Elk Falls and Chimney Rock Trail

MODERATE 17 reviews
#6 of 19 trails in

Elk Falls and Chimney Rock Trail is a 11.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Shaffers Crossing, 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 are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.6 miles
2139 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips





wild flowers


1 month ago

4/29/18 Review from a Carolina Girl on a first time Colorado hike:
This hike peaked my interest for the wealth of things it suggests you will see and the distance was around what I desired. However, Staunton State park is beautifully marked giving you tons of options once you get into it! The deeper you go the greater the reward!!!
My route: Staunton Ranch to Marmot Passage. Relax at elk falls pond. Take chimney rock out to elk falls and back. Finish chimney rock to Elk Falls Lookout but continue to the top on Lions Head and back to EF pond via Lions back. Take the easy route back to Staunton ranch via Bugling elk, pick up Staunton ranch then explore climbers access where it parallels and reach then pop back on Staunton Ranch to the parking lot.
SR > MP > EFP > CR > EF > CR > EFL > LH > LB > BE > SR > CA > SR = 15.5 miles in 6 hrs(moderate)

I took the hike slower than normal given all the super cool views and my fear that the elevation would eventually get to me. Elevation ended up not being a problem at all! The views were stunning! Such variety! Moderate traffic; enough to feel relatively safe but not annoyed. I had a love hate relationship with the wind. The howling was intimidating and a bit scary at the peaks but it didn't batter me. Outside of SR, the trail is very well blocked from the effects of the wind (besides the sound). Enjoy the 'hikers only routes'; this is where the fun terrain is! Otherwise the trails are made for mountain biking. Do not miss the Elk Falls or Lions Head! It's so cool to first see the bottom of a waterfall in all its misty wonder, look out at Lions head in amazement then get to actually climb that mountain and look back down and across at the falls!!!
Tips: take the map! Jot down your route. Wear sunscreen. Chapstick and good hand lotion are a plus. Take a towel in case u want to dip you toes in the water options. Be flexible and enjoy the options! Take something that makes noise just in case u end up on long stretches solo; this is an active wildlife zone.

2 months ago

Great trail! I took the Staunton Ranch Trail all the way to Bugling Elk Trail then to Chimney Rock Trail. It's about 10.2 miles out and back that path instead of the one shown on this trailmap. Even though it snowed a bit two days ago, the trail was clear. There wasn't any ice or snow I had to deal with. The waterfall had some snow/ice in the shade at the base of the falls. I pretty much had the falls all to myself. Beautiful hike! Even though it was pretty windy today, some of the trail was protected from the wind. There's a $7 state park entrance fee if you don't already have a state park pass. Overall great hike and definitely coming back!

10 months ago

Amazing hike!!!!

10 months ago

Love hiking in Staunton State Park, so many trails and it's very beautiful. Even in summer, the trails are not very populated and the further back you get in the park the more magical it is. Those with little to lots of experience hiking will enjoy this area, one of my favorites!

Friday, November 25, 2016

This was a very nice easy trail. We took my 9 yr old and he did the whole 12 miles with no problem. We also stopped and fished at a small lake along the way, caught some nice little guys, catch and release only. Lots of bikers on the trail, but everyone was very courteous. Saw lots of mule deer along the trail. Also saw 3 coyote on the drive there cross the road. There was Porto potties along the trail also, very convenient. Really enjoyed this hike.

1 month ago

8 months ago

9 months ago

11 months ago

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017