Hayes Creek Falls is a 40′ waterfall with multiple cascades located just off CO-133 along the Crystal River near Redstone, Colorado. Accessed via a roadside pull-off, Hays Creek Falls makes for a refreshing stop along the West Elk Scenic Loop, on of the most beautiful scenic drives in Colorado.

Trail Snapshot: Hayes Creek Falls

roadside pulloff for hays creek falls near carbondale colorado

Parking & Trailhead Information for Hayes Creek Falls

Hays Creek Falls is located along a stretch of scenic Colorado 133 just south of Carbondale and the Historic Redstone District and a popular viewpoint along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway. From Denver, take Interstate 70 West into the mountains. Exit in Glenwood Springs via exit 116, taking CO-82 South toward Carbondale, Colorado. In Carbondale, take a right onto CO-133. At the traffic circle, go straight through (second turn), staying on CO-133. The road will follow the Crystal River south into some absolutely beautiful country. As you drive through the Historic Redstone District, you’ll notice the Redstone Inn on your left, a historic retreat that stands out because of its unusual architecture. From this waypoint, the pulloff parking area for the falls is just 1.7 miles further.

young hikers following sign to hays creek falls in colorado

The is marked by a Hays Creek Falls sign. This may be a misspelling as signage and online maps have it named both “Hayes Creek Falls” and “Hays Creek Falls.” That’s why this trail profile alternates between the spellings. There is enough room for a handful of cars. Be sure to park well off the road and to be aware of cars traveling at highway speeds.

The Hike: Hayes Creek Falls

Hayes Creek Falls is more of a scenic stop than a hike, one of the places you visit while on this scenic countryside drive. Our family took in the waterfall on our return from one of our Fall Scenic Drives and camping trips. Along this same stretch of road, just two miles you’ll also want to stop at the Redstone Historic Coke Ovens (pictured below). These are what remains from a turn-of-the-century coke operation that has been resorted by Pitkin County. These beehive structures look like something out of a fantasy novel or ancient Ireland.

historic coke ovens with fence in foreground and mountain in background with lush green summer vegetation in redstone colorado

The hike to the falls is just about 25 yards from the roadside sign. In early Summer the cascades of the waterfall gush with water. In the winter, Hayes Creek Falls is a popular ice-climbing destination as the waterfall turns into a giant layered sculpture of ice. There are no developed trails at Hays Creek Falls, with the exception of the short entrance trail. I noticed a few trails on the south side of the falls, and one may lead to the area above the falls, which looks to have a series of cascades. If exploring this area, be aware that it’s easy to fall or to inadvertently kick rock and debris down and injure people below. A young man was killed at Boulder Falls while trying the to climb up unstable rock near the waterfall. So, be wise when exploring.

hays creek waterfall in roadside ravine 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.

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

Tips & Resources for Visiting Hays Creek Waterfall


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions