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

The first part of the trail is paved. It is quite demanding bc of how steep it is. We had our 4 year old with us. Made it to the Panorama Point and kept going despite the initial plan. We ended up doing 2x the distance of the loop bc the split of the trails wasn’t marked or was still under the snow. We ended up at the Reflection Lakes and had to go out on the road to ask for a ride up to the Paradise Inn. Before we went on the hike we talked to a couple who had the same happen to them but at the time weren’t applying it to us as we didn’t think our 4 year old would last that long. Something for the park rangers to fix. What could have been a fun walk ended up being a frantic trail running to get to the road while we still had some ambient lighting after the sunset. Hiked inadvertently 8 miles. If we got on a trail early during the day and got “lost” it would have been fine but bc we started late it was unnecessarily stressful.

Incredible hike except for flies on lower part. Views were amazing and you must go to the end up to McNeil Point. So close to Mt. Hood.

Did this October 2017. Exposed. Great views of Columbia River. Extreme wind. More mountain bikers than hikers, except at top of ridge where it is extremely steep. Had to descend quickly due to storm, but it did bring a rainbow in addition to cold rain.

Lovely hike with many beautiful lakes along the way. We started at Bear Lake and hiked thru to the Fern Lake trailhead which clocked in at 11.4 miles on my Fitbit. From Fern Lake it is another .7 miles to the RMNP shuttle. It took us about 5 hours, with stops, to complete. The first 3-4 miles of the hike is a steady ascent and the rest is all downhill. We ran into one snow patch along the way that was easily traversed (early July). Stop at every lake along the way- they are spectacular. Keep an eye out for an unmarked trail on your left that leads to Lake Helene. It's about half a mile past the Sourdough Backcountry Campsite and is a great stop for views and lunch. Lake Odessa is about 4.5 miles in and you need to hike down to get to it. Incredible views. We also passed Spruce Lake, Fern Lake, and Fern Falls. We didn't see many people along the way and the views descending into Odessa Gorge are spectacular. Horses are allowed on the trail, and the droppings get pretty bad the last 3 miles near Fern Lake. Overall, this is a beautiful, long hike that offers gorgeous views of RMNP.

Beautiful hike! Longer than what it says here. Can't get far without a Bug spray though, the mosquitoes will suck you dry!

hiking
6 hours ago

An AMAZING trail if you’re a sucker for water and nice views.

Great hike. I’d rate more of a moderate, but definitely a harder moderate than some. The road up to the trailhead was rough. The hike itself was beautiful, and that view at the end couldn’t be beat. We went swimming in the lake to cool off and it was so refreshing.

my husband and I arrived around 8:45 am this morning to hike this trial. it must’ve been a good day to go, because there really weren’t many people on the way up or down! the hike up was really nice since it was still early, the temperatures were perfect! we didn’t stop much, so we arrived at the hot springs a little over an hour. the hot pools were smelly, but beautiful, the water was super blue! my only complaint was that one of the only people up there at the same time as us was a middle aged man, all alone, ass naked wallowing in the pool with the double waterfall. I expected to see some naked teenagers, but seeing this guy was actually pretty creepy, we didn’t appreciate that he kept standing up and exposing himself either. it was much hotter on the way down but it took only 45 minutes or so, it’s a really good hike for all skills levels with a great reward!

first time with the family best hike this far. beautiful scenery and fresh air. dog friendly easy hike.

off road driving
7 hours ago

Super fun wheeling. Some tough spots overall great trail for our 1993 Landcruiser . Kids played at Lake and on streams. Half way up we photographed a great stream with wildflowers. will be back on a clear day for sure had some cloud cover.

hiking
7 hours ago

This was such a spectacular hike—nothing but breathtaking views from start to finish. We arrived at the trailhead at 10:30 am on July 15, were able to park on the road just outside of the parking lot. It was full but the early-morning hikers were on their way out, freeing up some space. It was 80 degrees and HOT! Went through a gallon and a half of water and stopped plenty of times throughout the hike (was great for taking in the view, too). We saw a lot of goats, some grouse too. As others have said, still a few stretches of snow but nothing you can’t cover with hiking boots. We brought YakTraks just in case and didn’t end up using them. We got back around 4:30, but could have made it quicker if it was cooler outside. This was our favorite hike we’ve done so far because it was as beautiful as it was challenging. Might even top Maple Loop in our book!

Info for first-time visitors:
-Our Honda Civic made it to the trailhead without issue. It was a dry, sunny day—not sure what it would have been like with mud, definitely wouldn’t have made it in snow.
-You’re in the sun a majority of the hike. Wear sunscreen and reapply like crazy.
-Bring your bug spray.
-The trail gets harder to follow once you’re in the basin (like you will have to navigate around/over some rocks, the trail isn’t clear-cut). Look for the cairns and you won’t get lost.
-Don’t forget to look up! We saw a 10 goats during this hike, including babies.

