Waterfall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park - Day Hikes Near Denver

June 17, 2016 Comments (0) Top 10 Best Hikes

Waterfall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

waterfall hikes in rocky mountain national park

Waterfall Hikes In Rocky Mountain National Park

Where can you find waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park? There are over 30 named waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park, and even more unnamed and seasonal waterfalls falls hidden within its rugged landscape. Every year, the high mountain snowfields unleash streams of meltwater, pouring over cliffs and rock faces, spilling into alpine lakes, and coursing through the many creeks that race and wend through the parks verdant valleys. The waterfalls of RMNP are at their peak in the early summer, particularly throughout the month of June, but they are still wonderful destinations throughout the mid-summer and into autumn.

Check out our Top 10 Waterfall Hikes in RMNP below which are ranked from the easiest to the most difficult. Below the top 10, you can continue exploring our full set of RMNP Waterfall hikes below.

10 Top Waterfall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

Chasm Falls

  1. Chasm Falls
  2. Distance: 0.1 mile, 2.8, or 4.8 miles Round Trip (depending on parking area)
    Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
    Difficulty: Easy
    Chasm Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the more accessible waterfalls in RMNP, situated about 100 yards from Old Fall River Road. This cuts through a chasm in Fall River where the water courses its way into a narrow gorge.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Horseshoe Falls

  3. Horseshoe Falls
  4. Distance: 0.4 mile Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
    Difficulty: Easy
    Horseshoe Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park is an extensive cascade waterfall, named for the way it bends its course through the rocky hillside. It is a short and easy family-favorite hike near Estes Park, Colorado which starts from the Alluvial Fan Trailhead but also be viewed from the roadside.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Adams Falls

  5. Adams Falls
  6. Distance: 0.6 mile Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
    Difficulty: Easy
    Adams Falls is a short .6 mile out and back hike near Grand Lake, Colorado. The waterfall borders Rocky Mountain National Park and the hike starts at the East Inlet Trailhead.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Copeland Falls

  7. Copeland Falls
  8. Distance: 0.6 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
    Difficulty: Easy
    You won’t be able to miss Copeland Falls in the Wild Basin area in RMNP as it is the first waterfall along the main trail and is just a short hike from the trailhead.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Alberta Falls

  9. Alberta Falls
  10. Distance: 1.6 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 2 Hours
    Difficulty: Moderate
    If you only have time for one short hike on the East Side of RMNP, Alberta Falls is a great choice. It is one of the most popular short hikes in the park.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Fern Falls

  11. Fern Falls
  12. Distance: 5.4 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Take in the sights and sounds of Fern Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park before hiking on to Fern Lake. The waterfall flows down through the forest casting a fine mist across the trail making it a perfect place to drop by and cool off.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Ouzel Falls

  13. Ouzel Falls
  14. Distance: 5.4 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Ouzel Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in RMNP. It spills over a cliffside and enormous boulders. To get to the 40-foot falls, the trail leads hikers through several creeks and past three other cascade waterfalls.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Timberline Falls

  15. Timberline Falls
  16. Distance: 8 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 2 Hours
    Difficulty: Difficult
    The round-trip hike to Timberline Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park is demanding but has plentiful rewards. The trail passes Alberta Falls along the way and up into beautiful Loch Vale. Beyond the waterfall hikers will find other beautiful bodies of water: Lake of Glass, some other falls, and the spectacular Sky Pond.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Ribbon Falls

  17. Ribbon Falls
  18. Distance: 9.6 miles Round Trip
    Drive Time from Denver: 2 Hours
    Difficulty: Difficult
    Ribbons Falls is a slide waterfall that pours from Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 4.8 mile hike up to get there is another demanding one, but well worth the effort as you’ll encounter several other spectacles along the way. Just another 0.2 mile up ahead, the trail would lead to Black Lake and another waterfall, Black Lake Falls, which spills down seasonally from the heights above the lake.

    explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

    Ypsilon Falls

  19. Ypsilon Falls

Distance: 9 miles Round Trip
Drive Time from Denver: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Difficulty: Difficult
Hidden along the northern shore of Ypsilon Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is the tiered Ypsilon Falls. The 4.5-mile hike to this isolated waterfall follows the demanding Ypsilon Lake trail, a trek through the thick woods of the Mummy Range.

explorefulltrailprofile-buttons1

Explore these pages of waterfall hikes to find one (or more) that match the distance and difficulty level you’re looking for. The list ranges from short hikes to destinations like Copeland Falls (just 0.3 miles one-way), or to waterfalls like Shelf Lake Falls, concealed in the higher reaches of the park, where the jagged peaks seem to scrape the sky.

