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Waterfall Height Measurement

How the heck do I find the height of a waterfall?


Image copyright Johnny T. Cheng /

Johnny Cheng of World of Waterfalls has provided a great image that depicts how to find the height of a waterfall, using some simple measurements and a calculator. You could do this by hand, but why??

b = c(sinθ)
θ = the angle from a level viewing plain to the crest of the waterfall (Inclinometer/Compass)
c = distance found with a Rangefinder
After finding “b“, add it to “d” to find the overall height; “d” is your height, minus about 6 inches for the top of your head to your eyes.
I usually will:
Enter in the angle and hit the “sin” button on the calculator, and then multiply by “c“.

Alternatively, because all waterfalls are not created equal, visit for a more comprehensive explanation on how to measure more complex waterfalls:

Determine The Height Of A Waterfall

Below are some great tools to help get the measurements you need. There are some apps for the phone, but these may be a bit more accurate. Feel free to use your phone’s calculator or take a cheap calculator with you on the hike!


Please Note: Due to the low cost, expected delivery dates range from 15-30 days from order placement.

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