Category Archives: Waterfalls

Waterfalls A Plenty In Rocky Mountain National Park

As previously stated, I have a strong love for waterfalls. Rocky Mountain National Park is a great place for exploring many different aspects of nature. If you are looking for waterfalls, there is one great hike that includes three spectacular falls along the way, and even an outhouse or two in case you need one.

This hike is rated as moderate and provides views of three different falls and several other cascades. You will reach the first, Copley Falls, after .27 miles, then as you continue on you will reach, Calypso Falls, in another 1.8 miles. If you choose to hike the remainder of the way, it is another .7 miles to Ouzel Falls. The whole trip there and back is 5.4miles, a lot of stepping upward on the way there.

I did not make it to the third fall, because the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse and I had no way to protect my camera. What I was able to see though, was quite impressive and totally worth it. Had it not been snowing, I would have definitely continued on to the end. Even if you only hike the first two points, you will enjoy the views greatly. I intend to go back and do this hike to completion, next August. I definitely want to see what I missed out on, especially if it’s even more impressive than the first two.

For more information, please visit: http://dayhikesneardenver.com/ouzel-falls-rocky-mountain-national-park/

Mini Hike To Adams Falls

When I go to Colorado, or really on any nature based vacation, my favorite hikes are those that take me to see a waterfall. I am definitely one of those hikers who enjoys a nice view that I can photograph from a million different angles and show to my friends and family when I return from my adventure. If you are not into long hikes, but you enjoy the great views at the end, I highly recommend a visit to Adams Falls.

Adams Falls is located near Grand Lake, so it wasn’t too far from Winter Park, which is where my family was vacationing. This particular trail is a loop and only .8 miles long. It is part of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are in the area, you should definitely stop because the views are too good to pass up on this mini hike. The elevation at Adams Falls is 8,474 feet. The trail is accommodating to all skill levels of hiker.

Once you get to the waterfall, you can view it from a couple of different points. If you are like my step-son and you require a little more hiking activity, there are plenty of rocks to climb. A person could spend quite a bit of time here if they were to explore the area further or just sit back and relax while taking in the scenery. This could be a great place for picnic.

For more information on Adams Falls, please visit: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/adams-falls-trail

Vacationing The Summer Away In Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Summer is in full bloom and vacations are upon us. Living in the Midwest you never know what the weather is going to be. It could be hotter than Hades, or it could be cold and rainy. You might have humidity that makes you want to cry, or you could end up with a day that feels like fall is moving in. Take heart in knowing that you can escape the madness by adventuring to either coast, or leaving the country completely.

If you are looking for a great summer destination with beautiful weather and great scenery, in the month of July, allow me to recommend Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Steamboat is a great location for your summer vacay, because this city has a little bit of everything. You will be surrounded by great hiking territory and a quaint downtown area that has lots of great food options as well as shops.

There are tons of lodging options in Steamboat. You can choose a hotel, a condo, or look to VRBO, which is what my family did on our vacation. We managed to rent a five bedroom home overlooking the mountains, on the outskirts of town. This particular location was beautiful and felt like home away from home. We had a hot tub, a horseshoe pit, a grill, and large open living spaces. Check out VRBO.com, sometimes they give last minute deals to fill their rentals.

If you plan a trip to Steamboat, and you like rodeos, you should check out their Pro Rodeo Series. They host a special rodeo event on the 4th of July. My family had a blast, and it was a fairly inexpensive and entertaining way to spend an evening.

Other fun things to do while in Steamboat are as follows: The alpine slide, gondola rides, bike trails, fishing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing, climbing, zip lining, the water park, and the hot springs. If you like the outdoors, you will find plenty to do in and around this town; there are many more options than what I named above.

While we were out hiking in July we did see quite a few wild flowers. There are nearby hikes that include waterfall destinations. If you don’t feel like hiking, there are also some scenic drives that will provide you with some great views and photographs.

While I have only visited Steamboat once, just thinking back to our last trip there makes me want to return. The feel of the town is small, but also clean and crisp. You can breathe in that mountain air and enjoy the river running along the edge of town. The feeling is serene.

For more information on Steamboat Springs, please visit: http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat

http://www.steamboatchamber.com/discover-steamboat/western/rodeo

 

Rocky Mountain National Park: A Favored Scenic Destination

Over the past few years I have spent a decent amount of time visiting Colorado. From the first time I saw the mountains, I knew I was hooked. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I visited Rocky Mountain National Park for the first time, but it quickly became one of my favorite repeat destinations.

