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Colorado Waterfalls

Colorado has many waterfalls throughout the state and I've only had the chance to scratch the surface.

Bear Creek Falls (Ouray):

Trailhead GPS: 37.99994,-107.66105 (Pull-off on US-550)
Waterfall GPS: 37.99976,-107.66010

Bear Creek Falls is a tall waterfall on its namesake creek in Ouray County.  The waterfall is located in the Ouray Ranger District of Uncompahgre National Forest.  The waterfall is roadside - no hike required.

To visit the falls, head south from Ouray on US-550 for about 2.8 miles to a pull-off on the right shortly after passing through the tunnel.  An overlook here provides a nice view of the waterfall that flows under the highway and into Uncompahgre River.  Besides the waterfall, the views from the overlook of the San Juan Mountains are lovely.

Bear Creek Falls (Telluride):

Trailhead GPS: 37.93750,-107.81958 (Carhenge Parking Lot in Telluride)
Waterfall GPS: 37.90586,-107.81200

Bear Creek Falls is a waterfall on its namesake creek in San Miguel County.  The waterfall is located in the Norwood Ranger District of Uncompahgre National Forest near Telluride.  The hike to the falls is about 5 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty.

To visit the falls, start at the end of South Pine Street.  There's no parking here, so I think closest public parking is Carhenge in the southwest corner of town.  Telluride is small, so easy to walk across town to the trailhead.  The river walk at the entrance to the parking lot leads upstream to the trailhead.  From here, Bear Creek Trail (#635) about 2.5 miles following Bear Creek Trail to the waterfall.  Near the end, Wasatch Trail splits to the right.  The waterfall is just a short distance further.

Booth Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 39.65052,-106.32092 (Booth Creek Trailhead parking on Booth Falls Road)
Waterfall GPS: 39.67257,-106.31153

Booth Creek Falls is a 60-foot waterfall on its namesake in Eagle County.  The waterfall is located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness in Holy Cross Ranger District, White River National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 4 miles round trip and moderately difficult.

To visit the falls, head east from Vail on I-70 to exit 180 for East Vail.  Turn left to go under the interstate and left on the Frontage Road.  In just under a mile, turn right on Booth Falls Road and proceed to the parking lot at the end.  This is a popular area and the parking lot is not big so try to arrive early to get a spot.

Follow Booth Creek Trail (#2011) from the end of the parking lot.  It switchbacks up and enters Eagles Nest Wilderness, following Booth Creek upstream about 2 miles to the waterfall.  The trail gains about 1300 vertical feet, so its moderately steep.  The area around the waterfall is very steep and rocky so view the falls from a safe spot.

Box Cañon Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 38.01809,-107.67750 (Box Cañon Falls Park Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 38.01790,-107.67885

Box Cañon Falls is a tall waterfall on Canyon Creek in Ouray County, though only the lowermost section is easily visible.  The waterfall is located in Box Cañon Falls Park, managed by the city of Ouray.  The hike to the waterfall is short and easy.  Note that it is $5 per person for park admission.

To visit the falls, head south on US-550 from Ouray for about a half-mile.  Turn right on Camp Bird Road and then bear right on Box Canyon Road.  Parking for the park is in about 0.3 miles.  After paying admission, hike the short Falls Trail into the Box Canyon.  A metal walkway and stairs descend to creek level, but the best views are from midway up the stairs.

Bridal Veil Falls (Idaho Springs):

Trailhead GPS: 39.74151,-105.51490 (Parking lot on 17th Avenue)
Waterfall GPS: 39.74035,-105.51573

Bridal Veil Falls is a spring-fed waterfall on a tributary of Clear Creek in Clear Creek County.  The waterfall is located in Idaho Springs and is an easy half-mile walk on a paved trail to see the waterfall.

To visit the falls, head west from Denver on I-70 for about 20 miles to Idaho Springs.  Get off on exit 240 and turn right on 13th street, then the second right on Miner Street.  Drive through town for about 0.2 miles and turn right on 17th Avenue.  There is a public parking lot at the end of the street on the right.  From here, follow the paved path under the interstate to the waterfall and water wheel.  The water wheel was built in 1893 by Charlie Tayler, who attributed his good health to the fact that he never kissed women or took baths.

Bridal Veil Falls (Telluride):

Trailhead GPS: 37.92861,-107.77650 (Parking at FR-648)
Waterfall GPS: 37.91949,-107.77013

Bridal Veil Falls is a 365-foot waterfall on Bridal Veil Creek in San Miguel County near Telluride.  It is the highest free-falling waterfall in the state of Colorado.  The waterfall is located in the Norwood Ranger District of Uncompahgre National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 3.5 miles round trip or you can drive to it if you have a high-clearance 4WD.

To visit the falls, head east from Telluride on Colorado Avenue for about 2 miles.  Just past the Idardo Pandora Mine, the road becomes FR-648 and there is parking area here.  The forest service recommends high-clearance 4WD to continue any further.  Either way, continue up FR-648 for a little over 1.5 miles to the base of the falls.  You can see the waterfall for much of the hike.  The road continues up to the top at the power plant, but we turned around at the base.

