Trail Snapshot: Helen Hunt Falls
- Hike Distance: 1/10 mile or 8 Miles Round Trip
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
- Duration: Approx 10 min or 4hrs
- Trail Type: Out & Back
- Starting Elevation: 7200′
- Elevation Gain: Negligible or Approx 1000’+
- Seasons: Year Round
- Dogs: Allowed On Leash
- Hike Trail Map: Click for a Map of North Cheyenne Canyon Area
- Denver Drive Time: 1hr 45 min
- Driving Directions to Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs: Click for Google Map
- Town Nearest Hike: Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Beauty: Waterfalls, Cheyenne Canyon, North Cheyenne Creek
- Activities: Hiking, Picnicking, Mountain Biking, Photography
Parking & Trailhead Information for Helen Hunt Falls
The longer hike begins near the Strasmore Visitor Center at the entrance to Cheyenne Canyon. Click for Driving Directions.
The Hike: Helen Hunt Falls
Helen Hunt Falls is a 35 foot waterfall that cascades over the rock in North Cheyenne Creek. The falls are most beautiful when Cheyenne Canyon’s water volume is at it’s peak in the late Spring to early Summer, or after a good rain. It’s not much of a hike to Helen Hunt Falls because the base of the falls can be accessed just a few steps from the Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center. The visitor center is open only in the Summer and has snacks and gifts for sale. The waterfall access is open year-round and there is no fee.
In the winter, the frozen falls have a beauty of their own, but be advised that the trails can be very slick and icy.
There is short, but more strenuous trail just after the bridge and to the left. The trail has a set of stairs built into the side of the canyon that lead to an overlook and another perspective on the waterfall.
If you prefer a longer, creekside hike to the Falls, then park at the Strasmore Visitor Center at the entrance to the Canyon. Near the visitor center, you can locate the Lower Columbine Trailhead. This creekside trail weaves through Cheyenne Canyon all the way up to Helen Hunt Falls. It’s 4 miles one-way to the Upper Columbine Trailhead near the falls, and about 1000+ feet of elevation gain. Because the trail follows the creek and over a lot of rocky surface, be prepared for slick surfaces, and be sure to wear a solid pair of hiking boots. Trekking poles will be exceptionally helpful on this stretch of trail. About midway up the Columbine Trail, it abandons the creek, crosses the road, and begins a significant climb that includes a set of demanding switchbacks. Eventually, the trail nears Tunnel #2 along Gold Camp Road, then terminates at the Helen Hunt Falls area.
Helen Hunt Falls is named for reformer, activist, and writer, Helen Hunt Jackson, who fought for Native American Rights in the era of Reconstruction after the Civil War.
Tips & Resources for Hiking Helen Hunt Falls
- Explore More: Hike further to Silver Cascade Falls to take in a second waterfall. It’s less than 1/2 mile from Helen Hunt Falls with an elevation gain of approximately 250 feet.
- Pack a Picnic Lunch: Helen Hunt Falls and Cheyenne Creek are great places to enjoy a picnic lunch.
- Bear and Mtn Lion Activity: Like many areas along the Front Range of Colorado, Bear and Mtn. Lions live in Cheyenne Canyon and the surrounding countryside. Dispose of food in the proper containers. Be alert. And keep together as a group. It’s best that children don’t run ahead, but stay with your group. Dogs should be leashed at all times.
- Trail Map for North Cheyenne Canyon: Trail Map Link
- Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get list and dayhiking packing checklist.
- Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
- After the Hike: Urban Steam Coffee
- Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Mike Sinko for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike.
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions