image of alberta falls

Easy Waterfall hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park

07/19/2019 | by Lyles Armour | Rocky Mountain National Park

We’ve had quite the spring and summer with bountiful snow run-off and plentiful rain, making our rivers, lakes, and waterfalls more beautiful than ever. Lucky for you, when visiting Estes Park there are plenty of chances to see some of the state’s most stunning waterfalls. Most reside in Rocky Mountain National Park and are easily accessible. Explore these easy waterfall hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and start enjoying the beauty of the Rockies with little effort!

Chasm Falls

image of chasm falls

Of all the waterfalls to see near Estes Park, Chasm Falls is the one. The waterfall plunges 25 feet, crashing through a narrow granite gorge. As one of the most accessible waterfalls in the park, the 2.8-mile hike begins at the Endo Valley Picnic Area in Horseshoe Park, just before reaching Fall River Road. Park in the picnic area parking lot and walk back to Fall River Road; the hike to falls from here is 1.4 miles. In the summer, hikers will have the option of driving to Chasm Falls Trailhead via Trail Ridge Road; making this a much shorter hike.

Copeland Falls

Starting at the somewhat remote Wild Basin trailhead, the 0.4-mile hike out to Copeland Falls is a true treat. Hikers will come across Lower Copeland Falls first; one-third of a mile from the trailhead. Further down the trail, the Upper Copeland Falls becomes visible.

If you want to add on… head out to Ouzel Falls

Located at the southeastern corner of the park, near the Wild Basin Trailhead, the hike to Ouzel Falls offers hikers other waterfall viewing opportunities along the way. Hikers will come across Copeland Falls and the Calypso Cascades along the 2.7-mile hike to Ouzel Falls. The impressive 40-foot cascading waterfall plunging into Ouzel Creek is best observed by staying on the trail and viewing from the footbridge.

Horseshoe Falls

This very short, 0.4-mile hike to Horseshoe Falls is a family favorite. This expansive cascading waterfall was given its name of Horseshoe Falls due to the way it curves and bends through the rocky slope. The short hike starts from Alluvial Fan Trailhead.

Alberta Falls

image of alberta falls
“Alberta Falls, near Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.”

Beginning from Glacier Gorge Trailhead, along Bear Lake Road, hikers will wind through less than a mile of pine and aspen to find themselves at Alberta Falls. A scenic 30-foot waterfall plummets down a small gorge into Glacier Creek; making for quite the dramatic scene. If you would like to add on; connect the 2.5-mile trail to Glacier Falls.

Adams Falls

Located at the western end of the park, near Grand Lake, the hike to Adams Falls is an easy 0.6-mile out-and-back trail that is great for all skill levels. On the edge of the park, the trail to Adams Falls begins at the East Inlet trailhead.

Bonus: For those who want more of a challenge

Fern Falls

To find Fern Falls start at the Fern Lake Trailhead, located near Moraine Park area, and follow the trail along the Big Thompson River to The Pool. This area of turbulent waters is the confluence of the Big Thompson River and Fern Creek; where people like to fish and picnic. Just under a mile from The Pool hikers will reach the stunning 60-foot waterfall plunging into Fern Creek. A unique piece to this hike is its historic markers like the Old Forest Inn. The entire hike is 5.2 miles round trip and is rated as moderate.

Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts

image of Triple R Cottages

We hope you take the time to explore these easy waterfall hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park during your Estes Park vacation. And to make your vacation even more enjoyable, be sure to book a stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts. We offer a variety of accommodations; from cabins and cottages to larger vacation homes. Combined with our affordable prices and our proximity to the town of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, we are a great choice for exploring in town and the Rocky Mountains!

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