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 below for trail map, driving directions, and more tips and details to help you enjoy this adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trail Snapshot: Copeland Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park

copeland falls rocky mountain national park
Another View of Copeland Falls

Parking & Trailhead Information for Copeland Falls

The southeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park boasts one of the loveliest portions in the park known as the Wild Basin. The Wild Basin Trailhead is located just 15 minutes outside of Allenspark, Colorado along Highway 115. There is a ranger station at at the Wild Basin Trailhead with toilets and drinking water available.

In the winter (October-May), Hwy 115 may not be plowed to the trailhead, and hikers will need to park their vehicles at a winter parking lot for Wild Basin hikes. Be aware that hikes from the winter parking lot add on another 3 miles of hiking (one-way). There are other small parking areas, like the Finch Lake Trailhead, that may be accessible and allow hikers to park closer to the Wild Basin Trailhead. It’s important to know that Hwy 115, though titled a “highway”, is a maintained dirt road, which means that it can be used by 2WD vehicles. However, after heavy rains and other severe weather, its quality may degrade until it is repaired. 4WD may be needed when snow is on the ground.

copeland falls rocky mountain national park wild basin trailhead
Wild Basin Trailhead

The Hike: Copeland Falls Trail in RMNP

Copeland Falls is just a short and easy hike from the Wild Basin Trailhead. There are lower and upper leaps at Copeland Falls, and they are reached by following a couple of spur trails that branch off from the main trail. Signs will indicate the location of the trail to the Lower Copeland Falls. After viewing the lower falls, another spur trail leads along St. Vrain Creek to Upper Copeland Falls. A sign will indicate where this second spur trail is located. After viewing the falls, hikers can connect back to the main Wild Basin Trail which leads on to many other beautiful destinations, including several more waterfalls.

ouzel falls waterfall in rocky mountain national park wild basin hike with text overlay explore more hikes in rocky mountain national park

Tips & Resources for Hiking to Copeland Falls in RMNP

  • TIP: Bring lots of water and high-energy food.
  • TIP: There are food storage lockers available at the Wild Basin, Finch Lake, and Sandbeach Lake Trailheads. These are required for visitors staying overnight.
  • Get there early: Parking lot might get full even early in the morning.
  • You’re in Bear Country: Black Bears live in the Wild Basin area and are active on the months of April through November. Be aware, and dispose of your food responsibly.
  • Trail Map for Wild Basin Area: 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
  • Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Ben Graham for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike to Copeland Falls in RMNP. His photos can also be seen at Redbubble.
  • After the Hike: Meadow Mountain Cafe


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

baby mountain goat on mount evans colorado more easy hikes