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Forsythe Canyon to Waterfall and Gross Reservoir

easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(846)
Roosevelt National Forest

Forsythe Canyon to Waterfall and Gross Reservoir is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.0 mi Elevation gain 387 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Over grown

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (3)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Looking for a trail that will provide some shade on a hot Colorado day? This hiking trail has shade, plus a waterfall, a stream, a canyon, and lake. It’s hard to beat. Forsythe Canyon is just outside Boulder, Colorado (1hr 15min from Denver), and is an easy to moderate hike. Please note: 4 wheel drive vehicles recommended for accessing trailhead. In the winter, you will need to park 2 miles up the road at the intersection of Magnolia Drive and County Road 68, making the roundtrip 6.2 miles if you want to go all the way to the reservoir.

There is a small parking lot with a unisex bathroom facility at the trail head.

Boulder Ranger District, 2140 Yarmouth Ave, Boulder, CO 80301 Phone 303-541-2500 Fax 303-541-2515

Once you turn off of Magnolia and onto 68, drive for 2 miles then turn right into the parking lot just before FR359. Look for a gravel parking lot with a restroom and a wooden fence surrounding the perimeter. 39.9611680, -105.3967430

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (846)
Photos (538)
Recordings (535)
Completed (1655)
Stephen Alia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

The “easy” rating for this trail is true...for about 80% of the trail. The scramble around the waterfall, though, is clearly “moderate.” In that area, the trail is hard to follow. On the way back, we actually took a wrong turn and ended up backtracking...even with the map and GPS. The waterfall isn’t flowing at all now (but we knew that going in), but the reservoir is beautiful.

Bri Clawbraa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Nicely shaded hike, beautiful hike the entire way. Nice lookouts too. The waterfall is nearly non existent but the lake was beautiful. Almost everyone was wearing masks , thank you!

AleXandra Rigali
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

I enjoyed the views from my car on the way to the trail, more than I enjoyed this hike. It's a very crowded, family hike. The waterfall was non-existent today and the creek that runs along the trail was dry. The canyon is pretty but not much space to sit and enjoy it. There's some shade throughout the trail, a bridge to cross and some rocks to climb over.

View AleXandra's Recording
John Bruzda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

An easy hike. Waterfall now a bit dried up.

View John's Recording
Bruce Bernstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Our second hike if the day so we only went halfway. Beautiful scenery and wildlife. Coming back to see the waterfall and lake.

View Bruce's Recording
Caleb Riddle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Waterfall is just a trickle right now, not too many bug, mostly flies and ants.

View Caleb's Recording
Theresa Joy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
HikingGreat!Scramble

we loved this trail. came on a Tuesday. got on around 10am. passed 3 parties down to the waterfall. passed about 8 parties coming up. a lot of shade and wildflowers. we liked a bit up the road that leads to lake and will definitely be camping down there.

View Theresa's Recording
Jenna Means
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 06 2020
Hiking

Much of the hike is a nice walk on a trail. Near the waterfall (middle of the hike) you have to start climbing through and over boulders, which was fine but just be prepared. The waterfall itself is not really a waterfall right now either. Near the end we weren’t exactly sure where the trail was or if it was the end of the hike but we figured it out. It was a great little hike for 8 people of varying hiking abilities, and the views are really beautiful at the end. Was a little crowded, but it was easy to stay out of the way/6 feet from others.

Lauren Silva
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 06 2020
HikingScramble

The hike was nice and easy. There is one point that you have to scramble but depending on the path you take it is not bad. If you are going for the waterfall aspect of this hike I would not, it would be better to go to Boulder falls up the road. We went on the Fourth of July in the morning and it wasn’t super busy so we didn’t wear our masks, about 25% of people were wearing masks.

Jennifer Bang-Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

Did this hike yesterday, Friday, July 3rd. Trail itself was nice and easy but the boulders at the reservoir were quite difficult for me and my little four legged pup. I even fell while climbing the boulders. Lots of people congregated at the lake and let their dogs swim, which not sure that’s permitted. All in all a good first hike of the season! A bit crowded and 50/50 on masks.

