The San Luis Valley has many wonderful opportunities to view some of the most majestic waterfalls in the state. The most impressive time to visit is late Spring when the snow melt begins and run-off is at it’s peak. Below are some of favorite waterfall locations:
Copper Falls – [Mineral County] Getting there: Traveling towards Creede, Colorado on State Highway 149, Take the Middle Creek Road Exit to visit Copper Falls.
Dolores Canyon Falls – [Alamosa County]
Piedra Falls – [Mineral County] Follow Highway 160 West to Piedra Road and follow the signs to Piedra Falls trailhead. Piedra Falls is an easy 20 minute hike up the trail head.
Phoenix Park Falls – [Mineral County] Proceeding up Willow Creek from the town of Creede you will find Phoenix Park Falls located just above Phoenix Park. This waterfall is considered one of the most majestic waterfalls near Creede, Colorado.
Treasure Falls – [Mineral County] The name Treasure Falls came from Treasure Mountain, which legend says holds buried gold. The waterfall cascades 105 ft. into Falls Creek and continues to the San Juan River, which begins at the top of Wolf Creek Pass and flows west all the way to the Gulf of California. The trail is about 1/2 mile and well maintained, it can be slick in wet or icy weather. DIRECTIONS: From South fork travel west on US 160 over Wolf Creek pass. The Parking lot for the falls is at the bottom of the last switch back.
North Clear Creek Falls – [Hinsdale County] This is one of the more impressive waterfalls in Colorado on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway. If offers a new restroom, picnic tables, ample paved parking for larger vehicles, trails to the overlook, and safety railings. It is handicap accessible, with a handicap trail to a high lookout spot. This makes a great rest stop and photography opportunity. DIRECTIONS: From the town of Creede travel west on State Highway 149 for 26 miles. Turn right and go southeast for 1/2 mile to the Overlook.
South Clear Creek Falls – [Hinsdale County] DIRECTIONS: From Creede, take State Highway 149 south (toward Lake City) 23 miles to the Silver Thread campground sign. Turn right at sign into campground. Look for the trail sign to the falls. A short easy trail leads to the beauty of South Clear Creek Falls.
Cascade Falls at Big Meadows – [Mineral County] DIRECTIONS: From South Fork, travel west on U.S. Highway 160 – 8.0 miles to Forest Road #410. Take FR #410 west for 1.4 miles to “Y” intersection. Turn left onto Rd. 410 and go 0.4 miles into Big Meadows campground. The trail begins by camp site #25, it is about 1/4 mile to the falls.
Zapata Falls – [Alamosa County] Near the Great Sand Dunes National Park, this iconic waterfall is worth the hike! From the Sand Dunes Visitors Center, drive south about 8 miles and turn left (east) onto a dirt road. Drive about 3.5 miles to the trail head. To view the falls, hike up about 1/2 mile, cross the creek, then climb up the rocks and stream into a crevasse where the 25ft. high falls cascade onto a ledge.