Looking for a place to stop and stretch your legs on your way to Winter Park? These cascades along US 40 will refresh your spirit and are immediately accessible right off the road.There are some unmaintained trails to explore, so check out the full profile below to discover more.

Trail Snapshot: Cascades Near Berthoud Falls

Our family drives Highway 40 over Berthoud pass about once a month, and this little side stop is a great place to stretch your legs and listen to the water gushing down the mountainside. This beautiful cascade and stone bridge are located on the second switchback curve on highway 40 as you head towards Winter Park from Denver (south side of Berthoud pass). It’s not a formal parking area (I think it’s used for snow removal), but it can hold several cars after the snow has melted away in late May/early June. A small hiking trail can be discerned on the right side of the Hoop Creek, but it’s not maintained. I’ve not hiked it, so I’m not sure how far it goes.

There are some great views looking South to Engelmann Peak and Red Mountain. There is no picnic area, and the ground is soaked in early Summer, but my guess is that you could bring a blanket in late summer and Fall and enjoy a picnic lunch by the falls.

It’s unclear if this falls is where the small settlement of Berthoud Falls got its name. My guess is that this is not Berthoud Falls. Here are my two guesses on the correct location. Click here for the Google map pin locations.

1 – Where a creek runs about 1200′ feet down into the settlement of Berthoud Falls. This is not a sheer drop, but it is quite steep terrain. The proximity to the settlement makes this the best choice.

2 – Where Hoop Creek and another creek meet then drop into a very steep ravine. This is a more sheer drop and is located about a mile east of the settlement of Berthoud Falls. Because it’s so far from the town, it’s not likely that this is the namesake However, because of the steep terrain, it may contain a legitimate waterfall, or some amazing cascades.

I’m hoping to explore these more sometime and will plan to update this post when we have more information.
If you know the history of the area or have additional information about the Berthoud Falls Waterfall, I’d appreciate it if you left a comment in the trail reports below.

Tips & Resources for Viewing the Cascades Near Berthoud Falls:

  • Be Safe: The pull-off can sneak up with you and there can be a lot of traffic on the weekends. Be alert for cars.
  • Picnic Areas: There are some great picnic areas at Jones Pass, bottom of US 40 near the settlement of Berthoud Falls, and along Clear Creek just east of Berthoud Falls.
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
  • After the Hike: Rocky Mountain Roastery in Winter Park


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

waterfall in canyon with bridge in foreground fish creek falls waterfall in colorado

Looking for more waterfalls near Denver? Explore our more than 50 Colorado Waterfall Hikes, our favorite Waterfall Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, or 7 Waterfalls within One Hour of Denver.

Aaron Johnson

Aaron Johnson has been hiking in Colorado for over 20 years. The owner and editor of Dayhikes Near Denver, Aaron writes every trail profile as a local guide who has hiked hundreds of miles of trails along the Front Range and deep in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.