Waterfalls in Texas: 10 Best Places and Parks with Falls Near Houston

Waterfalls in Texas: 10 Best Places and Parks with Falls Near Houston

When you think about amazing waterfalls, Texas might not be the first state that comes to mind, but the truth is there are a number of beautiful waterfalls of Texas that you can go to, as long as you are up for some adventure!

The waterfalls in Texas are also 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 falls in Texas also offer nearby camping or RV parking in the area.

Check out our guide below to some of the best waterfalls in Texas 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 these waterfalls in Texas 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 works hard to bring you the latest information. However, all information mentioned in this article is subject to change. As always, please confirm before heading out.

Also, check out our recent articles on 20 Swimming Holes in Texas, 20 Best Road Trips from Houston, Farmers Market Houston, and Summer Camps in Houston!

Waterfalls in Texas within a 4-hour drive from Houston

1. Hamilton Pool Waterfall

Hamilton Pool Waterfall

Hamilton Pool Waterfall | Image Credit: Hamilton Pool Preserve

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.

2. Westcave Waterfalls

Westcave Waterfalls

Westcave Waterfalls | Image Credit: Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center

The Westcave Preserve Falls are located on the 30-acre Westcave Preserve in the Texas Hill Country, a gorgeous nature 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.

3. Pedernales Falls

Pedernales Falls

Pedernales Falls

While this isn’t your typical tall waterfall, Pedernales Falls is 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. 

Location: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636
Cost: $6 for adults; Kids 12 and under are free
Falls availability: Opens Daily 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Driving time from Houston: ~ 3 hrs. & 26 mins.

4. Boykin Springs

boykin springs

Image Credit: fs.usda.gov

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.

5. Krause Springs

Krause Springs

Krause Springs

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.

6. McKinney Falls State Park

Lower-McKinney-Falls at Mckinney Falls State Park

Image Credit – McKinney Falls State Park

Searched for “waterfalls near me now?” this one’s located in the backyard of Austin, the Mckinney Falls State Park and 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 & 40 minutes

Waterfalls in Texas that require a 4+ hour drive from Houston

7. Capote Falls

Capote Falls

Image Credit: texashistory.unt.edu

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

Gorman Falls

Image Credit: tpwd.texas.gov

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.

9. Cattail Falls at Big Bend Park

Cattail Falls

Cattail Falls | Image Credit: Visit Big Bend

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. We love this Houston waterfall!

Location: Big Bend National Park
Cost: Big Bend Entrance Fee: Vehicle – $30 | Motorcycle – $25 | Individual – $12
Driving time from Houston: ~ 10 hrs. & 15 mins.

10. Dolan Falls

Dolan Falls

Dolan Falls | Image Credit: The Nature Conservancy

Dolan Falls Preserve is not open to the general public. However, the neighboring Devils River State Natural Area welcomes visitors throughout the year and boasts the same river frontage and habitat found in the preserve.

So, to see 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 frontages. 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.

11. San Solomon Springs

Waterfalls in Texas - San Solomon Springs

Image Credit: beg.utexas.edu

San Solomon Springs is a natural artesian spring located in Balmorhea State Park. The crystal-clear waters of the spring flow into a large swimming pool, creating a beautiful oasis in the desert.

Location: Balmorhea State Park, Toyahvale, TX 79786
Driving time from Houston: 8 hrs. & 27 mins.

12. Hueco Tanks State Park

Waterfalls in Texas - Hueco Tanks State Park

Image Credit: Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic FB Page

While Hueco Tanks State Park is known primarily for its unique rock formations and historic rock art, it also features some small waterfalls and pools after rain events.

Location: 6900 Hueco Tanks Road No. 1, El Paso, TX 79938
$7 Daily | Child 12 Years and Under Free
Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm | Friday – Sunday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Driving time from Houston:11 hrs. & 1 min

13. Lost Maples Falls

Waterfalls in Texas - Lost Maples Falls

Image Credit: tpwd.texas.gov

Lost Maples State Natural Area is known for its stunning fall foliage, but it also features small waterfalls and cascades along the Sabinal River. The falls may vary in intensity depending on the water flow. You’ll love this top result for “parks near me with waterfalls.”

