Explore With Waterfalls - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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It’s closed so obviously it is an absolutely terrible lack of a hike and you must definitely not do it. Or do it but don’t tell anyone, because then everyone will know you did a hike that nobody does because it’s absolutely terrible and it is closed. My dog tried to say she likes it but I wouldn’t let her.

trail running
7 days ago

First time on this trail this afternoon. Nice trail, a few mildly interesting spots and a bit of a view right before the falls. Even without any mind blowing highlights, there is pretty complete immersion in nature. Was a bit icy in spots... I didn’t have any traction devices and my dog and I were just fine, but bring some kind of spikes if you aren’t comfortable on ice. There are still plenty of decent foot placements that aren’t solid ice if your eyes are open, but I’m sure many would appreciate spikes. I’m wondering how this’ll be in late winter/spring though... yikes!

Some mention they recorded the trail as longer than 6.3 miles, but my gps recorded it at 6.2 miles, 1440 ft of ascent, and it didn’t feel any longer than that to me.

I agree with previous post. The trail is icy; poles and crampons recommended. Two days ago I left a blue dog leash on top near a bush. If anyone finds it, I would really appreciate it if you left it at the Academy Visitor’s Center at the base of the trail. Great hike!

awesome challenging hike! but take it slow if you're going in the next few days. the packed snow on the trail has made for some very slick, treacherous areas. hiking poles are highly recommended.

13 days ago

Did this hike 8/22/18...for my friends 70 b’day challenge. Very enjoyable hike with wonderful views . We started st 5am to avoid afternoon showers. Trail well marked and thank goodness for the carens as we traversed the boulder field at the top. The donuts tasted soooo good when we reached the top... and yes, lots of people st the summit!

First hike in about six years but it was totally excellent. Weather at the peak was about 40 degrees F and a bit windy. The rock outcropping for the final .3ish to the top is tough but not impossible. If you’re not a hiker like me, take it slow and enjoy the journey.

Beautiful but definitely a challenge. If you are visiting, bring water and be prepared for climbing up on rocks. Waterfall was lovely even though it’s not a lot of water. But considering it hasn’t rained, it was such a treat to hear any water. Loved it.

Tough but beautiful!!! worth the work!!

nice and easy, you can bring the dog. Beautiful, easy.

Decent trail but you have to hike 3/4 of a mile up the road to get to the trailhead and the lake at the end is full of people who just got in their car and drove there.

hiking
25 days ago

If you're looking for an easy hike, this isn't it. Almost the entire way to the falls is uphill & there are several parts of the trail that are narrow (1 person wide). It is doable for beginners, but it will be pretty difficult. Tread carefully & watch your step. Wear good hiking shoes if you plan on going to the top. Bring some snacks like Clif bars & plenty of water/Gatorade.

Beautiful views of nature throughout the hike (especially when you get higher up), and it wasn't overpopulated like a lot of touristy places are. You will be immersed in nature. We noticed a bunch of small Brook Trout swimming in the stream that leads up to the falls, which was the only sign of wildlife we saw on our trek. Once you get to St. Mary's Falls, there will be a waterfall on a steep slab rock. I wouldn't say it is "magnificent", but it's still quite pretty. There are some rock stairs that lead you up to a sitting area of log benches and a better position to look at the falls. Our group went in mid-October, so it was significantly colder when we reached the top. The temperature when we got to the parking lot was high 60's, but when we reached St. Mary's Falls there was snow on the ground! If you go later in the year, bring a sweatshirt or jacket. When the sun went down behind the mountains, it also got significantly cooler.

One thing we did notice is the trail is longer than 6.3 miles, which was mentioned by some other reviewers. There's a part on the trail with a sign that states the falls are 1.7 miles away, but it's actually closer to 2.4 miles away. We clocked the total hike (there & back) as over 7.5 miles. There might be some discrepancies between our mileage and other hikers' mileages, but regardless it's definitely longer than 6.3 miles.

Despite being in pain for a large portion of the hike, I enjoyed this hike overall & would do it again. (Next time I will bring better hiking shoes!)

This was a very nice trail with beautiful views at the top. We clocked it as closer to 6.7 to 6.9 miles. The last part is fairly steep. The water flow was low, but there was a bit of ice around the falls which made it very pretty. We did not encounter too many people on the actual trail up to the falls. Most turned off and went the Seven Bridges route.

Good hike. Great view at the top. There is some rock scrambling which made it fun. The fall color is about done but the aspen grove near the top would have been gorgeous a few weeks earlier. It’s more just under 4 miles round trip because you have to park at the visitors center and go up the road a bit.

