Top 11 Waterfall Hikes In Colorado, USA

waterfall hikes in colorado
| 6 min read

If you’re looking to visit the waterfall hikes in Colorado, you’re in for an amusing and fun-filled experience. This is because Colorado has numerous streams and rivers. It also has mind-blowing landscape, which is ideal for waterfall hikes. Although most of the waterfalls are hidden in the deep mountains, you’ll still get to enjoy the scenic views and waterfall hikes. The sounds and sights of these waterfalls are just breathtaking, especially for someone who enjoys hiking in the natural terrain. However, not everyone can handle the demanding hikes, some require lots of ability, patience and time. Here’s a rundown of the top waterfall hikes in Colorado, USA.

Travel Advisory

Trip101 recommends assessing the risks before hitting the hiking and trekking trails. Please be especially aware of the difficulty levels, the locations’ ground conditions, as well as the seasonal risks.

1. Seven Falls

Seven Falls (3735782644)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John Fowler used under CC BY 2.0

Seven different waterfalls combine to form the Broadmoor Seven Falls. This sequence of waterfalls lay a perfect backdrop which inspired the Broadmoor’s name. Some of the water bodies which form the source of this magnificent wonder include South Cheyenne creek, which is located in South Cheyenne canon. The other water body is the Colorado Springs. Since the waterfall was launched in 1880s, it has always been privately owned. However, the waterfall hike had been shut down for two years due to a heavy downpour, which took place back in September 2013. Fast forward in 2015, the premise was restored again. Although the premise does not have a parking lot, there’s a trip shuttle service which facilitates the transport.

Seven Falls

Address: 2850 South Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs

Website: Seven Falls

2. Bridal Veil Falls - Colorado

Bridal Veil Falls Telluride CO2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Terry Foote used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Bridal Veil Falls boasts of various hiking trails and adventurous terrain, which are both challenging and mind-blowing. The scenic falls constitute of two merging waterfalls, with a hydroelectric station at the top. Tourists who visit this area get the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular slides. However, during the winter, it can be very challenging to reach the top of the waterfalls as the water tends to freeze.

Bridal Veil Falls - Colorado

Address: East Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO

Website: Bridal Veil Falls - Colorado

3. Helen Hunt Falls

Helen Hunt Waterfall
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Asbutterflies used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Helen Hunt Falls, located in the north of Cheyenne Canon Park of Colorado Springs, on Cheyenne Creek in Colorado, is magnificent.   The fall has ample parking space that is able to accommodate around 30 vehicles. However, during the beginning of summer, the place tends to get crowded with both tourists and locals, who are on a quest to visit the famous canyon. Visitors are usually allowed to hike a distance not more than 2/3 of a mile above the Helen hunt falls to arrive at the silver cascade falls, while using a moderately steep trail. The fall is named after Helen Maria Hunt Jackson to commemorate her for being an accomplished writer and poet and later an activist.

Helen Hunt Falls

Address:3440 North Cheyenne Canyon Road, North Cheyenne Canon Park, Colorado Springs, CO

Website: Helen Hunt Falls

4. Fish Creek Falls

Fish Creek Falls, near Steamboat Springs (2620341464)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user KimonBerlin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Fish Creek Falls, located in Colorado in Routt national forest, around 5 miles (8 km) to the east of steamboat springs, is spectacular. The falls start from a variety of small lakes that are located in the rabbit’s ears range of Colorado. Mostly during summer, the fish creek road becomes jam-packed with many tourists who come to see the incredible 283-ft (86 m) tall waterfall. Hiking is allowed along the terminus of the waterfall up to the rushing water and giant boulders. At the parking lot, we have two hiking trails that start from the end of the falls road.   One of the roads is about 400 m (1312 ft.) long and contains the seasonal sub-alpine fir, which goes through the several aspen groves. The trail finally ends at the viewing station, where the fall is entirely visible. The scenery at the bottom of the fish creek is breathtaking, with rushing sounds of water in the background. The trail then continues from the upper fish creek falls towards the Wyoming trail, consisting of a pathway that proceeds from the northwestern mountain of Colorado towards Wyoming. Lastly, the fall provides an excellent place for ice-climbing typically during winter, with 7.6 m (25 ft) deep of snowfall on the steamboat spring mountains, on the eastern side.