To me, Rocky Mountain National Park is worth the drive even if I am staying in a hotel that is a few hours away. If you choose to do a day trip to the park, be sure to arrive early in the day so that you can take full advantage of all of the scenery. In all honesty there is no way to do everything within the park in one day. There are just too many trails and roads to travel. Ideally a person would want to stay somewhere within Estes Park and spend several days exploring Rocky Mountain National.

One of my favorite hikes in the park is the Alluvial Fan. This is a large beautiful waterfall that fans out as it flows down the mountainside. Definitely be sure to wear a decent pair of hiking boots if you choose to hike up the waterfall, because you may encounter some wet rocks. The views from different points are awesome. There are many great photo opportunities on this hike.

Just the drive alone through the park is amazing. There are so many different animals to encounter. I have previously seen moose, elk, black bear, prong horn, mule deer, and a variety of different birds. Dusk is definitely a great time to go for a drive, because animal activity has a tendency to pick up.

Other than animals, the views are breathtaking. I could photograph the different points in Rocky Mountain National Park at all different hours of the day on a regular basis and I would never become bored. The views are ever changing due to the sunlight, clouds, time of day, and time of year. Definitely bring your camera because you will see some very impressive mountain scenery.

I highly recommend that you both drive through the different scenic roads in the park, as well as get out and explore. There are plenty of things to see and do. If you are not sure where to begin, the visitor’s center is always a great choice. The visitor centers can give you information about the different hikes and often tell you where certain animals may have been spotted.

For more information on Rocky Mountain National Park, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm

 

Hiking To Judd Falls

If you happen to be visiting Crested Butte during the summer, you definitely want to spend time outdoors. There are so many outdoor activities to keep you busy. You could bike, hike, or go off-roading. There are quite a few different types of trails to choose from. If you like waterfalls as much as me, you will want to check out Judd Falls.

Judd Falls can be a longer hike, or a shorter one, dependent on where you start from. When we did this hike we drove our jeep up to the parking lot closest to the falls. It was very muddy out and we were being threatened with the possibility of more rain, so we kept our hike short. You will be hiking over some rough terrain, but it is a pretty hike. If you start from the upper parking lot, the trek is a mile. The lower parking lot is an additional mile.

Once you get to the falls you must pay attention to the signs. Do not climb down to get closer, it is not safe. This is not the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen, but it is a neat view and you will be able to check out the memorial that is located at the viewing site as well. This is a very popular trail, but since it was about to rain, we saw less people than may have been normal. I felt that this hike was worth it even though you were a little way out from the actual waterfall once you reached the end of the trail.

For further information on hiking Jud Falls: https://travelcrestedbutte.com/crested-butte-hikes-judd-falls/

Visiting Mt. Charleston

A visit to Las Vegas, Nevada does not have to be all about the casinos and the crazy night life. You can also plan other daytime activities such as hiking and exploring the mountains around Las Vegas. Mt. Charleston is a wonderful place to day-trip to, or even stay for a while. The views on this mountain are very different from Red Rock Canyon and are very much worth checking out.

My husband, Neal, and I, have visited this particular area many times. We love to hike and wander the trails of the mountain as well as stay at the Resort on Mount Charleston. This resort is quite rustic and pretty comfortable, though a little bit dated. Dependent on the time of year it may also be very quiet. I love how this resort has such wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. The altitude here is much higher than Las Vegas, so the air is quite a bit cooler and can make for a nice getaway in the heat of the summer.

If you like waterfalls, there is a waterfall hike at Mt. Charleston called Mary Jane Falls. Certain times of year are much better for the waterfall; you would want to go earlier in the year, maybe April, rather than midway through summer. Even if you aren’t there during peak waterfall time, the hikes are beautiful and relaxing. On one such hike I got separated from my group and happened across a photo opportunity that I still love looking at, to this day. The picture is of a single tree, illuminated by the sun, on a cliff looking out at storm clouds over the desert. The photograph was a great take away from that particular trip. You will see many great photo opportunities while hiking Mt. Charleston.

The Resort on Mount Charleston is a great place to relax after hiking. They have a great restaurant on location, as well as a bar that serves food. You can have your wedding ceremony and reception at the resort if you so choose. I also considered Mt. Charleston as a wedding location; it would have provided beautiful scenery for saying our vows. If you want a little romance, a pet friendly room, a ski package, or a hiking package, check out their special offers. Every now and then I will see a Groupon deal for the Resort on Mount Charleston; this is a great way to try the place out and see how you like it before committing to a longer stay.

