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The Ultimate Colorado Waterfall Road Trip

By: Spencer McKee

Perhaps the most alluring feature of Colorado's natural landscape, waterfalls can be breathtaking. Here's a road trip we designed for you that will take you past a few of our favorite falls.

Rainbow Falls - Ahodges7 - OutThere Colorado

Stop 1: Rainbow Falls


Often referred to as Graffiti Falls, Rainbow Falls is one of the more unique waterfalls in the state, as it’s adorned with a lot of multi-colored graffiti. Despite the vandalism, this waterfall is still quite magnificent. Note: This waterfall does shut down for maintenance from time to time. Check with El Paso County Parks to see if it’s open.
Note: At time of publishing, this destination is closed until July 2018.
Photo Credit: Ahodges7 (flickr)
Helen Hunt Falls. Photo Credit: Beverlytaz - OutThere Colorado.

Stop 2: Helen Hunt Falls


Found in North Cheyenne Cañon in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Helen Hunt Falls is super accessible. It’s right off the main route through the canyon, viewable from above via a bridge. There’s also a staircase there that leads to a great overlook, but be warned, it will get your heart pumping with it’s many steps.
Photo Credit: Beverlytaz
Seven Falls. Photo Credit: John Fowler - OutThere Colorado.

Stop 3: Sevens Falls


Though often criticized due to its commercialization, Seven Falls is still a stunning spot to visit in Colorado Springs. Visit during the night to see a rainbow colored light show that lights up the water flow.
Photo Credit: John Fowler
Zapata Falls - OutThere Colorado.

Stop 4: Zapata Falls


Found in Southern Colorado, the 30-foot tall Zapata Falls is a great spot to visit during a trip to the Sand Dunes. The trail to the falls will take you through water and over slick rock, so caution is key.
Bridal Veil Falls HDR OutThere Colorado

Stop 5: Bridal Veil Falls


The tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado, Bridal Veil Falls is a staple during a visit to Telluride. What’s the building at the top? It’s actually a functional powerhouse.
Box Canyon Falls - mark byzewski - flickr

Stop 6: Box Canyon Falls


Cascading 85 feet, Box Canyon Falls is a great stop to make in Ouray, Colorado, a tiny mountain town known for its great outdoor recreation.
Photo Credit: mark byzewski (Flickr)
Rifle Falls State Park Colorado Waterfall

Stop 7: Rifle Falls State Park


A stop at this magnificent waterfall will have you wondering if you’re still in Colorado or if you’ve somehow stepped into a scene from Jurassic Park. Lush green and limestone caves surrounds a trio of falls that drop 70-80 feet.
Photo Credit: Spencer McKee
Fish Creek Falls near Steamboat Spring in Colorado.

Stop 8: Fish Creek Falls


Located in Steamboat Springs, Fish Creek Falls is another convenient destination to visit. You can drive right to the trailhead (paying a small fee) and then walk down to where you can see the site. While you can’t get super close to this one, you can still enjoy it’s beautiful from a distance.
Ouzel Falls Rocky Mountain National Park Photo Credit Christine Warner - OutThere Colorado

Stop 9: Ouzel Falls


Located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Ouzel Falls is the perfect spot to round out your road trip. It drops 40 feet, giving it quite the roar. Why is it called Ouzel Falls? It’s named for the tiny birds nearby that dive into the water for food.
Photo Credit: Christine Warner
Here’s a map of the road trip in its entirety.
Photo Credit: @2018 Google Maps

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We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More

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