Forsythe Canyon to Waterfall and Gross Reservoir

EASY 243 reviews
#6 of 112 trails in

Forsythe Canyon to Waterfall and Gross Reservoir is a 2.2 mile moderately 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.

DISTANCE
2.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
387 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

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.

15 minutes ago

<3

hiking
4 days ago

Took kids and dog. trail was lovely and shady on a hot day. no waterfall...only a trickle but climbing around was fun. the reservoir was beautiful and we stayed there an hour just enjoining the calmness.

hiking
15 days ago

Great little trail with some moderatly physical sections. Predominantly mild hiking with lots of shade. The creek and falls were dry as we expected them to be but once we found the resivoure, the views were worth the wait. Pretty treacherous off trail options exist beyond the marked trail but the terrain is steep and we didn't veer far. Some folks were fishing, others letting their dogs drink, it was a pleasant spot to stop and take on the beauty. It would be noted that no "body contact" is allowed with the resivoure water, as posted. (No swimming, etc.) We went in July and it was fairly humid. I'd go again but only in cooler months, maybe in light snow.

17 days ago

This is a long drive from west metro Denver and the trail is hard to find. It was along the river which was dry. We were hoping to see the reservoir but never got high enough or close enough to get a view. It was deep in the woods and serene but not interesting.

walking
21 days ago

Beautiful after a rainstorm or seasonal snow melt. Aspens at the beginning should be beautiful in the Fall. Trail is narrow slightly downhill on the way out and slightly uphill on the return. Fun to make the last few tight turns up and down to see the waterfall and make it to Gross Reservoir. Pups and kiddos enjoyed cooling it in the rock pool. Wildflowers sparsely line trail. Visited during the week and only crossed paths with a few hikers on way out.

hiking
27 days ago

Nice easy walk. Good for dogs and little ones. If stream is dry don’t expect a waterfall show. Good picnic spots around the reservoir

28 days ago

Waterfall and creek was dry.

1 month ago

Very nice pretty much the trail is shady and it’s just beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

This is an extremely easy hike! Essentially it’s a nature walk with one exception and that’s around the “waterfall” area which is a bit rockier and steeper, but really only difficult for older dogs and small children. (Cool canyon view there.) Wasn’t terribly impressed with this one - very limited views once you’re on the trail which was pretty crowded, the waterfall is barely worth the title, buggier than anticipated for mid-summer and LOTS of garbage! The wildflowers and wildlife made the walk out to the reservoir worth while, but there’s little reason to stay more than a few minutes as the shoreline is too rocky and wooded to explore. Also note: getting there it’s fun as the drive is spectacular and you do a bit of “off-reading”; there’s no swimming allowed and it is patrolled. Take the kiddos, enjoy the drive, just don’t expect too much.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy quick hike. Great for beginners. The waterfall isnt has the pic shows. Hardley any water coming down. Still a great hike. The lake was beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great little hike with a lot of social trails that run off of it, letting you hike through some truly beautiful wilderness. The trail follows a long a small creek that winds its way down to the reservoir. The waterfall that the description mentions doesn’t feed directly into the reservoir, it’s about 100-200m off of the res, up the trail. This was a great hike. I did it with my brother in the early evening and didn’t have any problems getting out before dark. There was no one there when we arrived too which was really nice. Would do this again if I was just looking for a nice place to hang the hammocks and chill, like we did.

hiking
1 month ago

Very pleasant trail! A forewarning if your car is old and doesn't have wonderful brakes I wouldn't recommend this trail because you need to drive up a steep incline for about 6 miles. Drive at your own risk if your car is older, just a tip! The hike had various terrain but nothing too crazy. Once you get to the end of the trail you need to scale up some rocks to make it down to the waterfall and reservoir. Those rocks kind of intimidated me at first but its much easier than it looks. Also there are a good amount of creepy crawlies but thankfully none of us got bit! Great family hike for the day!

hiking
1 month ago

Really lovely! The end is definitely a little more difficult to see which way the trail goes, but with the roses blooming, you won’t really care!

1 month ago

Awesome beginner's trail with scenic views. Highly recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

A awesome little hike! With some pretty good fishing at reservoir!

hiking
2 months ago

It is a nice trial; shaded, terrain varying but easy, short & sweet. The waterfall leaves a lot to be desired. After the waterfall the trail is not well marked. It appears you must scale rocks to get a decent view of reservoir. On another note, the drive up from Boulder is exhilarating!

2 months ago

The end is just kinda scaling rocks, the trail ends. But if you are comfortable doing that you'll be rewarded with a beautiful large lake :)

hiking
2 months ago

Great Family hike! Loved that the trails down to the base of the waterfall and around the waterline of the lake were challenging but not so much that my 6yr old daughter couldn’t keep up. Shady most of the way- great way to spend a Monday afternoon!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this in the evening (5/9) and it was beautiful! The waterfall was flowing pretty nicely, and it was a very quick and easy hike.

2 months ago

Great short hike. We could not find where the trail led down to the base of the falls so we only saw it from above.

2 months ago

Nice little hike- a bit crowded but Saturday afternoon that’s to be expected!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice and shady. Easy hike along the creek to the waterfall. Must hike up and over the boulders to see the waterfall well.

2 months ago

Moderately Easy hike with a 2 year old. Shaded almost the entire way.

Fantastic trail for families. Short, 1mi in, 1mi out. Shaded, runs a long a creek which leads to a reservoir. There are signs stating not to get into the water though.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a really fun mellow trail that led to a scenic view of the lake. Very easy for all ability levels and extremely dog friendly. The trail wasn't too crowded which was nice especially since it is pretty close to Boulder. Once you get off the main road you have to drive on a dirt road for a few miles to access the trailhead. The dirt road was a lot of fun to drive on. I read some reviews saying that you need all wheel drive to get up there, I don't think its an accurate statement. It isn't any kind of strenuous driving and any car can make it up there. Just be aware of your surroundings because on the drive back from the parking lot I got a 2 inch screw in my tire on the dirt road. But all said and done it was a great hike with some really cool scenery. Two very big thumbs up, enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

5/23/18: Great shady hike that begins with little switchbacks through an aspen grove descending into the canyon. There are 1-2 very short but steep steps over rocks. From there, it's a shady walk in the woods running along a creek until you get to a little point off Gross Reservoir. I continued on a trail to the left side of the reservoir, but it isn't too maintained--not sure if it's a real trail. Great for families with children, dogs (water!), and hot days.

2 months ago

nice walk along the Creek, flowers are blooming and the trees are leaving, springtime in the Rockies

hiking
2 months ago

I nice and easy hike dog and kid friendly. So going back this summer.

3 months ago

Follow the trail up to the left and over the rocks to get to the bottom of the waterfall. Pretty hike. Easy. My friends 3 year old hiked most of it on his own.

hiking
3 months ago

This was a easy trail to do with children until the trail ended by the waterfall. We weren’t sure which way to go but was able to follow a path up and over. My 2.5 year old needed assistance climbing up but with help we got to the other side and even made it to the reservoir as well. Very pretty, short, and easy.

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