Browns Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 38.67216,-106.16149 (Trailhead Parking on CR-272)
Waterfall GPS: 38.65066,-106.19240

Browns Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall on its namesake in Chaffee County.  The waterfall is located in the Salida Ranger District of San Isabel National Forest.  The hike to the falls is about 6 miles round trip and moderately difficult.

To visit the falls, head south from Buena Vista on US-285 for about 9 miles and turn right on County Road 270.  In 1.5 miles, go straight through the 4-way stop to get on CR-272.  Continue 2 miles and turn left to stay on CR-272.  Drive 1.6 miles and the trailhead parking will be on the right.

From the trailhead parking, hike Browns Creek Trail (#1429) as it climbs up along Little Browns Creek.  In about 1.5 miles, the trail joins the Colorado Trail for a little ways, then splits to the right and begins following Browns Creek upstream.  In about 3 miles, look for a split where a spur trail to the left leads to the waterfall.

Cascade Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 38.02494,-107.66695 (Cascade Falls Park Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 38.02622,-107.66449

Cascade Falls is a tall waterfall on Cascade Creek in Ouray County.  The waterfall is located in Cascade Falls Park, a city of Ouray park.  The hike to the falls is under a half-mile round trip and easy, though it is a little steep.

To visit the falls, head east on 8th Avenue from Main Street/US-550 in Ouray.  A parking area is at the end of the road.  Follow the short, but steep trail upstream to the falls.  The water level was low when we visited as they hadn't had much snowfall the previous winter.

Cornet Creek Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 37.93750,-107.81958 (Carhenge Parking Lot in Telluride)
Waterfall GPS: 37.94332,-107.81033

Cornet Creek Falls is an 80-foot waterfall on Cornet Creek in San Miguel County just outside Telluride.  The waterfall is located in the Norwood Ranger District of Uncompahgre National Forest.  The hike is about a half-mile round trip and moderately difficult.

To visit the falls, start at the north end of Aspen Street.  There's no parking here, so I think closest public parking is Carhenge in the southwest corner of town.  Telluride is small, so easy to walk across town to the trailhead.  This is also the trailhead for Jud Wiebe Trail.  The trail to Cornet Creek Falls goes straight, where Jud Wiebe Trail turns right and crosses the creek on a footbridge.  It's only a quarter-mile to the waterfall, but the trail is steep and narrow in places.

Grotto Falls:

Waterfall GPS: 38.02256,-107.68139

Grotto Falls is a 20-foot waterfall on Oak Creek in Ouray County.  I don't think these waterfalls are named, so I called this one Grotto Falls because it falls into a sculpted rock grotto.  The waterfall is located in the Ouray District of Uncompahgre National Forest.  This waterfall is only accessible by canyoneering Oak Creek between Twin Peaks Trail and Perimeter Trail.

Helen Hunt Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 38.78858,-104.90208 (Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 38.78879,-104.90347

Helen Hunt Falls is a 35-foot waterfall on North Cheyenne Creek in El Paso County.  The waterfall is located in North Cheyenne Cañon Park in Colorado Springs.  The hike to the falls is very short and easy.

To visit the falls, take exit 140 from I-25 and go south on Tejon Street.  In a quarter-mile, bear right on Cheyenne Boulevard   In 2.5 miles, bear right on North Cheyenne Canyon Road to enter North Cheyenne Cañon Park.  Drive about 2.6 miles to the Helen Hunt Visitor Center and park.  The waterfall is right past the visitor center.  It is named for Helen Hunt Jackson, a 19th century poet and activist (not the actress).

Oak Creek Falls:

Waterfall GPS: 38.02203,-107.68600

Oak Creek Falls is a 100-foot waterfall on its namesake in Ouray County.  The waterfall is located in the Ouray District of Uncompahgre National Forest.  This waterfall is only accessible by canyoneering Oak Creek between Twin Peaks Trail and Perimeter Trail.

Oak Creek Lower Falls:

Waterfall GPS: 38.02246,-107.68486

Lower Oak Creek Falls is a small waterfall on its namesake in Ouray County.  The waterfall is located in the Ouray District of Uncompahgre National Forest.  This waterfall is only accessible by canyoneering Oak Creek between Twin Peaks Trail and Perimeter Trail.

Silver Cascade Falls:

Trailhead GPS: 38.78858,-104.90208 (Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center Parking)
Waterfall GPS: 38.78715,-104.90522

Silver Cascade Falls is a tall waterfall on St. Mary's Creek in El Paso County.  The waterfall is located in North Cheyenne Cañon Park in Colorado Springs.  The hike to the falls is under a mile round trip but moderately steep.

To visit the falls, take exit 140 from I-25 and go south on Tejon Street.  In a quarter-mile, bear right on Cheyenne Boulevard   In 2.5 miles, bear right on North Cheyenne Canyon Road to enter North Cheyenne Cañon Park.  Drive about 2.6 miles to the Helen Hunt Visitor Center and park.

The Silver Cascade Falls Trail picks up past the visitor center and Helen Hunt Falls.  It crosses over the top of the waterfall and climbs up towards St. Mary's Creek.  The trail leads to the top of the falls, but the best view is part of the way up.  The creek is small and it was very dry when we visited so not much to see.  Best to visit after a good rain.