Explore the most popular waterfall trails near Shaffers Crossing with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Went to Elk Falls. Rapped down Elk Falls. Repeated several times.

10/10.

Amazing views. Most of it is very easy trail (short of the last .4 miles to get down to the waterfall)

hiking
20 days 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!

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

This was my second trip out to Staunton. I had been planning and building up to do the long 11+ mile hike to the waterfall all summer. This again was a spectacular start to finish hike. The fall colors are starting to peak on the aspens.

The cliff faces are the stars of this hike and it seems every new bend and corner either offers a new view of the Staunton cliffs or the mountains in the distance. The overlook before the pond is spectacular with amazing views of lions head and the mane which is full of red and yellow aspens.

Fellow hikers and park staff are always polite and helpful. I’ve never had a bad encounter in this park. I plan on doing one more blowout hike there before the leaves are gone.

5 stars / Highest possible recommendation

hiking
1 month 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!

This was pretty underwhelming. Don’t think that I would come back.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail can be a little hard to follow because of lack of trail signs. Download a map and bring a GPS if you aren't familiar with the area. There are no bathrooms at the trailhead. The waterfall isn't too impressive later in the summer. I've always enjoyed hiking this one in May/June. HAPPY EASTER! Please follow trail etiquette. Leash your dogs. Pick-up and pack-out their poop...and please take yourself 200 feet off the trail, away from the water, to do your business. Nobody wants to step in your mess or on your toilet paper. Eeeewwww. Parks and Rec really need to put in a Port-O-Potty of vault toilet. In the meantime, bury it!

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
2 months ago

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

Nice long hike. I’d recommend going up to the top of the lions head if it’s open. There is a lions head loop.

Pretty once you get to the (mostly empty) falls, but a longer and harder hike than advertised, so be prepared if with little kids (like we were). Not very well marked either.

Three ridge lines that the trail meanders over and plenty of switchbacks. Cross the creek a tile or two. Saw a cow elk within 15 mins of starting. Kinda crowded after 10

We did not go to the overlook because going to the falls alone is almost 10 miles (roubdtrip), and our dog got to the falls and decided that was all the hiking he wanted to do for the day...

Did this hike back in March, when the waterfall was still frozen which was awesome! Was between 12-13 miles round-trip be we took the Service Road/Bugling Elk trails to the Falls and then the Marmot Passage/Scout Like trail back to the trailhead. Absolutely beautiful views on the way back! Highly recommend this hike, and don't let the distance stop you from doing this hike it really is moderate. Also, take the map it was very useful!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice easy short hike. Arrived 7AM on a Sunday morning, plenty of parking, only two others on the trail. Crowds started arriving at 8ish as we were finishing.

What an incredible park!! Elk Falls and its Overlook are quite the sights while Marmot Passage and Scout Line trails kept this Flatlander's pulse at Orange and camera clicking outstanding views with the last vestiges of Autumn yellows. The trail map tells me that there's a bunch more to tread. Hurray

awesome views!!

Beautiful scenery. Long hike, but worth it. Took my 6 year old and she hiked all the way to the falls and back, which is amazing. We saw a hummingbird, a woodpecker, and a ton of spectacular views.

Great hike close to Denver.

hiking
3 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.

Decent trail....small waterfall....and very crowded with people

This was not an easy trail, it was definitely moderate and there are barely any trail markers. We got lost and had to hike back up. Try doing that with three kids in tears at this point. Also we didn’t find the waterfall. Pretty hike, but will never go back.

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

on Elk Falls Trail

hiking
4 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.

Do you like public urination, screaming children and people bathing in the river? then this trail is for you. I wish I was exaggerating when I say there were hundreds of people on this trail. the kind of people that listen to music from a speaker in their backpack, who loudly declare they are going to take a leak so don't look and who stop to gather in the middle of the trail to gawk and not let other hikers pass. not a single time along the trail were we out of ear shot of the people shouting to talk over the other people yelling to be heard over the sounds of the river. Children were everywhere, some unattended, all shouting. Many people were on the other side of the trail in the natural areas, whether it was a vain attempt to escape the crowds or urinate, I couldn't tell. it's a shame what people are doing to the treasured areas of our state.

Trailhead is inside a state park that doesn’t open until 7 am. AllTrails map of this trail is not the best. Take the Chimney Rock Trail to connect up to the two overlooks of Elk Falls.

Super beautiful hike. Went while is was misting and 45-50 degrees. Only downfall was the trail is not very well marked. Very easy to get lost.

hiking
4 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.

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