USPS Celebrates the Variety and Beauty of America’s Waterfalls

Waterfall stamps

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WY — The U.S. Postal Service held a first-day-of-issue ceremony, unveiling 12 new Waterfall Forever stamps at the Canyon Visitor Education Center in Yellowstone National Park. Each stamp features a photograph of a waterfall with its name and the state where it is located beneath it.

News of the stamps is being shared with the hashtag #WaterfallsStamps.

“The Postal Service is proud to celebrate the natural world through our stamps, and these gorgeous new stamps will bring the beauty of these waterfalls to millions of people who will see them on the cards and letters they receive in their mailboxes,” said Michael J. Elston, Secretary of the Board of Governors, U.S. Postal Service, who served as the stamps’ dedicating official.

Other participants at the ceremony were Leonard Carlman, master of ceremonies; Cameron “Cam” Sholly, Yellowstone National Park superintendent; Kenneth Keifer, photographer of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River stamp; and Carol Quinn, Yellowstone supervisory park ranger.


Among nature’s most beautiful wonders, waterfalls come in all shapes and sizes, from serene cascades to mighty cataracts. The U.S. Postal Service celebrates their variety and beauty with these 12 new stamps.

A waterfall is part of a river or stream where its flow pours over a near vertical rocky ledge or cliff of some height before reaching rocks or a pool below. Waterfalls can be classified by volume, height and width; another popular method is by type, based on the way the water actually falls.

One of the most familiar types is the plunge, where the stream falls vertically without making contact with the underlying cliff face; sometimes there are caverns behind the falls carved by earlier erosion. As the name suggests, a fan waterfall resembles the shape of a fan as the flow spreads down the rocks. Other types include the cascade, which breaks into smaller falls as the water descends over a slope of rocks and boulders, and the cataract, where large amounts of fast-moving water plummet over a cliff to create a waterfall of great size and power.

A perennial favorite of photographers, amateur and professional, the visual beauty of waterfalls and their natural surroundings is not their only appeal. The sound of the falling water — whether a melodic trickle or a thunderous roar — also draws visitors.

The 12 waterfalls featured on the stamps represent many different types found in the United States.

Deer Creek Falls (Grand Canyon National Park, AZ) plunges 180 feet into a pool at its base. On foot, it is a strenuous hike for experienced desert backpackers, but it is also accessible as a stopping place on rafting trips along the Colorado River.

Nevada Fall (Yosemite National Park, CA) is one of hundreds of waterfalls in the park. It flows next to Liberty Cap, a dramatic granite dome, and drops 594 feet along the mountainside.

Harrison Wright Falls (Ricketts Glen State Park, PA) drops 27 feet over a rock ledge, where it spreads to create a curtain-type fall flowing into a large pool at the base.

The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River (Yellowstone National Park, WY) has a 308-foot drop. Nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls, the sheer volume of water that descends the cliffs makes it one of the most powerful waterfalls in the United States.

Waimoku Falls (Haleakalā National Park, HI), with its dramatic 400-foot drop down sheer lava-rock, is one of the park’s great highlights.

Stewart Falls (Mount Timpanogos Wilderness, UT) falls in two tiers and is more than 200 feet tall. Also known as Stewarts Cascades, it is a moderate, slightly steep hike along a lovely forest trail on the east side of Mount Timpanogos.

Niagara Falls (Niagara Falls State Park, NY) is one of North America’s natural wonders. Its force is enormous: 3,160 tons of water flows over the falls every second.

Dark Hollow Falls (Shenandoah National Park, VA) plunges 70 feet over a series of drops. It is a popular subject for photographers visiting the park.

Grotto Falls (Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN) is the only one in the park that has a hiking trail behind the veil of falling water. The 25-foot falls is along one of the park’s most popular hikes.

Sunbeam Falls (Mount Rainier National Park, WA), while not high, features picturesque cascades of water flowing over a series of rock ledges. It is most impressive when fed by snowmelt.

LaSalle Canyon Waterfall (Starved Rock State Park, IL) features a 25-foot fall that allows access behind its curtain of water. In winter, it freezes into beautiful and alluring shapes along the rocks.

Upper Falls (Blue Ridge Parkway, NC) is a moderate hike from the parkway. The 60-foot waterfall descends the steep rock face, sending out sprays that support many types of ferns and wildflowers.

Each waterfall is beautiful in its own way. But what they all have in common are the positive emotions they bring forth, such as the serenity instilled by a gentle cascade or the awe inspired by an immense cataract.

Stamp Artwork

Featuring a dozen different designs, the stamp pane includes photographs that represent just a few of the many waterfalls found across the United States.

First row: Deer Creek Falls, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, photo by Sandra Woods; Nevada Fall, Yosemite National Park, CA, photo by Quang-Tuan Luong; Harrison Wright Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, PA; and the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park, WY, photos by Kenneth Keifer.

Second row: Waimoku Falls, Haleakalā National Park, HI, photo by Quang-Tuan Luong; Stewart Falls, Mount Timpanogos Wilderness, UT, photo by Nicole Nugent; Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls State Park, NY, photo by John Cancalosi; and Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park, VA, photo by Quang-Tuan Luong.

Third row: Grotto Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN, photo by Joe Miller; Sunbeam Falls, Mount Rainier National Park, WA, photo by Kevin Schafer; LaSalle Canyon Waterfall, Starved Rock State Park, Oglesby, IL, photo by David B. Vernon; and Upper Falls, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC, photo by Tim Fitzharris.

Framing the stamps is selvage that again features David B. Vernon’s LaSalle Canyon image.

Greg Breeding, an art director for USPS, designed the stamps and pane with existing photographs.

Postal Products

Customers may purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at, by calling 844-737-7826, by mail through USA Philatelic or at Post Office locations nationwide. For officially licensed stamp products, shop the USPS Officially Licensed Collection on Amazon.