Elk Falls Trail

MODERATE 108 reviews
#2 of 21 trails in

Elk Falls Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Conifer, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,463 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
14 days ago

Unfortunately couldn't use snowshoes today. Had to return to the car and switch them for YakTrax. You definitely need them for traction over ice and remaining snow, although parts of the trail have melted back to dirt. Took SR (Staunton Ranch trail) from the parking lot to Elk Falls pond. I would rate that portion as easy, particularly because the bikes have packed the snow down. There is a nice little bench overlooking the pond if you head up the MP trail just a few feet. I then took MP (Marmot Passage) and SL (Scout Line) trails back for better view and wind cover! Up and down but nothing very hard. Amazing views on the way back. About 9 miles total, 4.5 hrs. with a lunch break.

hiking
snow
16 days ago

This was a great trail. Pretty level and not much elevation gain until the last mile from the pond up to the falls overlook. Today (2/2) the trail was snow packed and quite icy in some spots but with a pair of yaktrax I did just fine. Last mile from the pond to the falls was total powder though and extremely difficult. Snowshoes would have helped. Can’t wait to do this trail again in the spring.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty and very quiet hike after getting off the Staunton ranch portion of the trail. Didn’t need spikes, trail was quite easy and marked clearly. Some nice views and beautiful trees throughout. The best views, in my opinion, were on the return route on Scout line trail. Saw several good sized bucks on SR, about half a mile from the trailhead. Did 11 miles total in 4 hrs + a few minutes. Route I took out was trailhead to SR - BE - CR - EF then on the return route: EF - CR - MP - SL (most scenic view portion) - SR to trailhead. Not too bad of a hike.

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

Breathtaking scenery along the way and at the end. Took me 5 hours with 2 twenty minute stops to enjoy the views. At Elk Pond you can take either Elk Falls Trail or Elk Falls Overview. Both are 1.1 miles from the pond. Elk Falls Trails leads you to the fall itself while Elk Falls Overview takes you to an overview that lets you see the Falls but also the entirety of Staunton State Park in all of its glory. The Overview Trail also passes through many Aspens which were stunning. Enjoy folks!

4 months ago

Did the 10.8 mile RT to Elk Falls. Beautiful hike. Bonus, there are port-a-potties along the trail and they DONT stink!!!

hiking
5 months ago

We have hiked at Staunton many times, but this was our first time going to Elk Falls. The trail was amazing. It is a little steep going down to the base of the falls, but totally worth it. The beginning of the trail was a bit crowded, but once you got to the BE trail we only saw a few groups of people. The pond has some brook trout and my husband wished he would have brought his fly pole. We will definitely do this trail again!

6 months ago

This was such a beautiful hike! The park rangers were all so friendly and very helpful especially at the beginning when you get to the trailhead. You get a map of the park when you pull in and pay $7 for a day pass. We took the SR trail to the BE trail then went up the LB trail to get to the overlook of Elk Falls, that view alone is incredible!! Then we came back down LB to the CR trail, kind of a difficult switchback but the view of Chimney Rock is stunning! Halfway down the CR you can walk down to Elk Falls. That trail is difficult but once you get to the Falls, every step is worth it! We were super ambitious yesterday (8/11/18) so when we came back up from the falls we continued on CR then got onto the MP trail until we got to the SL trail (a little difficult towards the end of this 1.5 mile trail) then got back onto SR to get to our car. We covered about half of the state park & can’t wait to go back and explore the other half!

hiking
6 months ago

Trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. Nice trot for the family.

7 months ago

Great hike close to Denver.

hiking
7 months ago

My family of six hiked all the way to falls and back. My parents (58 and 45) finished the entire hike even though it was their first time hiking.

In terms of difficulty, the hike is only moderate because of the length of the hike, but there are very few areas where it is steep. The only portion I felt was slightly harder was the drop before the actual falls because it was slippery and steep.

The falls was pretty, but also quite small. It was a very scenic hike and we ran into deer here and there. We also saw a lot of mountain bikers and climbers while hiking.

Make sure to check the weather before going because we thought we would be able to beat the storm, but ended up getting caught in the rain. Our hike took a total of 4.5 hours. So for the hike back to the trailhead we were hiking in rain and completely drenched for 2 hours.

8 months ago

Good hike to a gorgeous waterfall. The trail is fairly easy, just long

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail and great park. The beginning of the trail winds through the meadow for a while. We started early and saw quite a few deer at 8am. The trail down to the falls is steep but very manageable and wasn't as bad as I thought it would be coming back up. Our total hike was 10.21 miles RT.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike to Elk Falls in Staunton State Park. Waterfalls are worth the effort (moderately steep switchbacks on new Chimney Rock trail with an ez short chain handrail section). Weather was cooler than forecasted for Conifer. Rain clouds gathering around noon. Holiday bz with trail bikers and dogs on lease, all mostly courteous:) Lots of parking and along road. Best arrive early /or during week! Six of us 4h45min walking 11.5 mi plus brief lunch stop at falls.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail. Perfect weather today. However, note this tail leads you to the Elk Falls Overlook and not the actual falls. You can get to the falls by using the Chimney Rock trail, which can be found toward the end of where this trail map leads.

10 months ago

Great views. Easy hike. I wasn’t a fan of the second half being on a service road but overall not bad. I would go again but would hit the other trails in the park instead.

hiking
10 months ago

Grab a trail map (AllTrails app and park trails are not the same)
We hiked in with about 30 of us, oldest around 60 & youngest (that completed on his own) was 8. Nice hike to the pond, beautiful overlook, steep down & back to the waterfall. On the way out storms rolled in so we went back the way we came in. Recommend seeing waterfall when ice has melted!

10 months ago

Great trail. We took a few detours and ended up a little over 14 miles. But pure beauty! Not very busy and those that were out were very friendly.

11 months ago

A couple of people didn’t have their kids on a leash and were flying up behind hikers on mountain bikes without saying anything. If my dog has manners, your kid can too.

But that was at the bottom. Other than that was outstanding. No need for spikes or anything

hiking
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Didn’t see a single person the entire hike. Used yak tracks intermittently. Only a few slick spots after the lake.

trail running
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

No snow on the trails. On the no named road, packed snow. Beautiful and no drama.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Small bits of incline but for the most part, more flat and a wide trail. Esth has out for icy patches! The view was great :)

hiking
Friday, December 01, 2017

Nice open trail, excellent views

hiking
Saturday, November 25, 2017

Still cannot believe I did close to 12 miles in 4.5 hours. The terrain makes it possible when I thought it was not but my feet knew how long it was but worth the pain for sure. Waterfall had me screaming in excitement. Started Trail at 830 and had waterfall all to myself for 25 min and started seeing humans on the way back. Perfect way to get out in nature on a solo hike :).

hiking
Monday, October 02, 2017

Beautiful hike, moderately challenging (mainly long with some short spurts of elevation gain), with a very rewarding endpoint under the waterfall. Bring some food and have a picnic at the waterfall.. it's really peaceful there and worth hauling the extra weight.

Cheers!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Well worth every step.

hiking
Monday, September 11, 2017

Worth the hike in. The view of the falls was nice but the falls are really beautiful. Not at all crowded while we were there, which is always nice.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Great time, took my rotty all the way down to the falls. Gorgeous views

hiking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Long hike but very doable, not many challenging portions of the trail. Breathtaking views all along the trial!

hiking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

great hike, took us about 5 hours for a total of 11 miles (18 km) and 2000 feet elevation - round trip. We are slow :) but it was an easy to moderate hike. Make sure you wear a lot of sunscreen, you are nearly 90% exposed to the elements and the sun is strong in Colorado.

Load More