You will struggle to find many states across the US that are as naturally beautiful as Colorado, with its gorgeous landscapes, exotic wildlife, and huge mountains that can be seen everywhere you go, however, this natural beauty also extends to its waterfalls.
Colorado is home to so many beautiful waterfalls that it can be hard to know where to even start, so to make this easier, we have compiled a list of the 12 most jaw-dropping and beautiful waterfalls that can be found across this wide and expansive state that you need to see for yourself when you next plan a visit to Colorado.
Located just outside of Colorado Springs are the Seven Falls waterfalls which all average a height of 181 feet with their glistening waters tumbling down into seven different segments of the canyon.
Many hikers in the South Cheyenne Creek class the Seven Falls as somewhat of a hidden gem since it’s a little hard to spot until you start actually traveling up the creek itself, however, once you do spot it, there’s no better reward for your perseverance than seeing the waterfall traveling down across the sandy rocks for yourself.
While you can take an elevator to reach the top of the mountain to get a good view of Seven Falls, there is also a 224-step path situated right next to the water which might sound long, but it is so worth climbing since it lets you get so close to the waterfall, and there’s nothing more rewarding than getting to the top and seeing the extent and distance of this natural beauty for yourself.
As you may have guessed from the name, the Rifle Falls State Park has based itself around its surrounding waterfalls, with there being three that keep the trees and greenery surrounding them moist and well cared for.
The three-segment waterfall is 70 feet high and can be spotted very easily when walking or jogging across the loop trail that leads around the caves situated in Glenwood Springs.
You can actually enter the small limestone caves yourself, making for quite the experience as you hear the water crashing down around you while taking in the natural beauty the caves have to offer.
The waterfall is visible from virtually anywhere in the State Park which has made it an incredibly popular destination for picnics, photo shoots, and even outdoor weddings, making it the perfect area to visit if you want to get up close and personal with one of the most extravagant waterfalls in all of Colorado.
If you’ve ever gone hiking, or plan to hike around Colorado, there’s a high chance you’ve heard of Fish Creek Falls, a short half-mile trail 5 miles from Steamboat Springs which is most popular for its 280-foot waterfall.
The waterfall can be seen very easily while on a hike, especially during the spring when the snowmelt reaches its peak and the volume of water increases, making the waterfall extremely loud so that you can hear it crashing down from miles away.
There is a wheelchair-accessible overlook trail that will take you right to the base of the waterfall, or you can instead take the dirt trail which will lead you to the same area without being too strenuous or difficult in its terrain.
Bridal Veil Falls is Colorados’ largest waterfall, being 365 feet in height with a huge hydroelectric power plant at the very top which you can see for yourself by traveling across the four-mile hiking trail which is definitely quite a journey, but well worth the effort once you can get a clear view of the extravagant waterfall in all of its glory.
The route itself is known for being fairly challenging and very steep for most of the way through with a lot of bumpy terrains along the journey, so if you are on the hunt for a good and rewarding hiking experience in Colorado, this is definitely one of the best in the entire state.
If you don’t enjoy the sound of venturing up the hiking trail to see the full extent of the waterfall, then you can instead take the shuttle service which will take you straight to the top in just a few minutes.
Hidden away in the small mountain town of Ouray is the Box Canyon Falls, a set of huge waterfalls reaching 280 feet high that are very recognizable for the crashing roar they make when splashing against the rocky surface of the caves below.
The waterfall is actually the culmination of the nearby Canyon Creek before it joins with the Uncompahgre River near the town of Ouray, and you can easily gain access to the falls for a fee of $5 per adult which will allow you to travel along a trail that passes across the nature center and stretches up to the steel bridge on Box Canyon where you can see the waterfall below in all its glory.
When visiting the beautiful Box Canyon Falls, it is also worth paying a visit to the small and friendly town of Ouray which is packed with shops of all kinds, whether it’s serving food or displaying arts and crafts made by the locals.
The town only has a population of roughly 1,000 people, so it’s never very busy despite how many people visit Box Canyon Falls to see the waterfalls.
To see the Ouzel Falls waterfall in all of its natural splendor, you can take a 5.4-mile hike that begins at the Wild Basin Trailhead and takes you past all the incredibly unique wildlife and plants that are scattered around this entire area.
