Waterfall Hikes in Colorado.
North Clear Creek Falls
North Clear Creek Falls is located at over 10,000 ft. in the San Juan Mountain in South-Western Colorado. The waterfall's location, near Silver Thread National Scenic Byway, makes it one of the most photographed waterfalls in the whole state. The falls plunge 100 ft. into a rocky box canyon. The creek thunders down the canyon for a quater of a mile before disappearing into an irrigation pipe. Never the less, it is worth a visit.
Scenery: 4 stars
Distance: 50 yards to see the waterfall, 1/2 mile to hike on the rim of the canyon.
When you stand at the the viewing deck and look downstream, you will notice a narrow trail going along the rim of the rugged box canyon. Take this trail for great views of the canyon and to hear the roar of the falls from a distance.
Bristol Head is a 13,000 ft. mountain that towers to the East. It was named by an English gold prospecter who thought it resembled Bristol Head on the English Channel, if viewed from a certain angle.
Zapata Falls Trail
The San Luis Valley is a flat, dry, high- alpine desert in southern Colorado. One would not think of finding a beautiful waterfall in this dry land, but Zapata Falls is an amazing 35 ft. high waterfall. The waterfall is located 45 ft. back into a rocky crevasse, carved by the creek. Four and a half miles from the falls is Zapata Lake. The trail to the lake is strenous, long, and hot. Even if you don't hike all the way to the lake, the views are astounding.
Scenery: 4 Stars
Difficulty: Easy to Zapata Creek, Difficult to see the falls, Difficult to hike to the lake
Distance: 1 mile out and back to Zapata Falls, 10 miles to go all the way to the lake
* The two pictures marked with an asterisk and the one in between them are not mine, but pictures I found from Google Images. Thank you for allowing me to use your pictures.
Zapata Lake Trail
The trail to Zapata Lake branches of the main trail 100 yds. before the falls. It quickly climb out of the creek's valley on a set of switchbacks. Then the trail rolls up and down through meadows. Soon it levels out in an aspen grove. Standing quietly, you can hear the creek gurgling off to your left. Don't try to bushwack down to it though, the aspens are thick and the slope is steep. Trust me, I learned from my mistake here. The trail quickly dips down and crosses the creek on several wobbly logs. After climbing a while, you reach a clearing where there are amazing views of the vast San Luis Valley. When you re-enter the trees there is an old cab
After passing the old cabin, the trail will climb steeply before leveling out for a while and climbing again. Along the way you are rewarded with great views of California Peak and other rugged peaks.