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The 8 Most Stunning Waterfalls in Colorado

Adventure in the Centennial State goes far beyond the mountains

By Emily Handy on July 10, 2016

Courtesy of Davedude under a CC 4.0 license.

Colorado is known for its rugged mountains and the adventurous lifestyle led by its residents. So it’s no surprise that waterfalls in Colorado are diverse, beautiful and always worth the trek to get there.

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1. North Clear Creek Falls

Courtesy of Brad Patterson under a CC 4.0 license.

Believed to be the most-photographed waterfall in Colorado, North Clear Creek Falls is an impressive waterfall that surges nearly 100 feet down into a deep canyon. It’s one of the few waterfalls in Colorado that doesn’t require a long, sweaty hike for viewing, so there's no excuses to miss this one.

2. Ouzel Falls

Courtesy of Steven Bratman under a CC 4.0 license.

The 2.7-mile trek to Ouzel Falls takes waterfall seekers past three other falls before reaching the main attraction. Cut through a slippery, dark rock wall, the falls splash down 40 feet, giving hikers a nice mist spray at the bottom. Don’t miss the hidden less-worn trail to the left of the Ouzel Falls bridge that offers some killer views.

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3. Bridal Veil Falls

Courtesy of Terry Foote under a CC 4.0 license.

Holding the title of the largest free-falling falls in the entire state, Bridal Veil Falls lures in adventurers from all over the world. And with a whopping 365-foot drop, it's no wonder! For optimal viewing, it's recommended that you either bike (or take the more fun route) and hitch a ride on a 4-wheel drive vehicle up the dirt road. A quaint, historic power plant perches atop the falls, adding to its picturesque quality. 

4. Boulder Falls

Courtesy of nickelstar under a CC 4.0 license.

While Boulder Falls is currently closed due to potential rock slides after flooding, it's definitely worth a nod on our list. Often called the "Yosemite of Boulder Canyon," these falls tumble down a good 70 feet into the creek below. Once it opens again, be sure to visit in the spring or summer months, as snow melt makes the falls even more majestic.

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5. Hanging Lake Falls

Courtesy of Greg Willis under a CC 4.0 license.

Because of its stunning beauty and rare geological formation, Hanging Lake was dubbed a National Natural Landmark in 2013. Being fed by delicate and wispy falls, a crystal clear turquoise lake is a sight for sore eyes after a fairly rigorous mile-long hike to get there. But however refreshing the falls may look, it is prohibited to take a dip due to the area's fragile ecosystem. 

6. Helen Hunt Falls

Courtesy of Kevin under a CC 4.0 license.

Located in Colorado Springs, the small but beautiful 35-foot Helen Hunt Falls is named after Native American activist Helen Maria Hunt Jackson who is buried nearby. Grab a snack at the visitor's center below and then hike the very short 0.1-mile trail to get a look at the picturesque falls.

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7. Rifle Falls

Courtesy of Tony Lazzari under a CC 4.0 license.

Home to Colorado's only triple waterfall crashing down 80 feet, Rifle Falls State Park is also a sought-after site for weddings, events and even movie crews. For more adventurous folks, deep limestone caves loom below the surging water for exploration. If you decide to visit (and you should!), we recommend you go in the spring or fall during the off-season, as the summer is so busy that people have to be turned away. 

8. Seven Falls

Courtesy of Davedude under a CC 4.0 license.

Visitors at Seven Falls truly get a unique waterfall experience. We guarantee your calves will hurt after walking up the steep 224 steps to the top for optimal viewing of the seven cascading falls. For an even more thrilling experience, you can take a zipline tour that culminates in rappelling into the box canyon below. 

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