The waterfall itself stands 40 feet tall and while it is a little more hidden away, if you decide to take any of the multiple hikes around Estes Park, you will be able to see it from a fair distance and can easily hear it crashing down onto the boulders below.
In fact, if you decide to take a hike setting off from the Wild Basin Trailhead, you will run into multiple waterfalls with Ouzel Falls being the biggest which covers the entrance leading to the Rocky Mountains National Park.
If you were hoping to spot a few magnificent waterfalls with the rest of the family and don’t want a journey that’s too challenging or strenuous, to see the Forsythe Falls waterfall you only need to embark on a 2-mile out-and-back trail that will take you through the lush Forsythe Canyon and land you right next to the waterfall.
This hiking trail is considered very easy to navigate and can be found just outside the city of Boulder.
While the waterfall can be heard very clearly from anywhere around the canyon, it can be a little difficult to actually see if you don’t take the hiking trail since it is fairly hidden, however, it is more than worth taking the journey, especially during the summer when the snow peak has melted, and the waterfall is even louder and more thunderous than normal.
The hiking trail that leads you up and around the Booth Falls waterfall is actually one of the most popular hiking trails in all of Colorado, and one of the main reasons for this is just how much jaw-dropping scenery and wildlife you can spot along the way
The 3.9-mile long trip guides you across multiple crystal clear lakes where you can spot a whole variety of unique fish, large aspen forests filled with towering trees, and many animals who frequently stroll near the falls including elk, moose, hawks, and eagles.
While you can visit any time of the year and still have a worthwhile experience, if you really want to make the trip as memorable as possible, try to visit in the summer when all the flowers are in bloom and as colorful as they can be.
Located just 7 miles east of Glenwood Springs, the Hanging Lake features multiple wispy waterfalls that might be a little smaller than many of the other popular waterfalls in Colorado, however with that being said, it also makes them perfect if you just want a peaceful getaway since the lake itself is also very serene and quiet, despite becoming more popular over recent years.
You can either take a shuttle or a bike to reach the trailhead, however, there are also wooden walkways that have been built around the lake’s shore which you can freely walk across to get up close to the waterfall yourself.
Keep in mind that because the lake itself is labeled as a National Natural Landmark, you will need to make a reservation to visit, however, this also serves to keep the area quiet and pleasant to visit as opposed to ever being too busy.
The 2.5-mile hike that takes you up and across the beautiful Continental Falls waterfall is considered a moderate trail that can definitely take some effort to get through, but it is also incredibly rewarding considering just how many mountain lakes, exotic birds, and mining camps you can spot along the journey.
The trail is definitely considered fairly challenging, with the terrain being very rocky and hard to navigate at times, however with that being said, if you are looking for a trail that will give you a good workout before you get a clear view of the most magnificent waterfall in the Breckenridge area, this is the one you’ll want to take on.
The waterfall is the largest in all of Breckenridge, with it being an especially popular destination to visit during the fall when the clear blue water contrasts elegantly with the vibrant gold leaves of the trees that surround the entire waterfall.
Located deep within the Rio Grande National Forest is the North Clear Creek Falls waterfall, one of the largest waterfalls in all of Colorado standing above 100 feet that tumbles down the creek and into a large pool of water that really does need to be seen to be believed.
This waterfall is considered a natural marvel by many who have seen it in person, and while you certainly can’t miss it when in Lake City, if you want to get a little closer to observe just how magnificent this waterfall is in its formation, you can take the Silver Thread Scenic Byway which will lead you straight to the observation area.
Just three miles from the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve you can find the Zapata Falls, a 25-foot waterfall that you can reach by taking one of the multiple hiking and mountain biking trails, giving you an astonishing view of both the waterfall and the sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see.
This waterfall is actually fairly unique as it is tucked behind a short tunnel within the rocks where the water travels from above, creating an incredibly interesting formation that makes for quite a fascinating sight.
The waterfall was first formed when the crystalline rocks found within the Sangre de Cristos actually became damaged and weathered by the South Zapata Creek, allowing the water to spill through and forming the waterfall that still remains there to this day.
Colorado is certainly known for its wonderful natural beauty which really can’t be found in many other states, and this certainly includes its waterfalls.
Whether you were looking for an easy day trip for you and the family, or you wanted to embark on a challenging hike to reward yourself with an astonishing view for your efforts at the end, there are so many amazing waterfalls in Colorado that are considered must-visits by many people living in the state.
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