Top 10 Waterfalls in Kansas

Published on October 12th, 2021

All too often, Kansas is mischaracterized: completely flat, corn-filled, boring.

Those in the know know it’s really not so — and yes, Kansas is also home to some stunning cascades and waterfalls, though you do need to know where to look! Below, we’ve listed the top 10 Kansas waterfalls you absolutely have to see to believe, and all the details and resources you need to get to them in person.

Top 10 Waterfalls in Kansas

1. Angel Falls

2. Swissvale Falls

3. Deep Creek Falls

4. Geary Lake Falls

5. Chase Lake Falls

6. Santa Fe Lake Falls

7. Rock Creek Waterfall

8. Bourbon Falls

9. Cowley County State Lake Waterfall

10. Butcher Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Kansas

Here’s where to head if you’re chasing waterfalls in the Sunflower State.

1. Angel Falls

Angel Falls near Lansing, Kansas
Image via facebook.com/lansingksparksandrec

Small but stunning, Angel Falls is conveniently located right within the city limits of Lansing, Kansas, and the falls are accessible via a short hiking trail with parking available at a local Catholic Church. (How fitting!) Although beautiful year round, these falls are an especially worthy stop in autumn, when the leaves are changing, and the path is calm enough for families exploring with kids as well as those looking for a quick after-work jog.

Things to do near Angel Falls: Lansing has plenty to offer in its own right as far as dining and shopping opportunities, but this whole complex of suburbs is actually only half an hour from Kansas City — both the Kansas and Missouri sides — which is, of course, a major and beloved urban metropole. There are also some incredible RVshare rentals and campgrounds in the area, which is perfect for those hoping to stay and explore for a while!

2. Swissvale Falls

Swissvale Falls, Kansas
Image via sites.google.com

Although often overlooked, Topeka, Kansas really has so much to offer — not the least of which are the nearby Swissvale Falls, access along the Landon Nature Trail just southeast of the city proper. Another small and gentle waterfall surrounded by lush Kansas greenery, Swissvale Falls cascade gently over the gorgeously carved rock ledge behind them, standing less than five or so feet tall but spanning the entire width of the creek they straddle. The water here is certainly gentle enough to wade in, and the trail itself is fairly flat (though it’s always a good idea to watch your footing in moist environments, such as those around waterfalls).

Things to do near Swissvale Falls: Topeka is home to an incredible zoo and history museum, not to mention the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. And, of course, we’ve got you covered when it comes to area RVshare rentals — and the best nearby campgrounds and RV parks to stay in!

3. Deep Creek Falls

Deep Creek Falls, Kansas
Image via kansastravel.org

Otherwise known as Pillsbury Crossing, Deep Creek Falls is one of the best-known and most-often visited waterfalls in Kansas, located just southeast of the town of Manhattan (already beloved for its slightly counterintuitive name). Once again, this is a short and gentle (but broad and beautiful) waterfall, tumbling just a few feet over the tiered rock ledge behind them, and surrounded on all sides by stunning examples of local foliage that turn gorgeous colors in the fall. One of the very best parts of this waterfall? How accessible it is: you literally just drive up and walk a few feet to the viewpoint. There are also restrooms available nearby, making this an easy and scenic place to while away an afternoon any time of year. (The falls offer a particularly kind of lovely beauty in the winter!)

Things to do near Deep Creek Falls: The landscape just southeast of Manhattan, Kansas is filled with worthwhile to-dos, such as the nearby Konza Prairie Kansas Valley lookout point and a variety of area state parks. Good thing there are plenty of RVshare rentals to choose from in Manhattan, so you can enjoy the countryside at your own pace in comfort!

4. Geary Lake Falls

Geary Lake Falls

The Geary State Fishing Lake and Wildlife Area is already a popular destination for Kansans the state over — and those from further afield. Known for its opportunities to reel in saugeye, crappie, and largemouth bass, among other delicious catches, it’s also a great place for recreational boating, swimming, and simply relaxing with the fam — especially when it comes to the gorgeous falls right off the northwestern part of the lake where it’s fed by a tributary of Lyon Creek. Standing an impressive 35 feet tall and cascading in multiple rivulets over the rock behind it, Geary Lake Falls is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in the state, and it’s yet another Kansas waterfall that’s relatively easy to access and supported by facilities like nearby bathrooms.

