Browns Creek Waterfall Trail

MODERATE 320 reviews
#1 of 144 trails in

Browns Creek Waterfall Trail is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nathrop, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 6.2 miles Elevation Gain: 941 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

This is a very fun hike to a spectacular waterfall. The hike has plenty of variety that will keep your interest including meadows, pine, and aspen forest. You will be treated to many views of Mt Antero, and even get to test your balance by crossing Browns Creek via small log bridges. Parts of the trail are sandy or have lose rock, so be prepared to get dusty, and you will likely waste some energy on the soft ground. Perfect choice for a short, moderate day hike. First half is where the elevation is mostly gained, and then the path nearly flattens out until the final water crossing just before the falls. All along the path, the trail has great signage, but be on the lookout for the very small sign directing hikers up to the falls. Restrictions: No camping allowed at trailhead Pets must be leashed No motorized vehicles Fire restrictions are very common in this area For up-to-date information please contact the Salida Ranger District (719-553-1404)

hiking
10 hours ago

Great trail. Easy to access in our 4 door front wheel drive sedan. Only downside was that the trail is very crowded...saw well over 100 people. It was cold, even snow flurried a little bit.

hiking
1 day ago

One of the only 5+ mile hikes in the area without snow, and SO pretty! The first mile (as noted below) is straight up hill and you gain most of your elevation there- the waterfall is literally almost overflowing with the amount of snow run off but so pretty. Hiking early guarantees a beautiful scene watching the sun come up over the valley as well :) we stopped at the falls, but will absolutely be back to see the lakes. Great Colorado hike

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail and very beautiful views!! The most challenging parts were the first mile and several of the creek crossings (sliding over logs crossing the water), though if you took your time these were not bad. The trail was in great condition, not very challenging. On 6/23, no snow or wash-outs. Weather vacillated between hot sunny and cloudy drizzling several times. The waterfall was running strong and provided a pretty but busy spot for a snack.

hiking
3 days ago

this is my favorite hike that ive ever done!!! the scenic views were gorgeous. there were a ton of wildflowers in bloom. the waterfall at the end is massive & so powerful! the trailhead is really easy to find & even accessible for small cars to park in the trailhead parking lot. you have to cross several wooden bridges because of how much the water is flowing right now but they are well taken care of & not sketchy at all. the whole trail is so pretty & obviously very well maintained too. the trail in total is 6.2 miles & about half of that is going up but once you get past the halfway point it really flattens out. overall this trail is my favorite that I’ve hiked yet & will definitely be returning throughout the summer!!

hiking
3 days ago

This trail was in great condition. Steep for the first half mile or so but leveled out with great views of some local 14ers. The falls were gushing. We hiked this trail on 6-20-19.

hiking
4 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike. Pretty easy out and back. Heavy traffic so try and go early or late in the day. The falls are simply breathtaking!

hiking
4 days ago

Great scenery! Waterfall is worth the hike. Ages 7, 12, 15, 17, 44 and 46 all enjoyed it.

hiking
6 days ago

Waterfall was beautiful! We made the round trip in just under 2 hours.

This was an awesome trail my 5 year old completed from beginning to end! Tons to see along the way and creeks to go over through log bridges. Recommended!!

8 days ago

great trail and the waterfall was amazing! not a bad hike- first mile was the hardest.

hiking
11 days ago

Loved this trail! My 12 year old twins were able to hike it with no problems. Spectacular waterfall!

hiking
16 days ago

Nice walk in the woods. Came from the Colorado Trail segment 14. Stayed the night near the falls. Heavy foot traffic both days. Falls are nicer than expected. No snow, clear well marked trail. Plan on returning to this trail in the future. Everyone on the trail was polite and courteous. One person was playing music on a speaker which everyone could have done without.

hiking
19 days ago

Excellent trail with a variety of terrains and beautiful views. No snow, dry and well marked.

hiking
23 days ago

This was a wonderful short day hike! It was relatively busy, but t wasn’t an overwhelming amount of people. We hiked at 10a on Friday May 31st. Beautiful place to sit and have lunch or a snack when you get to the top.

hiking
rocky
24 days ago

Fantastic trail for a first-timer. Beautiful views and the waterfall at the end was perfect. My whole group of newbies are worn out, but loved it.

hiking
26 days ago

Our family and 2 dogs did this hike today and it was unforgettable! Great views during the hike. But the waterfall was absolutely amazing as well. We took our time and spent quite a bit of time exploring the falls. Don’t miss this one...it won’t disappoint!

