Every spring, snow melts in the Centennial State, forcing water down the mountains and feeding the state’s waterfalls. These nine waterfalls are best visited during late spring or early summer when they are the fullest. From massive free-flowing waterfalls to gorgeous cascading falls, waterfalls are found throughout the state. Take a waterfall hike or view them from a scenic overlook. No matter where you are in Colorado, there is sure to be a waterfall flowing near you. Explore the state this summer by visiting these 9 best waterfalls in Colorado.
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Bridal Veil Falls (Nearby Hotels)
This list kicks off with the tallest waterfall in the Centennial State, Bridal Veil Falls. At 365 feet, this waterfall, located outside of the town of Telluride, is the tallest free-falling waterfall in the state, so it boasts dramatic views. To view this waterfall, you can either take a hike or drive near the canyon at the bottom of the falls. One of the most popular hikes around Bridal Veil Falls is a moderate trek that leads to the top of the falls.
Helen Hunt Falls (Nearby Hotels)
If you’re in Colorado Springs and hoping to view an impressive waterfall, then head to Helen Hunt Falls. This waterfall, located in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, is viewed after a short hike. There is even a trail leading to the top of the falls too, which also leads to another waterfall called Silver Falls. This waterfall is fairly accessible, especially if you don’t feel like walking a long or strenuous trek.
Fish Creek Falls (Nearby Hotels)
Fish Creek Falls, located near downtown Steamboat Springs, is a 280-foot waterfall that is a must-visit if you’re in this mountain town. Although popular year round among both hikers and ice climbers, this waterfall is especially breathtaking during spring when the snow starts to melt. To reach the base of the falls, simply walk a half mile from the parking area. However if you’re looking for more of a challenge, take the two-and-a-half-mile trek to the top of the falls.
North Clear Creek Falls (Nearby Hotels)
View this waterfall from a scenic overlook or by a short yet secluded trail. North Clear Creek Falls is located at one of the most remote locations on this list. Due to its remoteness, the trail leading to North Clear Creek Falls is typically deserted, leaving you plenty of alone time to enjoy the falls. An easy way to enjoy the falls is from the North Clear Creek Falls overlook off of Highway 149. This overlook makes for a great rest stop not only because of the view but also because it has picnic tables and restrooms.
Zapata Falls (Prices & Photos)
Zapata Falls is located near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Being in the middle of a desert, this waterfall oasis makes for a great place to cool down. Since Zapata Falls does require a short hike to reach, avoid midday when temperatures are highest. Also if you hit this trail for a sunrise hike, you’ll be granted breathtaking views of the sand dunes from the parking lot. Zapata Falls isn’t the tallest waterfall in the state at 40-foot tall, but it’s still a unique water feature that shouldn’t be missed.
Ouzel Falls (Prices & Photos)
Found in Rocky Mountain National Park, Ouzel Falls is a popular attraction that draws plenty of people every spring and summer. From the Wild Basin Trailhead, there is a three-mile hike to reach the 40-foot tall Ouzel Falls. Don’t miss out on the other water features found along the hike too, Calypso Cascades and Copeland Falls. The trail to Ouzel Falls can get crowded during the summer and on weekends, therefore find solitude by hitting the trail early or during a weekday.
Rifle Falls (Nearby Hotels)
At 70-foot tall, Rifle Falls is a stunning water feature found in Rifle Falls State Park near the town of Rifle. This waterfall is great to visit no matter what time of year. The falls are frozen during the winter but still make for a great photo op. The limestone cliffs and caves near the falls are worth exploring while you’re here. This waterfall is very accessible with a ADA trail leading right from the parking lot directly to the falls.
Hanging Lake (Nearby Hotels)
The hike to Hanging Lake is one of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado. As a National Natural Landmark, Hanging Lake is actually multiple waterfalls that lead into a stunning, turquoise lake. This hike, near Glenwood Springs, is very popular, therefore the parking lot fills up fast. So hit up this Colorado gem early in the morning to avoid crowds. Although this hike is popular, it does not mean it is easy; expect to hike uphill until you reach Hanging Lake. The view of this incredible spot however is worth the effort.
Seven Falls (Nearby Hotels)
This 181-foot tall waterfall located outside of Colorado Springs is a stunning, cascading Front Range waterfall that is easily accessible. View the waterfall from the platform at the base or climb the 224 steps up for a closer view. This tourist attraction is also a great place to visit at night, since the entire waterfall is illuminated once the sun sets.