Each trail profile will provide details on difficulty, distance, trail maps, driving directions, and tips.

More Waterfall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Adams Falls is a short .6 mile round-trip hike near Grand Lake, Colorado. The waterfall borders Rocky Mountain National Park and its trail begins at the same trailhead for the East Inlet Trail. Explore the full Adams Falls hike profile below for trail map, driving directions ...
View Trail Info
alberta falls rocky mountain national park

Alberta Falls Hike at Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is full of waterfalls and this hike takes you to one of the most accessible waterfalls in the park. Alberta Falls is one of the most popular, short destination hikes in the park, and for good reason. If you only have time for one short hike on the East Side of RMNP, this is a ...
View Trail Info

Black Lake Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Black Lake Falls cascades down the towering granite cliffs above Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. This trail through Glacier Gorge takes hikers past multiple sub-alpine lakes and several waterfalls. It's a demanding, 10 mile, round-trip hike with significant elevation gain in the heart of RMNP ...
View Trail Info
calypso cascades rocky mountain national park header

Calypso Cascades in Rocky Mountain National Park

Calypso Cascades is an easy 3.6 mile hike to one of several waterfall destinations along this section of trail. This waterfall in the Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park is gets its name from the purple Calypso Orchids that bloom along the banks of Cony Creek. Explore the full Calypso Cascades hike profile ...
View Trail Info

Chaos Canyon Cascades in Rocky Mountain National Park

Chaos Canyon Cascades in Rocky Mountain National Park is formed as Chaos Creek tumbles through the forest below Lake Haiyaha. This 4.2 mile round trip hike is on the east side of RMNP to one of the lesser visited cascade waterfalls in the park. Explore the full Chaos Canyon Cascades hike profile ...
View Trail Info
chasm falls rocky mountain national park header

Chasm Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Chasm Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park bursts through a chasm in Fall River where the rock funnels its waters into a narrow gorge. It's one of the more accessible waterfalls in RMNP, located about 100 yards off of Old Fall River Road. The only drawback is that parking fills fast. However, there are several parking and hike options that ...
View Trail Info
copeland falls rocky mountain national park header

Copeland Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Copeland Falls is just one of the many waterfalls hikers will encounter in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, you can't miss Copeland Falls as it is the first waterfall along the main trail--just a short hike from the trailhead. Explore the full Copeland Falls hike profile ...
View Trail Info
falcon falls rocky mountain national park header

Falcon Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Falcon Falls is one of two waterfalls that spill from the heights above Thunder Lake in this remote part of the Wild Basin. It's a difficult and demanding 16 mile round-trip hike that requires some land navigation and backcountry travel skills. Explore the full Falcon Falls hike profile ...
View Trail Info
fan falls rocky mountain national park header

Fan Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fan Falls is tucked away in the high reaches of the Wild Basin of Rocky Mountain National Park. This 15.5 mile, difficult trek, leads to a long set of segmented cascades spilling out of the heights and streaming down into Thunder Lake. This garden of water, wildflowers and rock is a perfect escape for those looking for a demanding hike ...
View Trail Info
fern falls rocky mountain national park header

Fern Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fern Falls tumbles down through the forest casting a fine mist across the trail. It's a perfect place to stop, cool off, and take in the sights and sounds of the falls before hiking on to Fern Lake. Explore the full Fern Falls hike profile below for trail map, driving directions ...
View Trail Info

Grace Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

The hike to view Grace Falls, high in the rock cliffs and ledges of Odessa Gorge, is one of several waterfalls and scenic waypoints along the Fern Lake Trail. Grace Falls drops nearly a hundred feet from Notchtop Mountain, tumbling over a series of ledges, eventually making its way into Fern Creek. Explore the full Grace Falls hike profile below ...
View Trail Info

Granite Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

The hike to Granite Falls is a 5.1 mile journey from the Green Mountain Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. At Granite Falls, the waters of Tonahutu Creek drop fifty feet through a course of smooth granite slabs. The hike offers a diverse landscape: from tranquil forests, to expansive meadows, and verdant creeksides--all alive with wildflowers and wildlife. Explore the ...
View Trail Info
MORE TRAILS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *