls, Texas might not be the first state that comes to mind, but the truth is our great state has a number of beautiful waterfalls that are perfect for a day trip or a longer road trip with family or friends. The best part? These Texas waterfalls are all very cheap or even free in some cases to visit. Many of these waterfalls offer nearby camping or RV parking in the area.
Check out our guide below to our favorite Texas waterfalls that are great for some outdoor fun in summer or just about any time of year. Our list includes secluded waterfalls in Texas, waterfalls in Texas to swim in, and more!
For your convenience, we have classified the waterfalls based on their proximity to Houston. Some of them are within a short few hours drive from Houston whereas others need a little bit of a road trip!
Editor’s Note: Our staff tries to bring you the latest information. However, as always, please verify the information before you make plans
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Waterfalls in Texas within a 4 hour drive from Houston
Hamilton Pool is one of the state’s best swimming holes. Located in the Dripping Springs area a short drive from Austin, this natural beauty gives you the feeling that you’re in a whole other world. The pool is a collapsed grotto with nice water, gorgeous rock formations around the edges, and a 50-foot waterfall that’s perfect for cooling off.
Location: Pedernales River (Travis County Park in Dripping Springs, near Austin)
Cost: $12 per vehicle; $8 per adult (13-61 years old), $3 per senior (62 and older), Kids 12 and under are free
Morning Reservation Period: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Afternoon Reservation Period: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Driving time from Houston: ~ 3 hrs. & 19 mins.
The Westcave Preserve Falls are located on the 30-acre Westcave Preserve in the Texas Hill Country, a gorgeous natural preserve with a grotto, canyon, and cave. You can hike to the fall by yourself or with a guide.
Location: Southwest Travis County (about 45 min from Downtown Austin)
Cost: $20 for adults; $7 for kids
Grotto/Falls availability: Friday-Sunday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Driving time from Houston: ~ 3 hrs. & 11 mins.
While this isn’t your typical tall waterfall, Pedernales Falls are wide and spread across the river. The river is a great spot for fishing as the falls create these little pools where fish tend to gather. While the river can be turbulent at times, it’s usually very tranquil and relaxing. Please make sure you have a reservation before you drive out to the park as day passes sell out quickly.
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Where: Downtown Aquarium in Houston, 410 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002
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This small waterfall is only a few feet in height, but it’s a serene area, and the national forest has plenty of fishing, hiking, camping, and picnic areas to enjoy. These falls are part of the Neches River and the area is the trailhead for the Sawmill Hiking Trail.
Location: Angelina National Forest
Cost: Camping – $10 per campsite per night (includes parking for up to 2 vehicles) | Shelter Rental – $25 per day (reserve at www.recreation.gov) | Day-Use – FREE
Driving time from Houston: ~ 2 hrs. & 42 mins.
Reopened as of May 21 with social distancing guidelines in place and slightly reduced hours, Krause Springs is a beautiful waterfall and swimming site in the Hill Country. It’s been around since 1955, and the area has a ton of natural sites and springs to explore. It’s a great place to enjoy nature and to cool off on a hot summer day. Have you been to any of these Texas waterfalls? Which one is your favorite?
Location: 424 Co Rd 404, Spicewood, TX 78669
Cost: $9 for adults (12 & older), $5 for kids ages 4-11, Kids 3 and younger are free
Falls availability: Opens Daily 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Driving time from Houston: ~ 3 hrs. & 22 mins.
Located in the backyard of Austin, the Mckinney Falls State Park consists of the Onion Creek flowing over limestone ledges and splashing into pools. You can follow trails winding through the Hill Country woods and explore the remains of an early Texas homestead and a very old rock shelter.
Location: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744
Cost: Adult: $6 Daily, Child 12 Years and Under: Free
Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Driving time from Houston: ~ 2 hours & 22 minutes
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Waterfalls in Texas that require a 4+ hour drive from Houston
7. Capote Falls
At a towering 175 feet high, Capote Falls is the tallest waterfall in Texas. Because the falls are the main drainage below the Rio Grande Rift and Sierra Vieja, these falls flow consistently all year long. However, there is a catch. This waterfall is located on private property, so you have to either get permission to hike to the falls or you can opt to take a helicopter flight over the falls.
Location: Presidio (near Marfa)
Driving time from Houston: ~8 hours and 30 minutes
8. Gorman Falls
Located at Colorado Bend State Park, Gorman Falls run 65 feet down plant-covered limestone walls and feed into the Colorado River. You can hike up above the falls and see where the spring comes out of the ground. These falls are off-limits to swimming, but they are definitely still worth seeing in person. Learn more on the Colorado Bend State Park website.
Location: Colorado Bend State Park (2 hours NW of Austin)
Cost: $5 for adults, kids 12 and under are free
Falls availability: Opens Daily 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Driving time from Houston: ~ 4 hrs. & 15 mins.
Cattail Falls earned its name because the falls look like cattails. Located in the Chisos Mountains at Big Bend Park, the falls require a 3-mile round trip hike to reach, but there are some great views along the way, especially as you get up close to the falls.
10. Dolan Falls
To visit Dolan Falls, you’ll need permission from the Devils River Nature Preserve as they limit the number of tourists allowed to preserve the area, or you can use the adjacent Devils River State Natural Area that shares some of the same river frontage. The hike to get to the falls can be pretty challenging, but the falls are absolutely beautiful once you arrive.
Location: 21715 Dolan Creek Rd., Del Rio, TX 78840
Cost: Free for day use (reservations required)
Open: 8 a.m. Friday to 5 p.m. on Monday
Closed: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Driving time from Houston: ~ 6 hrs. & 57 mins.
Looking for other fun plans to explore Texas? Check out our article on 20 Best Road Trips from Houston!
Also, check out our article on the 10 Best Swimming Holes Near Houston!
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