10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Colorado

From alpine forests to babbling waters, Colorado is an outdoorsman's paradise. There's no shortage of ample land to explore, camp, hike, ski, or adventure.

With the tall mountains and yearly snowmelt, waterfalls are gushing down cliffsides throughout the state and popular attraction for visitors and locals looking for breathtaking, unique views.

Visitors from around the world flock to the state to admire the beauty of these stunning waterfalls. These are the ten most beautiful waterfalls in Colorado that everyone should visit.

1: Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride

Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Scott Brenner

Telluride, Colorado, is home to some of the state’s most beautiful outdoor adventures, including Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado’s largest waterfall. This beautiful sight is 365 feet in length, making it the tallest freefalling waterfall in the state.

Visitors can hike, bike, or drive up to the falls. The four-mile hike gains 1,380 feet in elevation to get to the top of the falls, and the views are worth the climb. To drive to Bridal Veil Falls, you’ll follow a dirt road for about two miles as you wind to the top. There is even a shuttle service to the top if cliffside roads make you faint of heart!

Address: Telluride, CO

Website: www.telluride.com

Also Read: The 10 Breathtaking Natural Wonders in Colorado

2: Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs

Helen Hunt Falls, Colorado Springs
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Kevin

North Cheyenne Canon Park in southwestern Colorado Springs is a must for tourists and locals alike. Located in the heart of the park, visitors can enjoy views of Helen Hunt Falls, a series of cascading falls with a short walk to the top of a bridge across it.

The falls features a visitor center with educational displays about the local natural features. You can also schedule hiking and walking tours to learn more about the region while taking in the beautiful nature surrounding Helen Hunt Falls.

Named for poet and writer Helen Maria Hunt Jackson, the falls hold a lot of history, both in natural and human events. It's a must-see for anyone visiting or living in the Colorado Springs area. The parking area below Helen Hunt Falls can become very crowded during the summer, so plan and get there early.

Address: 3440 North Cheyenne Canyon Road North Cheyenne Canon Park, CO

Website: www.coloradosprings.gov

3: Box Canyon Falls, Ouray

Box Canyon Falls, Ouray
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Carl Mikoy

Ouray is another tourist destination in Colorado for both locals and out-of-towners. Known as the “Switzerland of America,” this quaint, old-style European town is home to Box Canyon Falls, an 85-foot cascade down Canyon Creek.

Visitors can enjoy the falls from the top or the bottom, taking in the gushing water. There are hiking trails nearby for those looking for more adventures, and a visitor center provides a history of the local town and its geology.

Box Canyon Falls is just about a half-mile outside of Ouray's town, and it's an easy walk to the falls. Elevated walkways take you through the 100-foot canyon, overlooking clear, crisp waters.

Address: Box Canyon Rd, Ouray, CO 81427

Website: www.uncovercolorado.com

Also Read: The Most Charming Small Towns in Colorado

4: Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle

Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/vicki watkins

Aptly named for the spectacular waterfalls in the park, Rifle Falls State Park has attracted people from around the world to take in the beautiful wildlife and misty waters. The park is home to the only 80-foot triple waterfall in Colorado, and visitors can enjoy camping by the cascading falls.

Spelunkers are welcome to adventure beneath the falls to explore dark limestone caves, and the area is a popular spot for outdoor weddings. There are hiking trails that even wind around for 360-degree views of these awe-inspiring waterfalls.

The 0.1-mile hike to the falls' base is handicap accessible and extremely family-friendly. From there, you can even see the limestone caves that wind beneath the falls. Visitors can continue on a short, rocky trail around the falls to see more of the natural creation. In the winter, snow and ice cover the falls, freezing the water for a breathtaking sight.

Address: 5775 Highway 325, Rifle, CO 81650

Website: cpw.state.co.us

5: North Clear Creek Falls, Lake City

North Clear Creek Falls, Lake City
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Larry Lamsa

As one of Colorado's largest waterfalls at more than 100 feet high, North Clear Creek Falls creates an unforgettable experience for anyone visiting. The falls are easy to reach by an observation area on the side of the road, and its dramatic, cascading water has made it one of the most popular attractions in Colorado.

On sunny days, you might see a rainbow or two through the mist of the waterfall’s base. Fed by snowmelt from surrounding 10,000- and 11,000-foot mountains, the water cascades with force over the cliffside, creating a magnificent sound and sight.