Things to do near Geary Lake Falls: These falls, and the wilderness area that surrounds them, are located just south of Junction City, which is a great place to stop for any vacation resources you might need. You’re also not at all far afield of other outdoor recreation opportunities, such as Wilson State Park and Milton State Park; here are some area RVshare rentals to consider for the journey!

5. Chase Lake Falls

Chase Lake Falls
Image via kansastravel.org

Tumbling mightily down Prather Creek (and also known a Prather Creek Falls), Chase Lake Falls is really like several different waterfalls all in one: at the top, a straight-over-the-edge flow gently pummels the rock well below it, where a bridal-veil-like sideways cascade begins down the tiered rock ledges. The entire vertical drop measures maybe some 40 feet, but its visual intrigue is absolutely endless — and that’s not even counting the beautiful local flora and fauna that surround the falls themselves. One important note about these falls, however: they can vary pretty significantly depending on what time of year you go. Often, by the end of the summer, the falls have run dry, so visit in spring or early summer for the best chance of seeing the cascade in action.

Things to do near Chase Lake Falls: Chase Lake itself is another state-designated fishing destination, and is home to catches like channel catfish, largemouth and spotted bass, saugeye, bluegill and crappie. It’s all just minutes away from small but well-furnished Kansas towns like Strong City and Cottonwood Falls, so all your needs can be met easily. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

6. Santa Fe Lake Falls

Santa Fe Lake Falls
Image via kansastravel.org

Although its name is decidedly southwestern, Santa Fe Lake is actually just east of Wichita — though it offers a getaway no less scenic to those who make their way to its shores. Along with its fishing, boating, swimming, and plain old sunsetting opportunities, Santa Fe Lake is also home to a gorgeous set of powerful cascades known as the Santa Fe Lake Falls. Technically a spillway, this waterfall is such a well-kept secret that even many who have visited the lake for years don’t know they exist! In order to see them at their full extent of power, be sure to visit in or just after the rainy season.

Things to do near Santa Fe Lake Falls: Wichita is an excellent destination city in its own right, boasting several college campuses, an Air Force base, and unique to-dos like the science discovery center known as Exploration Place. And, of course, it’s also home to lots of RVshare owners just waiting to share their unique and comfortable rigs with you — and some excellent RV parks and campgrounds to stay in!

7. Rock Creek Waterfall

Rock Creek Waterfall
Image via kansastravel.org

The Rock Creek Waterfall may be man-made, but that doesn’t make it any less scenic or worth visiting. Located on the northwestern corner of Rock Creek Lake, where it’s fed by the Marmaton River, this stunning spillway streams in three powerful flows over the rock ledges into the body of the lake itself, providing an excellent place to stop and have a picnic or simply sit and enjoy the scenery. Once you’ve had your fill of the falls, you can head down to the lake itself for swimming, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, and fishing opportunities including crappie, channel catfish, and carp.

Things to do near the Rock Creek Waterfall: This beautiful natural preserve is located just ten minutes west of Fort Scott, Kansas, which is home to a number of other preserved green spaces along with the renowned Fort Scott National Historic Site. For more places to stretch your legs and enjoy your surroundings, we suggest Gunn Park, other nearby waterways like Cedar Creek, and the Fort Scott National Cemetery. Here are some Fort Scott RVshare rentals to check out!

8. Bourbon Falls

Bourbon Falls, Kansas
Image via kansastravel.org

Just a touch further west of Rock Creek, Bourbon Falls sits on the Bourbon State Fishing Lake, which offers many access points for fishermen and boaters alike. The waterfall is considered by many locals to be both a hidden gem and an absolute must-see, tumbling some 30 feet down the rock wall that characterizes and crafts it. The walking trail to the best waterfall viewpoint is short and relatively easy, but still offers some adventure: depending on what time of year you visit and how high the water level is, you may need to cross a small stream to get to the right spot.

Things to do near Bourbon Falls: Unlike some of the other waterfalls and waterways on this list, Bourbon Falls, and the Bourbon State Fishing Lake, are fairly far afield from any major population centers, making this a great opportunity for those looking for a real getaway. There are, of course, still some great RVshare rentals in the area so you can enjoy the countryside on your own terms!

