7 beautiful Colorado waterfalls with little to no hiking

Posted at 4:54 AM, Jul 31, 2015
and last updated 2016-08-16 11:09:57-04

Love waterfalls?

We've found seven beautiful Colorado waterfalls that involve no hiking or less than a quarter mile walk.

These waterfalls are all around the state, so remember them for your next Colorado road trip.

North Clear Creek Falls

Yes, North Clear Creek Falls is that beautiful and that view is just a few steps from a parking lot.

The waterfall is between Lake City and Creede on State Highway 149.

The Forest Service website says the North Clear Creek Falls overlook has a restroom, picnic tables and ample paved parking. However, the overlook is usually snowed in between December and April.

"It is not plowed after heavy snows seal it down, but becomes a snowmobile trail stop," the Forest Service said on its website.

Treasure Falls

Hundreds of people driving U.S. Highway 160 from South Fork to Pagosa Springs stop at the Treasure Falls pull-off every day for the view of Treasure Falls.

The falls are at the western base of Wolf Creek Pass.

There is a hiking trail to the base of the falls (seen above), but even from the parking lot, the falls are impressive.

Learn more on the Pagosa Springs website.

Helen Hunt Falls

Helen Hunt Falls, near Colorado Springs, are right next to Cheyenne Canyon Road.

There's a small parking area so visitors can park and take a short walk to get closer to the falls. There's also a trail that takes visitors above the waterfall and the trail continues another quarter mile to a second waterfall -- Silver Falls.

Get the address for the waterfall and learn more on the city of Colorado Springs website.

Soldier Canyon Falls, Lory State Park

The shortest trail in Lory State Park, near Fort Collins, is the 0.1-mile trail to Soldier Canyon Falls. The "waterfall trail" goes through a canopy of cottonwood trees to a series of falls during the spring and early summer.

While you can't see anything from the parking lot, the walk is short and easy.

There is a fee to visit the state park.

(photo from Chimere Lynch)

Rifle Falls, Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle Falls, near Rifle, between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, is a rare triple waterfall! 

It's just a short walk on an ADA trail from the parking lot to the falls. There are also limestone caves beneath the falls. (Sadly, the waterfall is not natural anymore, over the years pipes have been added to direct the water flow.)

Because Rifle Falls is a state park, there is an admission fee.

Fish Creek Falls

Fish Creek Falls is an impressive 280-foot high waterfall near Steamboat Springs.

The waterfall is minutes from downtown Steamboat and visitors walk a gravel path about 1/4-mile to the lower falls.

There is a parking fee. Learn more on the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce website.

Bridal Veil Falls

The tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado can be seen with no hiking. Just drive to the end of the box canyon in Telluride and look up.

That's Bridal Veil Falls dropping 365-feet from Bridal Veil Basin.

If you have a high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle, you can drive up the road for more views of the falls. However, the view at the bottom is pretty impressive.

Strong, adventurous hikers will find several hiking trails in the Bridal Veil Basin above the falls.

If you're curious about the building at the top of the falls, that's an old power station. The Smuggler-Union Hydroelectric power plantoriginally powered a nearby mine and was used as a summer home. A Telluride resident eventually bought it. He renovated the home and sold the power to the town of Telluride. However, that resident terminated his lease. The power plant is now owned by the Idarado Mining Company.

Bonus I-70 drive-by waterfalls

There are two waterfalls near Interstate 70 that thousands of people drive by every day.

(photo from Jason Memmer)

Bridal Veil Falls, Idaho Springs 

This is the waterfall at the Charlie Tayler Water Wheel, along I-70 in Idaho Springs. You can take a short walk to see the falls by parking behind Idaho Springs City Hall at 17th Avenue and Miner Street or walk down the bike path from the Clear Creek Ranger Station.

East Vail Falls, East Vail

If you drive I-70 through Vail in the late spring or early summer, you may have noticed several waterfalls cascading down the sides of the steep canyon walls around the town.

In March 2001, the Town of Vail and the Eagle Valley Land Trust bought a 4.8-acre parcel at the base of East Vail Falls protect it.

To get a closer look at the falls, take exit 180/East Vail from I-70 and turn south on Bighorn Road. Take the first right turn, Bridge Road, then turn left on Lupine Court. The empty lot below East Vail Falls is on Lupine Drive. No parking is allowed here, so you'll only be allowed to drive by and see the falls from the road. If you want to hike closer to the falls, you'll have to park at the parking lot on Bighorn Road, near I-70.

And one more...

I love Boulder Falls in Boulder Canyon because it's been a popular spot for visitors since the late 1800s. However, the trail was closed after the September 2013 floods, so you can't walk the short trail to the falls right now. Check the Boulder Colorado website for updates on when the trail will reopen.