10 Amazing Waterfalls in Nebraska

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Nebraska is a landlocked state that is rather flat but beautiful in a unique way.

Nebraska is known for their beef and corn production – in fact, the cows outnumber the residents by a ratio of 3:1.

The western part of Nebraska that is situated along the Niobrara River features some picturesque views, with beautiful waterfalls and cascades flowing over cliffs.

From beautiful state parks that offer trails for horseback riding to places you can drift down the river on a tube or canoe in order to reach the falls – there is something for everyone.

1. Fort Falls

Fort Falls, NebraskaSource: chaimann / Flickr
Fort Falls

Fort Falls is situated in the beautiful Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, which is located in Valentine.

Fort Falls offers a tranquil experience that is great for all levels of hikers. You will follow a path with a bridge and stairs that lead you down into the River Valley; this is where you will experience Fort Falls and all the natural beauty surrounding the cascades.

Depending on the season, the trail can be icy and slippery, so take care.

There are benches placed throughout the trail for those who need to sit down and relax along the way. The hike is less than one mile long.

2. Smith Falls

Smith Falls, NebraskaSource: BJ Pennington / shutterstock
Smith Falls

Smith Falls is located in the charming Smith Falls State Park and the falls are known to be the highest waterfall in all of Nebraska.

Smith Falls is a popular place to enjoy during the summer months when many people come to kayak, tube, boat, and camp for a few days.

Smith Falls was named after Frederic Smith; he was the first person who filed the smallholding patent on the property surrounding the falls.

These falls are great for taking pictures and enjoying a picnic at one of the picnic tables in the park. If you are adventurous, try kayaking while visiting Smith Falls.

3. Berry Falls

Berry Falls flow into the Niobrara River, which is approximately 20 minutes to the east of Valentine. The length of Berry Falls is less than 0.1 of a mile.

Often, you will find deer hanging out in the park and other wildlife.

Bring your camera and a picnic blanket, along with some sandwiches, and enjoy a nice afternoon at Berry Falls.

The water from the falls flows from the Berry Bridge Creek, where the waterfall drops at 10 feet.

4. Snake River Falls

Snake River Falls, NebraskaSource: Lloyd Wallin Photography / shutterstock
Snake River Falls, Nebraska

Snake River Falls is a dramatic waterfall that flows into a deep canyon. It is open year-round from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

There are many scenic trails around Snake River Falls that are great for exploring and seeing the falls from different viewpoints.

The location for the falls is around 23 miles to the southwest of Valentine.

5. Tyler Falls

Tyler Falls is fund in Cherry County, Nebraska, which is less than 10 minutes away from Valentine.

Tyler Falls has an elevation gain of 2418. Many people visit Tyler Falls if they enjoy fishing. More often than not, people leave the falls with a good catch, using methods including spinning, baitcasting, or fly-fishing. Before you go fishing, check the state regulations to make sure the stream is open to the public.

6. Platte River State Park

Platte River State Park offers many different attractions for visitors to enjoy.

From camping, biking and kayaking to trail rides, fishing, archery, and a shooting range, there is something to please everyone here.

There are also many different food services in the park, so you should find no shortage of things to do during your time here.

Platte River State Park is positioned between Nebraska’s two principal cities – Omaha and Lincoln. Many people enjoy renting a cabin in Platte River State Park and enjoying all the attractions.

This place is great for birthdays, anniversaries, or just to switch things up and do a weekend away.

Photographers enjoy capturing the falls from many different views around the park.

7. Stair Step Falls

Stair Step Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Nebraska. It is located along the Niobrara River and is a part of the Nature Conservancy.

Floating or kayaking down the is the best way to reach Stair Step Falls, and will grant you the best views.

If you are floating down the river, make sure to use caution and pack a waterproof camera. Since Stair Step Falls is private property, you will have to treat this place with respect and be careful when entering the area.

8. Little Cedar Falls

Little Cedar Falls is located in Sparks, which is situated in Cherry County, Nebraska.

The falls flow from Brewer Bridge Creek and the height of the falls is 10 feet. Little Cedar Falls is off the beaten path but is a romantic place to visit, as not too many people venture out this way.

Waterfalls in Nebraska are different than other waterfalls located throughout the states because Nebraska is flat, therefore the waterfalls are more cherished and considerably smaller.

9. Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls is located in Cherry County, Nebraska and is a popular destination for fishing and hiking.

It is a bit of a trek to reach the falls, but with proper footwear and experience, you should have a great adventure in front of you.

Pack a lunch and plenty of water because the hike might get exhausting and you will need a pick-me-up.

10. Lower Smith Falls

Lower Smith Falls are the lower section of the famous Smith Falls.

With Smith Falls being the highest waterfall in the state, you can venture to the top of the falls or enjoy the lower part of Smith Falls.

Lower Smith Falls can be accessed by the trailhead for Smith Falls and is located 15 miles east of Valentine and only three miles from Sparks.

Lower Smith Falls feed into a small canyon on the southern side of the Niobrara River. You can access the falls year-round, but the flow is the heaviest during the spring.

10 Amazing Waterfalls in Nebraska:

  • Fort Falls
  • Smith Falls
  • Berry Falls
  • Snake River Falls
  • Tyler Falls
  • Platte River State Park
  • Stair Step Falls
  • Little Cedar Falls
  • Horseshoe Falls
  • Lower Smith Falls