Five waterfalls line the Wild Basin Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. The first two, Lower and Upper Copeland Falls, are an easy 1-mile roundtrip hike. From the Wild Basin entrance near Allenspark, it’s just over two miles to the Wild Basin Ranger Station and the Wild Basin Trailhead. After a little over a quarter of a mile on the trail, look for a sign pointing you toward a spur trail that leads to North St. Vrain Creek and the lower falls, then retrace your steps a bit and hike up to the upper falls. You can hike back to the trailhead or continue on the main trail for more waterfalls.
- Rocky Mountain National Park is open year-round and is a fee area, so bring some cash or a credit card.
- The trail and falls lie in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness. Be sure to follow the Leave No Trace Principles when visiting any wilderness area.
- Overnight parking is not permitted at the trailhead unless you have a camping permit. Make reservations well ahead of time as this is a very popular place.
- An unnamed waterfall known as “Lover’s Leaps” is just a mile past Copeland Falls on the main trail, where a footbridge crosses Cony Creek. It’s not signed and you won’t find it on a map, but it’s a lovely horsetail cascade and worth the hike!
—Susan Joy Paul