The falls are located in southwestern Colorado near Lake City in the heart of the Rio Grande National Forest. The observation area is just off the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. There are also several short trails to access for better views of this magnificent natural formation.

Address: Highway 149 - between Creede and Lake City, Creede, CO

Website: www.fs.usda.gov

6: Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs

Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Max and Dee Bernt

Located off Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs, Hanging Lake has become such a popular attraction that those looking to head there need an advance reservation. This Colorado gem requires a steep and rocky hike to get there, but the result is worth it.

The falls empty into Hanging Lake, a crystal-clear basin that sits on a cliff edge. The shores of the lake are so fragile that wooden walkways were built around it for visitors. When planning your hike to Hanging Lake, you can choose to take a shuttle to the trailhead or add a bike reservation to get there.

The three-mile out-and-back hike to Hanging Lake is more strenuous than you might expect. Plan on climbing up steep rocks and ascending for much of the walk before reaching the destination. Despite the tough conditions, it's a beautiful hike that offers views of wildlife and the surrounding nature.

Address: Glenwood Canyon, CO

Website: www.visitglenwood.com

7: Fish Creek Falls, Steamboat Springs

Fish Creek Falls, Steamboat Springs
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/qJake

This high alpine waterfall spills over a 280-foot cliff and is known as one of Colorado's most beautiful waterfalls. Located just a few minutes from the resort town of Steamboat Springs, it's just a short walk down a path to view the lower falls, an impressive sight you won't soon forget.

Fish Creek Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the state, making it ideal for a family activity.

Those wishing to head to Upper Fish Creek Falls will head 2.5 miles up more than 1,500 feet in elevation through Fish Creek Canyon. For a more strenuous hike, head on an 11.6-mile hike that ends at the scenic Long Lake. The trail gains more than 2,000 feet in elevation and is recommended for experienced hikers.

Address: Fish Creek Falls Road County Road 32, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

Website: www.steamboatchamber.com

8: Seven Falls, Colorado Springs

Seven Falls, Colorado Springs
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/joevare

Another beautiful waterfall in Colorado is the majestic Seven Falls, a series of seven gushing waterfalls less than a mile from the Broadmoor hotel. There are 224 steps to the top, and you'll find clear streams and babbling waters as you make your way. At night, the falls are lit up with beautiful colors.

A free shuttle takes tourists to the falls, and there are trails to several other Colorado Springs attractions, including Midnight Falls and Inspiration Point. Located in a narrow box canyon, Seven Falls gushes down 181 feet of spectacular canyon walls.

Since the Broadmoor privately owns the site, visitors need to purchase tickets to see Seven Falls, and the Broadmoor offers different experience packages. Some adventures you can add on to your trip to Seven Falls include hiking, ziplining, and more.

Address: 6 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Website: www.broadmoor.com

9: Zapata Falls, Alamosa

Zapata Falls, Alamosa
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Andrew Russell

Unlike many locations on this list, Alamosa's environment is drier and arider like a desert. Located near the Great Sand Dunes, the city is known as the central hub of the San Luis Valley. If you're looking for a beautiful view of the entire valley, head to Zapata Falls.

With four miles of hiking and biking trails, you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by mountains and wilderness. Visitors can climb around these falls, and in the winter, the water freezes, creating striking sculptures along the rocks.

In the heart of the San Juan Mountains, Zapata Falls is sheltered in a rocky cavern, providing a cool escape from the southern Colorado heat. The falls are hidden away, so hikers will have to tread through water and climb up rocks to get there, creating a fun adventure along the way.

Address: Mosca, CO

10: Ouzel Falls, Estes Park

Ouzel Falls, Estes Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ianqui Doodle

Estes Park is known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and one of the most stunning waterfalls in Colorado is located there. Ouzel Falls’ waters spill over giant boulders and tall cliffsides and is a must-see if you’re visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.

The 40-foot falls towers over gushing creeks, and more cascading falls along with scenic hikes. The hike to Ouzel Falls itself is more than 5.5 miles out and back and begins at the Wild Basin Trailhead. With clear water, moderate switchbacks, and fantastic wildlife, it makes for an unforgettable hike to Ouzel Falls.

Address: Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Website: www.rockymountainhikingtrails.com

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