Mesa-Cortina Trail to South Willow Creek Falls

MODERATE 32 reviews
#14 of 164 trails in

Mesa-Cortina Trail to South Willow Creek Falls is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverthorne, CO that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.7 miles 1426 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

blowdown

This trail enters the Eagles Nest Wilderness where it winds through aspen groves and crosses open meadows where you have great views of the Williams Fork Range, Dillon Reservoir and the entire Blue River Valley. The meadows offer great opportunities for viewing wildflowers during mid-July. Eventually the trail climbs up a gorge between Buffalo Mountain and Red Peak. South Willow Falls is a cascade that tumbles over the rocks of South Willow Creek.

1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail with several scenic views. Not too difficult even for lowland folks like myself. A few junctions could be tricky but check your map first then follow signs! Not to populated saw several other hikers but had plenty of solitude as well.

3 months ago

Beautiful! Open meadows, easy to locate trail. Some uphill but not a lot. Lots of shade. Crossed the stream in several places. Went to Buffalo Mountain to see the falls.

3 months ago

4 months ago

Nice mellow trail. Good day hike.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome trail. We loved it

4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Great trek. Lots of different ecosystems to walk through we made it to the falls but it came out to 11 miles not what was described.

hiking
5 months ago

My hiking buddy and I had an excellent hike on the Mesa Cortina trail. I like how it was so accessible from the highway and yet once you're on it, you can experience the great outdoors of Colorado. One does need to be prepared with enough water and we were glad we were on the trail early 8 am as it was quite hot through the open areas by late morning. We were able to do the entire trail in 4 hours. The waterfall is beautiful!

5 months ago

5 months ago

The last mile or so to the waterfalls was challenging but well worth it. Go early to avoid the heat of the day - the meadows can get rather warm

5 months ago

Hiked all the way to the waterfalls. It was awesome and kicked our butts. Not many people on the trail. Go early tobaccos overheating

hiking
6 months ago

There's a lot of beetle kill on the first part of the trail. Great views from the meadow and the waterfall is beautiful.

7 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Buddy and I tried to follow the trail to the waterfalls on 1/28/16. The trail was quite physically challenging - but we were carrying pretty heavy packs since we planned on camping two nights. The Mesa Cortina portion of the trail was pretty well traveled. The Gore Range section of it (which is marked , thankfully) was less traveled. We lost the trail very close to the waterfalls. We camped where we could, off of the trail, and were hindered by several feet of powder. If we'd known the trail, we could have made it to the falls. If you don't know the trail, I wouldn't recommend trying it this time of year. Also, I feel comfortable saying that it is not possible to complete this hike without snowshoes this time of year. We potholed a lot along this trail, even WITH snowshoes in some sections.

hiking
1 year ago

1 year ago

It was definitely a tough trail with the rocky parts. It was a beautiful trail, especially with the waterfalls at the end.

hiking
1 year ago

We started at the Buffalo Cabin Trailhead, then followed the Willow Creek Trail, and finally ended up on the Mesa Cortina Trail that led us to the waterfall! AHHHMMMAAAZZZING! This was quite the challenge for my young family of 4 (including a 2yo and 5yo). However, it was a high rewards hike! The waterfall was beautiful and peaceful. The steep climbs had us second guessing if we would make it - but, once we were there...OOOFFF - all was forgotten and replaced with the memory of this beautiful place. I want to go back.