If the Resort on Mount Charleston isn’t for you, there is also a lodge on the same street. I have not stayed at the lodge, but perhaps one day soon I will check it out. I have provided their website below.

For more information on the Mt. Charleston area, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Charleston

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/nevada/mary-jane-falls-trail

http://www.mtcharlestonresort.com/mount-charleston-nevada/mt-charleston-lodge-packages/mount-charleston-hotel-vacation-packages.php

http://mtcharlestonlodge.com/

 

Ouray Is The Place To Be

Yesterday I took the time to write about my experience with Box Canyon Falls. Box Canyon isn’t the only great thing about visiting Ouray, Colorado. Ouray is a beautiful, small town, surrounded by mountains. The city has a certain charm that just invites you to stay. It is notably called “Switzerland of America,” because of how it resembles Switzerland. There are many things to do during your visit to make it worth your time, even if you are more of a city person.

The downtown area has lots of quaint little shops to wander through. You can find most of the tourist items one would search for while on vacation such as: chocolates, magnets, apparel, a nice bottle of wine, etc. There are a decent number of restaurants to choose from as well. My husband and I have eaten at a few of them and so far everything has been great.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are several waterfalls to visit in, and near Ouray. Box Canyon Falls is my favorite. I do, however, believe that the other falls are also well worth your time. You can easily visit Cascade Falls Park; the trail is short, but steep. Another waterfall that is right in the open is Bear Creek Falls. This is right off Hwy 550 and it’s pretty impressive. No need to hike to this waterfall; it comes right out of the rocks on the side of the road.

If you are looking to stay in Ouray for a few nights, there is plenty of lodging, but you must book in advance. You can find some great hotels or old mansions turned bed and breakfast. My husband and I have stayed at Black Bear Manor both times we have visited. The experience was so exceptional that we considered getting married there after our first visit.

Other things to do in Ouray include visiting the hot springs, hiking, and off-roading. There are tons of off-roading trails in and near town. We took time to explore several of these trails on our last trip. We lost our 4-wheel drive in the process, but we will definitely go back again for more.

Just up the road you will find several old mining camps. There is one particular ghost town that is fun to explore. There are lots of old buildings. You can come away with some great pictures.

Ouray is a place that I would recommend anyone to visit at least once. This romantic town will surely win you over. With so many great activities, how could you go wrong?

For more information on Ouray, Colorado, please visit the following websites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd4tmAxx2Y4

http://www.ouraycolorado.com/

 

In Love With Box Canyon Falls

If you find that you love waterfalls as much as I do, and you are taking a trip to Colorado, I highly recommend a visit to Ouray. Ouray is home to several different waterfalls. While each of these waterfalls has its own unique characteristics, the most impressive by far, is Box Canyon. On a side note, if you choose to visit all of the waterfalls in the area, they are all quite easy to get at and require minimal, or no hiking.

Box Canyon is impressive because the waterfall is completely surrounded by rock walls. You can view this marvel from above, or on a more up close and personal level, from below. The experience is a bit noisy, but completely exhilarating.

To get to the top, you will have to climb stairs, and some bumpy terrain. Once up there you will stand on a bridge overlooking the falls and the creek. You can proceed on, after your viewing, to hike the surrounding area, or go back the way you came and head down the stairs to the lower part of the falls. I recommend both views, but the more impressive is definitely the lower.

Box Canyon is a great place to view wildlife. You may possibly see the most chipmunks you have ever witnessed in one area. These little creatures are quite daring and will run all over the place, right in front of you. While I visited the canyon, I was lucky enough to see a Black Swift in a nest on one of the rock walls.

This wonder of nature is a place that I have visited more than once, and I will continue to come back. I love the sound of the thousands of gallons of water just rushing into the creek below. It’s one of my all-time favorite waterfalls.

For more information on Box Canyon Falls, please visit the following sites: http://www.ouraycolorado.com/directory/outdoor-activities/parks/54-box-canyon-waterfall-park

https://www.boxcanyonouray.com/activities/summer-activities/box-canon-falls/

 

Finding Continental Falls

Last summer while visiting Keystone Colorado with family, we took a very impressive hike up to Continental Falls. Continental Falls is one of the first waterfall hikes I ever went on. I was wildly out of shape and had never been on such a hike before. Even in my poor hiking condition, I still made it to the falls with a bit of coaxing from my now husband, Neal.

This last time that we visited the falls, I took off ahead of the rest of the group, with my step-daughter and husband’s cousin. The rest of our group was being shuttled up the rough, rocky road, by our Jeep. We assumed that the group would catch up with us, but we did not anticipate a turn of events.