26 days ago

Backpacked in on 5/24 and back out on 5/25. This is a great beginner backpacking trail because of the length, elevation gain and the prize of the waterfall and/or lake if you push on past the falls for 3 miles. Can be very busy depending on the day you go as it obviously was on Memorial Weekend. Trail workers are active right now too and I thank them for maintaining the places where we like to recreate.

27 days ago

One of my favorite trails I've done in the Rockies so far. Very wide variety of scenery. Beautiful wild flowers along the way to a large, spectacular waterfall. High traffic for people and dogs. Lots of people and dogs. Wasn't able to get any good photos of the waterfall because there were so many people. No snow at the end of May and hardly any mud. A lot of horse poo on the trail.. Overall a very easy 6 miles.

hiking
28 days ago

Great trail moderate for the first mile and easy from there expect for some rocky areas. Very dog friendly.

hiking
29 days ago

Trail is dry. We arrived 10:30 AM today and there was about 25 cars parked at the trailhead. High traffic, lots of dogs! Waterfall makes it worth it.

hiking
29 days ago

Nice trail. Easy path to navigate. Family oriented and very dog friendly. Beautiful falls! RT...2.5 hrs at a comfortable pace. Enjoy!

Moderate hike with a beautiful waterfall (actually bigger than I expected) Hiked 5/26. Good/warm weather, minimal mud, & no snow. Rocky, dirt road used to get to the trailhead. No SUV or 4x4 needed, but beware bigger rocks (car parked next to us ended up with a flat). Consider 2.5-3 hours to hike, depending on your fitness.

hiking
29 days ago

Great trail. No snow on the trail. First half mile is tough, but levels out after that. Lots of horse poop. Waterfall was beautiful.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

This was my first trail hike in Colorado and it was well worth it! Beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail yesterday (5/25/2019) with two friends. As others have stated, the majority of the ascent is covered in the first 1.5 miles. The last 1.5 miles to the waterfall is relatively flat. Really nice shorter hike, we made it to the waterfall in just over an hour. The waterfall was awesome and lots of people (maybe 20) were just hanging out enjoying the destination. We spent 15 minutes there snapping some pictures and eating a snack. Then... From there, we decided to go to the lake, 3 miles further up the trail. It took us nearly 3 hours to get to the lake, the ascent was not extreme but constant and the last mile was all snow, uphill. We had regular hiking boots on and our socks were wet at the end, but we were able to do it. My watch said the elevation at the lake was 11,250. The lake was half frozen and beautiful, but we were exhausted. It took us another 2.5 hours to hike back down to the trail-head. If you stick to the waterfall, I think most people in fair physical condition could do this hike in 2.5 - 3 hours, depending on how long you stay at the falls. Highly recommended! If you decide to travel on to the lake, be prepared for more ascent and a much longer hike, at least until the snow melts and the trail is clear later in June. This was also spectacular, just be prepared to work a bit more for it!

1 month ago

Beautiful!!

hiking
muddy
snow
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! This was our first hike in CO in years, and it didn’t disappoint. The altitude certainly made the first 1/2 difficult, but like others have said, it levels out after the 1st creek crossing. Still plenty of snow over the 2nd 1/2 of the hike, even in late May. Would do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike with a fabulous waterfall. Cross the stream a couple of times on log bridges. The waterfall flowing was well worth the time coupled with the beauty of a mid May snow.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail! Beautiful views the whole way. I saw wildlife: birds, a rabbit, the cutest gray squirrels and even a very healthy looking coyote. Unlike most trails I've been on, the very first part is by far the steepest. Between this and the trail head being at almost 9,000 ft, breathing was labored at first by got easier as the grade eased up about 3/4 or a mile in. The terrain and temperature change a lot for a total elevation change of less than 1,000 ft. I hiked this trail in early May and there was almost no snow left on the trail, but there was some really pretty ice on the falls. I encountered light rain and even sleet on this trail, but it was well worth it. The trail runs parallel to the creek most of the way, so you get to hear it almost all the way.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

LOTS of dead trees - be careful in the wind!

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