I’d probably rate this as an easy trail. The falls are great and we only met a handful of others on the trail. It was pretty sad seeing all the damage from the wildfire throughout the hike.

Fun and pretty easy trail. There were a lot of people at the first fall as would be expected, but the second fall wasn’t hard to reach and much less crowded.

my son took me on this hike. It was a work out for me but I really enjoyed the scenery.

hiking
7 hours ago

Starts out pretty steep but wide enough and not too hard to walk up. Once you get to the creek it’s a nice spot to stop and wet down your arms and neck to cool off in the summer. From that point on it is very mellow. Gets a little narrow in some spots with vegetation encroaching on the trail but for the most part the trees and foliage provide a nice amount of shade. I only made it about 5 miles in before turning around to catch the shuttle back. Several great canyon clearings and heading the roar of the cascades as you approach the louder sections is a great motivator.

I could imagine it being a pain to come back down the steep part if it is crowded with people coming up from the shuttle. As long as you track your progress and keep time it seemed nice to go out later in the day and catch one of the shuttles going back around 6pm (last one was at 7pm) but don’t cut it too close unless you’re prepared to hike a couple hours back to the visitor center without taking the boat.

Definitely a challenge. BRING BUG SPRAY, you will get eaten alive if you don't.

Pretty crowded, but that is most places this time of year.
Easy hike. Gorgeous flowers everywhere!
3 stream crossings that can be crossed by rocks and avoiding wet feet.
Mosquitos will eat you alive, even with bug spray, but they thin out depending on the hour.
Parking is limited and fills up. Vault toilets at the parking lot, no water.

I have hiked many trails in Colorado and this has to be my favorite all time. With beautiful waterfalls along the trail all the way back to the epic views at Crater Lake you just can't go wrong. I was fortunate enough to see a variety of animals including multiple moose, marmots, mountain goats, a weasel (I think) and my buddy saw a black bear about 50 yards away from us that scurried up the mountain when it heard us coming. If you are overnight camping, make sure you have a permit. With the weight of a full backpacking pack, the trail is challenging and it works you with many rocky inclines all the way back to Crater Lake but it is well worth it! Its like camping in a painting. It is simply stunning!.

great workout and absolutely fantastic views

hiking
8 hours ago

A beautiful and wonderful, yet rugged, hike in the whites! This trail is properly rated as hard. I am a pretty experienced hiker, and many of the elements of the trail made it difficult. My only complaints: There was a great amount of pine and shrub overgrowth on the last 3 or so miles of the trail and was also closer to 4.5 miles, making it a 9 mile hike out&back. It took me approximately 6.5 hours, about 4 hours ascending. There are multiple “false peaks” but that didn’t hinder the beauty of this trail. Make sure to download the topo map to track your progress! The waterfall at the beginning was beautiful, and carried on for a mile or so. There is no “Mt. Madison” sign at the top, to my disappointment, so you will know that you submitted by using the map. Enjoy!

Nice hike, not too difficult but definitely a good workout. The trail is pretty narrow and there's lots of horse poop all along the 4+ miles. Had to keep stopping my dog from trying to eat it. Eew! My dog did get a tick on this hike so use bug spray and check yourself and your furry friends after.

8 hours ago

it was an easy trail to the top. you will see the sign of a teen who passed away by falling from the cliff. so one thing to be noted: please be aware and conscious. the view from the top was blocked as it was cloudy. but worth a try for its nearness to the city of redmond

Easy hike. Great for the kids.

walking
8 hours ago

Beautiful trail! The waterfall is absolutely beautiful! I’d rate this trail as moderate. Make sure that you have a good pair of hiking boots with a good grip. There’re a several sports that are a bit steep and some of the spots might have smooth, slippery rocks.
Make sure to bring a bug spray.
The hike is not that long but pretty exiting! If you’re still full of energy there’s Ape Canyon trail right next to it with gorgeous views of Mt St Helens.

Beautiful fun trail. Very easy, good for kids.

Lower Trail is now open.
To Viewpoint from Upper Falls is less than halway RT, and Lower Falls return is rocky, quite hot in July, and a bit slippery in spots. Suggest hiking shoes and plenty of water.

Beautiful and well worth the sweat!

The road to get there is small and doesn't always allow two cars at a time. And there's a place nearby where people like to shoot. Otherwise it's a great place to go. The hike is small but the views of the waterfalls are amazing. It seems like a great place to swim too.

walking
8 hours ago

Calm and beautiful on a Sunday evening!

The most beautiful hike I've been on so far in Colorado!!

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