This pretty cascade in San Isabel National Forest is reached by an easy hike beginning from the Grape Creek Trailhead. From Westcliffe, drive south on CO 69 and turn right onto Colfax Lane and continue to the T intersection. Turn left and go about 5 miles to the trailhead on the right side of County Road 119. Take Rainbow Trail north for 3.25 miles and look for a small wooden sign left of the trail. This pleasant hike has good views of the Wet Mountains and Wet Mountain Valley to the east.
- Signs at the trailhead provide leave no trace principles, as well as guidance and regulations upon entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.
- If you have time to spare, camp at the trailhead and spend a few days exploring the wilderness beyond Crystal Falls. You can drive into town in the evening for dinner in Westcliffe, or take CO 96 east for a mile and eat in Silver Cliff.
- At an altitude of 8,000 feet and far from other cities light pollution, the area of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff is a Dark Sky community, making it a popular area for stargazing. The night-friendly lighting is perfect for gazing at constellations and the Milky Way.
Recommended Season(s): Year-round.
— Susan Joy Paul