When I say turn of events, I literally mean a turn, the wrong turn. As we were hiking up the trail we stopped to check out the old cabin that has stood there for many years. It’s definitely a great point to stop and rest, and sign the guest book. When we left the cabin, we turned to the left and continued on. We should have turned to the right. We had no idea that we were going the wrong way.

As we continued to hike we saw parts of the waterfall, but not as I previously had recalled. We decided to trudge on. It was early July and while it was nice and hot outside, there were still some huge snowdrifts left on the mountainside. The girls decided to stop and check out a snowdrift that appeared to be covering the entrance to a mine.

After a bunch of digging they gave up finding the entrance to the mine, and we continued on our way. We saw several old buildings that were part of the previous mining camp. The views were amazing. We saw a bunch of different wildflowers and we continued to see various small parts of the waterfall, but nothing as big as what I previously recalled.

After what seemed like quite a bit of time we made it to a beautiful lake. The lake was supposed to be after the falls, so at this point I was feeling a bit disappointed. Had I remembered the wrong waterfall? We sat and waited for a bit but the rest of our group did not show up. We decided to continue on because we still hadn’t seen an impressive waterfall.

After climbing and making our own trail at times through the snow, and then climbing upward some more, we finally hit a point of stopping. The view was amazing and none of us really felt like climbing any further. We had no cell service, so we could not locate the rest of our group. We decided to rest and take a few pictures.

Once we were feeling re-energized, we began our decent. The trip down the mountainside was fast. We moved at a very steady clip and it took about half of the time it had taken to get up to the top. Once we reached the ground we still had not seen the rest of our hiking party. Realizing no one was there we began walking down the long rocky road that we had been shuttled up by Jeep.

Halfway down the road, my husband appeared. He was a little frazzled, not knowing what had happened to us. Apparently there had been some miss-communications in regard to where we were going to meet. It turned out that the girls and I had hiked far beyond what was intended and as I was explaining to him what we saw, we both realized at about the same moment that we had taken two very different hikes.

He laughed at me, because I had been on this hike before, and I missed out on the best part of it. The view of Continental Falls is one of the best sights near Breckenridge, and it is impressive. I felt so silly realizing that we had taken one small wrong turn. I can laugh at it now, but at the time, I was definitely bummed out.

Despite the error in our direction, we had a great time. I would highly recommend this hike for the views as well as the impressiveness of the falls. The lake views are also very much worth the trek.

For more information on Continental Falls, please visit: http://www.protrails.com/trail/368/summit-county-eagle-county-clear-creek-county-mohawk-lake-and-lower-mohawk-lake

 

Hiking The Cascades in Pembroke, Virginia

I really don’t know how many people realize this about me, but I have a very strong love for water. If I am away from water for too long I start to get a little antsy. My love for water covers everything from rain to waterfalls and puddles to the ocean. I grew up in a home that had a large above ground pool in the backyard. It’s not until you are away from a constant such as having a pool that you realize how lucky you were or how much you miss it.

Perhaps it is my heart missing that daily swim in the summer that makes me want to seek out every single whirlpool, waterfall, or body of water that I can, while on vacation. When we travel to new places, hikes with waterfalls are number one on my list. I will take a waterfall hike over any other hike, pretty much any day of the week.

One of my favorite waterfall hikes is that of the Cascade Falls in Pembroke, Virginia. This particular hike is 4 miles round trip and completely worth it. You will have to pay a minor parking fee upon your arrival, but once you enter the trail, you will be happy that you did.

This particular hike is definitely going to take you up and down the hillside. You will climb stairs, walk across bridges, and trudge across some rocky terrain. While parts will be a little rough, you will see lots of wonderful sights along the way. The entire trail follows alongside a creek. There is no shortage of beauty during this hike.

The most difficult part of this hike is probably the stairs. If you are not used to stair climbing, it will definitely give you a workout; likewise if you are not used to walking four miles on uneven ground. I was tired by the time we arrived back at our car, but it was a great way to spend some free-time. We took lots of pictures of flowering trees and of the creek.

Once you reach your destination, you will not be disappointed by the 66 foot high waterfall. You will also see some shallow waters over to the right of the trail where people have stacked rocks, or may even be lounging after their hike. You can feel the water spraying off as the falls come crashing down. The feeling is peaceful and freeing. I would definitely be willing to take this hike again sometime.

If you would like more information about the Cascade Falls, please visit: https://www.virginia.org/listings/…/CascadesNationalRecreationTrail/