Top 5 Waterfalls in Nebraska

Published on November 21st, 2021

Even though Nebraska is a plains state and lacks the mountains that make for impressive waterfalls, this state has its own charming waterfalls to visit. And while there aren’t many, the waterfalls that are here are scenic and pretty. So don’t skip this state if you’re hunting waterfalls, there are several gorgeous falls that should be on your list!

Waterfalls in Nebraska

1. Smith Falls

2. Fort Falls

3. Snake River Falls

4. Platte River State Park

5. Stair Step Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Nebraska

Here are 5 great waterfalls to visit on your next RV trip to Nebraska.

1. Smith Falls

Smith Falls is Nebraska’s highest waterfall at 63 feet tall. It’s also the highlight of Smith Falls State Park in Valentine, Nebraska. This scenic waterfall can be seen by taking a one mile out and back trail through the park and across a historic bridge which spans the Niobrara River.

Things to do near Smith Falls: Take advantage of this fantastic state park! Besides hiking there are many other outdoor activities to try. You also can kayak or tube down the river near Valentine. There are outfitters in town that can provide tours and rentals if you don’t have your own. Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge is also nearby for hiking and wildlife spotting, and includes the next waterfall on our list!

2. Fort Falls

Head into Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge for this next waterfall. Fort Falls is a 45-foot tall waterfall that is located in this scenic sanctuary. The Fort Falls Upper Trailhead comprises of a walkway and stairs that leads to a viewing platform where you can enjoy the waterfall. From there the trail follows along the river and there are even benches where you can stop and take in the scenery.

Things to do near Fort Falls: Wander through the rest of the refuge, then head over to Smith Falls State Park to see another waterfall on your trip.

3. Snake River Falls

Another beautiful Nebraska waterfall is Snake River Falls. This powerful waterfall flows over a 54 foot ledge, creating a lovely sight. It’s on land that is privately owned by Snake River Preservation Group, but there are viewing areas where the public can see the waterfall. These are open from 9 am to 5 pm daily and there is a small admission fee.

Things to do near Snake River Falls: This waterfall is located 23 miles southwest of the city of Valentine, so it’s not too far from the first two waterfalls on our list. The Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest is nearby for great hiking and fishing.

4. Platte River State Park

Platte River State Park is another Nebraska state park that features a waterfall. This small but pretty waterfall can be reached by taking a short trail from the parking area. It’s under a mile round trip, which makes it a great option for families with kids. After stopping by the waterfall make sure to check out the other hiking trails in the park. And there’s even camping with full hook ups so you can park your RV and enjoy the park for several days.

Things to do near Platte River State Park: This state park and waterfall are about a half hour drive outside of Omaha. We have a local’s guide to Omaha to help you find the best things to do in town. And if you need an RV rental, we have you covered!

5. Stair Step Falls

This last waterfall will require you to float down the Niobrara River. If that sounds like fun, then add Stair Step Falls to your list of Nebraska waterfalls! This cascading waterfall is located on private property that’s owned by the Niobrara Valley Preserve. The best way to see the falls is to tube or kayak down the Niobrara River and see the falls as you float on by. They’re located shortly after Sharp’s Landing and are a lovely sight along the banks.

Things to do near Stair Step Falls: This waterfall is also located east of the city of Valentine and is near several other waterfalls on our list, including Smith Falls and Fort Falls.

Planning an RV Trip to Nebraska

An RV trip is an excellent way to tour the waterfalls in Nebraska, and we’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect vacation.

Here are guides to some of the best state parks in Nebraska, as well as all the national parks in the country. And as always, we’re here to help when it comes to finding the best campgrounds and RV rentals. Now it’s time to start exploring!

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