This five-mile roundtrip hike from the Seven Lakes Trailhead at Big Creek Lakes Campground in the Routt National Forest leads to a hidden waterfall in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. Located just ten miles south of the Wyoming border, the easy trail provides views of lakes, beaver ponds and—if you’re lucky—lots of wildlife. Moose linger at the water’s edge and the wetlands draw a variety of birds to the area. Red Elephant Mountain is in view to the southwest. Off the trail, Big Creek Falls pours over slabs and swirls in a plunge pool before emptying its waters into Big Creek Lakes.
—Susan Joy Paul