9. Cowley County State Lake Waterfall

Cowley County State Lake Waterfall

Just east of Arkansas City — which locals fondly refer to simply as “Ark City” at times — the Cowley County State Lake Waterfall is tucked along the eastern shore of the lake of the same name, and offers a truly impressive, broad flow, especially during and after the rainy season. There’s a dedicated viewpoint for this waterfall above them and to the west, but there is an unofficial trail to the foot of the falls if you want to get an even better angle — though we suggest wearing hiking boots and perhaps bringing a pole, as it can be a little treacherous. Once you’re done with the waterfall itself, you can go on to enjoy even more outdoor recreation opportunities on the lake.

Things to do near the Cowley County State Lake Waterfall: Only 20 minutes away from downtown Arkansas City, this waterfall offers a great marriage of off-the-beaten-path outdoor fun and close-to-town convenience. Arkansas City boasts many small but beautiful preserved green spaces with walking paths and other attractions; here are some RVshare rentals in the area to consider.

10. Butcher Falls

Butcher Falls
Image via kansastravel.org

A classic, natural waterfall tucked away in the landscape near the small city of Sedan, Kansas, Butcher Falls is considered by the state to be a natural landmark — and there’s some intriguing additional context, as well. This waterfall, which stands some 10-15 feet tall, is located on the property of Bill Kurtis, a local Kansas celebrity known for his career in broadcasting and journalism. There’s even a sweet nearby cabin known as the Butcher Falls Bunkhouse that can be rented out for a unique and private getaway — though of course those traveling by RV don’t have to worry about securing any additional lodging!

Things to do near Butcher Falls: Sedan may be small, but it’s still an intriguing city, and it offers some excellent barbeque restaurants, among other options. If you’re looking for some brighter lights and bigger buildings, Wichita is less than two hours away — and an RVshare rental makes the whole trip an easy and comfortable one.

Planning an RV Trip to Kansas

We’re sure you’ll agree that Kansas’s waterfalls are surprisingly numerous and beautiful — but they’re far from the only reason to explore this state, which is anything but a flyover!

In fact, we recommend doing the exact opposite of flying over Kansas: we recommend driving through it, ideally in a comfortable and well-outfitted RVshare rental rig. Renting with RVshare gives you the opportunity to try out a wide variety of different RV styles and types, which can be great practice for those in the market to eventually purchase their own. Additionally, renting on the peer-to-peer market is often far more affordable than patronizing the big box rental franchises, and your RV will likely come with all of the touches of home (though you should always thoroughly review the listing you’re considering for full details!).

Along with the best RV rentals in Kansas, we’ve penned plenty of other guides to help you get where you’re going in the know. For instance, we’ve gathered the top 10 campgrounds in Kansas, as well as guides to some of its very best state parks, many of which offer campground accommodations. We’ve also written guides to Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, as part of our larger Travel Local guide series for those heading to urban destinations.

With that, campers, the rest is up to you. We hope you enjoy your trip through Kansas, and can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!

What do you think?

How much can you make renting your RV?

See How Much You Can Make

How much can you make renting your RV?

See How Much You Can Make

Similar Articles

Top 10 Waterfalls in Maine

Known for its dramatic ocean shorelines, granite peaks, lighthouses, lobster, and so much more, people often overlook the fact that…

Read More

The Top 9 Waterfalls in Louisiana

If you’re thinking about water features in Louisiana, you might be imagining the shimmering shores of Lake Pontchartrain or the…

Read More

Top 10 Waterfalls in Oklahoma

Oklahoma might surprise you when it comes to waterfalls. Although it might not have the gigantic waterfalls of the Rockies,…

Read More

Top 10 Waterfalls in Kentucky

Beautiful blue grass, rolling hills, and horse country — Kentucky has earned a name for itself among travelers whether they’re…

Read More

Top 10 Waterfalls in Ohio

You might not think of waterfalls when you think of Ohio, but the rivers that run through this state create…

Read More

Top 10 Waterfalls in Kansas

All too often, Kansas is mischaracterized: completely flat, corn-filled, boring. Those in the know know it’s really not so —…

Read More