Zachary Hobbs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 05 2020
Scramble

we did this as a family hike (two kids under 10), it was a very enjoyable hike for everyone. There are sections that you need to scramble and the trail isn't clearly marked near the end but we figues it out. Almost everyone wore masks so that was nice because it was crowded at some of the spots. The waterfall was very dry and more of a trickle.

Rose Writer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

Took my 2 dogs and got to the TH early (6am) Beautiful sunrise driving up Boulder Canyon. Bit tricky getting up and down the waterfall scramble and my short legged dog needed some assistance on the bigger boulders. All an All a fun morning. Leaving the TH was packed and lots of people coming onto the trail. Most everyone wearing masks.

Keady Sofia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingRocky

Pretty easy hike, in order to get a good view of the little water fall you have to climb up and down a very steep area. Make sure to wear good shoes for that, the “waterfall” is currently very dried out so not entirely worth the stop but just a few feet over is a pretty view of the reservoir. Appreciate everyone who wore masks considering the path to/from is pretty small.

Katelyn Barber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingRocky

Good hike. Our 3.5 year old did the whole trek to gross and back. Gets rocky but fun rocks to walk on and beautiful creek along the trail. Nice and shaded.

Carli Malia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingScramble

Very busy today (holiday weekend traffic perhaps?) with only side-of-the-Road parking available. Path was fine, I just wish it opened up to the rest of the reservoir OR have signs saying how to get there.

Rebecca Maddison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingRocky

Great hike. Mostly shaded with some wild flowers here and there. Some areas are rocky and a little steep. Plan to arrive early. There is a lot of traffic. The lake areas was pretty crowded. That’s the only reason I rated it as 4 stars.

Tony Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingGreat!

Good trail, though quite popular, especially on the holiday weekend. We showed up at about 8 and the parking lot was mostly full and when we left around 10, and the lot was overflowing. So definitely show up early. The trek in was beautiful and full of shade. The last say 15 miles of the drive to the trailhail was a very narrow and windy road, so if you have multiple vehicles take the smaller one as no one seems to know how to stay in their lane. Suitable for all ages, and physical conditions.

View Tony's Recording
Sara Frisk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking

Easy trail - lots of little off shoots that will basically get you to the clearing where the lake is. Waterfall is a little more than a trickle at the moment. Lots of families with kids, a lot of dogs (most of leash) and 50/50 wearing masks.

View Sara's Recording
Ilene LeBlanc
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 01 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Great mix of sun and shade! All of us really enjoyed this hike and met some really nice people along the way. Don't attempt to go down at the falls, before you get to the top of them, there is a little trail on the left that takes you up a good incline, then back down. Follow the trail and off to the right is another trail that takes you to the bottom of the falls. Then back track to the trail and follow it to the reservoir. The trail is BUSY. We arrived at 11am with plenty of parking. Left at 12:45 ish and the parking lot was full, cars parked everywhere even along the road. Go early to avoid mass people if you want to social distance. 50/50 on mask use.

Peter Rice
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 01 2020
Hiking

Plenty of shade the whole way. Beautiful small waterfall Go early!

Grace Sherrill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 01 2020
Hiking

This was a beautiful hike. The drive down the dirt roads added to the fun. Beware: whenever you reach the top of the falls, the path to get down to the base is pretty hidden. My 2 year old was able to hike half of this by herself. It’s an easy+scenic jaunt through the woods.

Amy Olsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
HikingRocky

Gorgeous hike. But PLEASE pick up after your dog! I picked up five full dog bags on the way out.

Max Amillios
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 30 2020
Hiking

T'was a beautiful shaded trail following the creek all the way down. Went on a Teusday and arrived around 12. CO-119 does have construction going on for expansion and rock blasting. But they have 1 way lanes open so it adds about 20 min to the drive. Well worth it though. At the falls it gets a little narrow as you climb the rocks. Only for a very short distance. Another short walk down after the falls and your at the resivor. A few nice people caught up. We all happened to use this app to find this trail lol. Took a shallow swim to cool off. Picked up a few pieces of trash on the way back. But over all a good trail.

Malika Dawson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Great hike! My daughter is 4 and was able to do the entire hike there and back; just had to help her at the waterfall pretty much and a few narrow areas for my comfort, not because she couldn't do it.

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