What is better than the sights and sounds of a crashing waterfall? Not much that I can think of, that’s for sure. Anyone outside of Texas might think that waterfalls aren’t something you come across very often in the desert-like city, but they’d be wrong.
During this guide on the most amazing waterfalls in Houston, I will be taking you around all the best ones and having a look at why they’re worth a day trip.
6 Best Waterfalls in And Around Houston and Texas
Although not all these amazing waterfalls are technically within Houston, they are all in the surrounding areas and not too far should you want to venture out on a road trip for the day and see the sights.
I will be looking at where they’re located, the sizes of the waterfalls, and what other attractions are nearby so that you can make the most of your day out by the water. I will also be having a look at which waterfall spots have the best hiking trails in Houston.
So with that, in no particular order, let’s have a look at some of the most amazing waterfalls in and around Houston.
When you’re done here, you should take a look at 8 Fun Places to Go With Kids in Houston
1. Sesquicentennial Park
|400 Texas Ave 77002, Downtown, Fourth Ward
|22-acre park, memorials, bubble button, art structures
This hidden gem of Houston is a great location not only for enjoying the sights of stunning waterfalls but also great for hiking, jogging, bike riding, and picnics with the family.
The park is near the Downtown aquarium, which is in Houston’s theater district.
The park is sunken in a valley, so it can be easily missed when you’re driving past. The waterfall itself may not be one of the biggest or most impressive, but it’s relaxing to watch, and you can walk up some steps right alongside it, which eventually brings you out at street level. You can then re-enter the park via other entrances.
In the Buffalo Bayou, there is what they call “burp the bayou,” a fabulous little attraction for children. It’s a hidden red button, which, when pressed, causes the bayou to bubble.
There are also many monuments and pieces of art to enjoy. These are scattered around the park, such as a statue of James. A. Barker and a monument to George Bush.
One thing to keep in mind here is that there are no public restrooms, and the parking is relatively minimal.
2. Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park
|2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
|Woodland, waterwall, photo opportunities, green space
The waterwall is an impressive 64 feet tall and is a semi-circle wall with 11,000 gallons of water per minute cascading down it before crashing at the bottom. Although this is a man-made structure, it still gives the feeling of nature because you find yourself surrounded by oak trees and green space. It’s a sensual experience and an excellent spot for relaxing or meditating.
Besides the waterfall, hundreds of oak trees, and beautiful green space, I will admit there isn’t much else to do here. So, once you’ve admired the impressive water wall and taken plenty of snaps for your Instagram, you may be a little lost for what else to do. Even so, pack yourself a picnic and enjoy your lunch while watching the water, or set yourself up for an hour of peaceful reflection, and you won’t be disappointed.
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3. Hamilton Pool Waterfall
|24300 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs, Texas
|Idyllic pool, swimming, access to a waterfall grotto
Just a few hours’ drive out from Houston, this waterfall had to be mentioned in the guide as one of the best in the area, and it’s worth the road trip.
This 50-foot-high plunging waterfall crashes below into a narrow canyon, creating a dramatic and sensory pool where you can lose hours watching the world pass you by.
During the summer months, the waterfall slows to just a thin stream, though it never stops entirely, and even when it’s at its most minimal, it’s still a sight to behold.
You can access the waterfall via a trail around a quarter of a mile, and it’s pretty steep.
If you’re a keen swimmer, you’ll be glad to hear that swimming is permitted here and pretty popular. What better place to go and enjoy the pool?
The nature reserve can get extremely busy on hot days, and you can’t visit unless you have made a reservation, so make sure you prepare and get there early to bag yourself a good picnic spot if you’re heading down. Personally, I would recommend visiting in the late spring, before the crowds, and while the fall is still gushing to its full capacity.
4. Japanese Garden Waterfall in Houston
|6000 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030
|Walkways, architecture, gardens, cherry trees
While this may not be a cascading waterfall tens of feet tall, the beauty of it and the tranquility here make this waterfall spot in Houston one of the best in the area.
If you’re someone who feels at one with nature and loves being surrounded by flawless havens, then this is the spot for you.
The garden was initially created as a symbol of the connection between the US and Japan and a tribute to the Japanese community that resides in Houston.
This is an ideal spot for a peaceful stroll, where you can walk underneath the abundance of cherry trees and impressive artwork.
Many locals and visitors use this place as somewhere to escape from the busy city and take a few hours out. It’s also a popular meditation spot.
The waterfall itself is gentle and runs down like a trickling stream over rocks situated amongst the trees. It’s a perfect spot to kick back with a good book while listening to the sounds of the running water.
5. Oyster Creek Park Waterfalls
|4033 State Hwy 6 South. Sugar Land, TX 77479
|Hiking trails, picnic spots, water features
This is another hidden location where many people, even locals, don’t even realize that it has its own waterfalls.
There are plenty of things you can see and do here while taking in the surroundings, such as meditation, reading, picnicking in one of the many picnic areas, hiking on the trails, or taking a seat around the pond and watching the waterfalls gently trickle into the water.
Overall it’s a great escape from the busy city life, and if you’re a hiker, then this is a great spot to combine hiking with tranquility.
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6. Gorman Falls
|Colorado Bend State Park, Bend, Texas, 76824
|Hiking, woodland, scenic surroundings, untouched waterfall
Although this waterfall is a bit of a trek out of Houston, if you’re someone who loves a challenge, loves hiking, and wants to visit one of the tallest waterfalls in Texas, then this is one place you just have to see.
The main reason that people travel to see this impressive waterfall is that it is left entirely untouched and undisturbed, meaning that it grows and is looked after by nature alone. This means that visitors aren’t able to get close up to it, but I think that’s what makes it so unique.
Once you’ve hiked to the best viewing spot to see the falls, you are able to sit down, chill out, and take in the surroundings before heading back down. But, please be aware that the hike up and down this trail is not for the faint-hearted, and during summer months, it can be long, dry, and sweltering, so if you’re planning a hike up here, be sure that you’ve packed plenty of water, a hiking stick, food, a hat, sunscreen, and also wear a decent pair of walking boots.
There is also a small camping site nearby, so if you’re looking for a scenic and peaceful hiking weekend, this is definitely worth the drive from Houston.
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I hope that after reading this guide, you now have a good idea of where to head next time you want to see the sights and get some fantastic snaps of the crashing waterfalls in and around Houston.
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