Fish Creek Falls

Address: Fish Creek Falls Road, County Road 32, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

Website: Fish Creek Falls

Opening hours: 6am- 10pm

5. North Clear Creek Falls

North Clear Creek Falls (Hinsdale County, Colorado)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeffrey Beall used under CC BY 4.0

The fall is within the Rio Grande National forest in Hinsdale county. It is a tributary of the Rio grande, and the water flows over from the solidified volcanic ash Nelson mountain. The parking is located in an overlooking area, with a short trail about a half mile away from Colorado state highway 149. The falls also has a picnic area with tables and also lavatories for visitors. The falls also have a disability trail that allows wheelchairs to go smoothly through leading to the top of a nearby hill.

North Clear Creek Falls

Address:Highway 149 - between Creede and Lake City, Creede, CO

Website: North Clear Creek Falls

6. Zapata falls

Zapata Falls, United States (Unsplash CKYdtIyd mw)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user spring_fed_images used under CC0

The falls are in the San Luis valley, adjacent to the Rio Grande National forest, south of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Alamosa in Colorado. The fall is 30 feet (9 m) high, and accessing the water requires an 800 meter (2625 ft) hike, which usually involves a lot of rock climbing and stream crossing. As you approach the falls, you will come across a nest of black swifts, one of the few sites for the breeding of birds.

Zapata Falls

Address: Mosca, CO

7. Box Canyon Falls

Box Canyon Falls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jaknelaps used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Formed by the rushing waters of canyon creek that eroded through the weak limestone, the box canyon falls is a natural wonder. From the southwest corner of town, the trails are easily accessible. The visitor entrance is reachable by foot or car. The fall has a lower path of 500 feet (152 m) that leads to a suspension bridge that eventually takes you right across the heart of the fall. Upon arrival, the hiker hears a roaring sound of water against the resistance of gallons of ricochet and eroded rock that rushes towards the bottom of the canyon.

Box Canyon Falls

Address: Box Canyon Rd, Ouray, CO 81427, United States

Website: Box Canyon Falls

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

8. Ouzel Falls

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Hogs555 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The trails leading to Ouzel Falls are found right at the Rocky Mountain National Park, near the remote Meeker Park and Allenspark communities. To get to Ouzel Falls, drive southwards from the Colorado Highway 7 for 12 miles (20 km) down the trail from Estes Park until you reach the Wild Basin junction. Here you will take a right turn and drive for 0.4 miles (0.6 km) before turning right again to find your way into the National Park. Then, drive through the Wild Basin trailhead before branching off through a narrow off-road path leading to the falls. If you are hiking, you’ll get a rare treat of beautiful attractions on your way up to the falls, including the Calypso Cascades and the Copeland Falls. The upper Copeland falls are accessible via the North St.Vrain Creek, which is about 0.10 miles (0.16 km) down from the trailhead. From here, visitors can join the parallel trail leading to the Ouzel Falls.

Ouzel Falls

Address: Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Website: Ouzel Falls

9. Rifle falls

Rifle Falls State Park, Colorado 03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jadee911 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Found in Garfield County Colorado, the 48-acre (19 ha) Rifle Falls State Park is home to the enchanting 70 ft. (21 m) Rifle Falls. Here, visitors get to see wildlife such as the Elk, the Golden-mantled ground squirrel, the Mule Deer, and the Coyote. Visitors in the mood for fishing can catch varieties like the brown trout and the rainbow trout in the creek. Tourists can watch bats in the small caves nearby, go for picnic and set up camping sites here, too. People like hiking up and down the 2 mile (3 km) long trails to get to and from the scenic Rifle falls. From the parking area, visitors follow a smooth flat trail for 50 yards (150 ft) to reach the falls. There are a couple of other short, steep and rocky trails for those visitors who are up for a challenge The Rifle falls receive visitors throughout the year. Near the parking lot, you can find other necessities like portable hot water and restrooms.

Rifle Falls

Address: 5775 Highway 325, Rifle, CO 81650, United States

Website: Rifle Falls

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

10. Booth Falls

Posted by James Meddleton on Friday, 24 January 2020

A gem hidden in Vail Colorado, Booth Falls is a sight to behold. To get there, you’ll drive for 3.5 miles (5.6 km) down a busy trail off of Vail. Owing to how difficult it is to traverse this trail, it is advisable to visit these waterfalls between March and October, if you want to hike. You are allowed to come with your dog, but on condition that it stays on its leash.

Booth Falls

Address: Booth Falls RdVail, CO 81657, USA

Discover the top waterfall hikes in Colorado

The breathtaking scenery in Colorado constitutes of various streams, waterfalls and rivers. The magnificent terrain is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls and hikes that also lay a perfect backdrop for camping and picnics. As such, we have highlighted some of the favorite waterfall hikes that are guaranteed to give you an unforgettable experience.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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An award-winning travel writer with a rich extensive mix of passion and expertise. Studied and lived in three continents.

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