Location:  37221 RM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885
Cost: $6 Daily | Free for children 12 years and under
Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Driving time from Houston: 5 hrs. & 27 mins.

14. South Llano Falls

Waterfalls in Texas - South Llano Falls

Image Credit: tpwd.texas.gov

South Llano Falls is a series of cascades and rapids along the South Llano River. This is a waterfall in Houston that is located near Junction, Texas, and offers a scenic spot for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Locations: 1927 Park Road 73 Junction, TX 76849
Cost: $5 Daily | Free for children 12 years and under
Hours: Open Daily
Driving time from Houston: 5 hrs. & 7 mins.

15. Hog Creek Falls East

Waterfalls in Texas - Hog Creek Falls East

Image Credit: daytrippintexas.com

Anyone curious about different “best waterfalls near me?” Hog Creek Falls East is a scenic 15-feet falls in northern Jasper County. It is located on one of Hog Creek’s numerous branches, which like nearby Beef Creek and its branches, are feeder streams to the Angelina River below Lake Sam Rayburn dam.

Location: Hog Creek Falls East in Northern Jasper County
Driving time from Houston: 2 hrs. & 26 mins.

16. Madrid Falls

Waterfalls in Texas - Madrid Falls

Image Credit: texasflashdude.com

Madrid Falls is a 100-foot waterfall located in Big Bend Ranch State Park, about 4 hours and 45 minutes from Houston. The falls are located in a remote area of the park, and the driving distance is 277 miles. The falls are only accessible by a moderate hike, and the round-trip hike is about 4 miles. The best time to visit Madrid Falls is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild.

Location: 21800 FM170, Terlingua, TX 79852
Falls availability:
The falls are open year-round, but the trail may be closed during periods of heavy rain.
Driving time from Houston: 11 hrs. & 20 mins.

17. Airfield Falls

Waterfslls in Texas - Airfield Falls

Image Credit: trinitytrailsfw.com

So you’ve been looking for “parks with waterfalls near me” and this popped up. Airfield Falls is a small but beautiful waterfall nestled within the Oakmont Park area of Fort Worth. The falls are formed by the West Fork of the Trinity River cascading over rocks and creating a serene and picturesque setting. The surrounding area is lush with trees and vegetation, providing a tranquil escape from the city.

Location: 200 Pumphrey Dr, Westworth Village, TX 76114
Accessibility and Hours:
Airfield Falls Conservation Park is open to the public and offers hiking trails that lead to the waterfall. The park has designated hours of operation, which typically vary seasonally.
Driving time from Houston: 4 hrs. & 3 mins.

18. Chalk Ridge Falls

Waterfalls in Texas - Chalk Ridge Falls Park

Image Credit: Chalk Ridge Falls Park FB Page

Chalk Ridge Falls is a beautiful waterfall and hiking destination situated along the Lampasas River. The falls are surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush vegetation, offering a serene and picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts. The trail system in the area allows visitors to explore the surrounding natural beauty, including the cascading waterfall and scenic river views. The best result for “waterfall near me.”

Location: 5600 FM 1670 Belton, TX 76513
Monday – Wednesday and Friday – Sunday 6:00 am – 8:00 pm | Thursday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Accessibility:  Chalk Ridge Falls Park is open to the public and provides well-maintained trails for hiking and exploring the falls.

riving time from Houston: 3 hrs.

19. Wichita Falls

Waterfalls in Texas - Wichita Falls

mage Credit: wichitafallstx.gov

Looking for the best “waterfalls near me?” Wichita Falls is a city located in North Texas, but it does not have a waterfall within its immediate vicinity. The name “Wichita Falls” refers to a series of waterfalls on the Wichita River that were submerged when Lake Wichita was created in the early 20th century.

While Wichita Falls doesn’t have natural waterfalls, it is home to a man-made waterfall and a popular recreational area called the Wichita Falls Multi-Purpose Events Center (MPEC). The MPEC features a man-made waterfall called the Falls of Wichita, which is located outside the Kay Yeager Coliseum.

Location: 1000 5th Street, Wichita Falls, TX 76301
Driving time from Houston: 10 hrs & 20 mins. 

Looking for Waterfalls in other cities? Check out these articles – Waterfalls near San Antonio and Waterfalls near Austin.

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