A step trail up and over the falls. Very pretty and if you want to hike longer there are many more trails close.

great hike today.

Did this trail with the family while carrying the young ones in packs. Wife had a difficult go up the first 1/4-1/2 mile but once it leveled out it was very pretty and would love to finish the pancake rocks portion sometime! Trail was clean, well marked and in good shape. I think moderate is a good classification

We came here with our dog in the beginning of September. The waterfall was mostly dried up at the top but it has nice views still. Easy and short hike, loose dirt in some areas which makes it a bit slippery in some areas. There is a creek at the bottom near the parking lot which provides some shade. The drive to here has narrow and winding roads up the mountain but we drove about 15-20 mph and no issues.

hiking
1 month ago

Helen Hunt Falls is directly off of the parking lot, so there's very little walking to do once you've arrived in order to see the waterfall. Parking is very limited. There is a staircase that will take you up and over the falls and leads to some different trails.

Great Trail winding up and down along the creek with cool waterfall. It's easy to lose the trail when you have to cross the creek. The yellow marker is easy to see after you cross the creek.

Not the most spectacular falls by any means, but an average hike with some elevation gain. Heavy traffic with familes and dogs on a narrow trail most of the way. If you're up for the challenge and more miles I highly suggest continuing up to Mt. Rosa for some beautiful views.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a fun yet very challenging hike! It says moderate but the hilly roads you have to climb just to get to the trailhead and then to the reservoir make it difficult. The meadow along the creek is beautiful once you climb the switchbacks. It seems like the never ending hike but we pushed ourselves with the encouragement of other hikers making their way back! Because we hadn’t anticipated such a long hike we didn’t get to enjoy the reservoir that much and would much rather drive to enjoy it next time. It took us 2+ hours, so be prepared!

hiking
2 months ago

Response to post below concerned about little boys carving names in teepee on Horse Thief Falls trail: I was there yesterday, saw the teepee and several marks made by past hikers. The teepee is not sacred, looks like it was made by someone with some time on their hands, using dead wood from the surrounding area.

Carving names into something that's not alive, nor an artifact, is not akin to harming live trees. One could make the same argument about whomever built the teepee in the first place. Shouldn't that person have been equally aghast about that?

I'm glad she didn't scold the mom in front of her little boys. We all have personal opinions and are usually better off keeping them to ourselves. Rating the trail as a 4 due solely to a personal reaction to someone else's behavior is no reflection on the quality of the trail. It is lovely and serene!

While not evident at first glance, the trail continues beyond the series of falls for a while. Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this one in August, beautiful views. Long hike with a steady incline but not incredibly difficult. Bring lots of water and be prepared for the summit to be buzzing... with people who drove up : |.

hiking
2 months ago

Short, easy, family-oriented hike. We found it by accident while driving on Gold Camp road. Will go back to do some of the other longer trails.

Short little hike. Quick elevation. Steps and gravel trail. Wide and easy to follow. Family friendly. Busy parking because of popularity. Zero water flow during droughts but still pretty.

Awesome views of Pikes Peak, Stanley Canyon and Colorado Springs. You do have to work for it though. it's all up hill and gets steeper as you go. In comparison, we did the Stanley Canyon hike that's almost twice as long in less time.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic trail that takes you over 1,500 ft where you can look out over 24-West. Once you reach the top, you can descend from the large rocks via the southwest side and follow a trail along a small creek that feeds a waterfall. The trail will take you along some great flowers and scenic mountains to the west. However, make sure you follow the trail out that you came in. I took a trail connected to the Catamount but it turned out to be treacherous, which caused me to walk through part of a waterfall to get to better ground. Stick to the marked trails and you won’t be disappointed.

hiking
2 months ago

Brutally amazing trail. So many places that one of us could have gotten really messed up. Wife’s foot got caught between rocks up at the top as we just started our decent and she fell down forward a few feet. Completely dislocated a finger that got bent completely in the opposite direction. Snap crackle pop and back in business. Could have been so much worse. Also would hate to be caught in a storm up there. But the views are phenomenal. The challenge is super exhilarating and more than worth it. Get into shape, don’t take the little ones, be smart and careful because freak things can happen up there in an instant. Everything checked out fine in the X-rays, and we still made our flight home.
Update: Radiologist called...finger's actually broken...but we still had a blast.

amazing hike!

You need a 4x4 , wrangler, SUV or truck to get to this trailhead. I am sure this is a 5-Star hike but we had to turn around since we were driving a hybrid rental car. The trail description does not mention this very important fact (about getting to the trailhead on a very rutted, narrow and rocky road). Travel safe!

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