I had explored several old mining and off-road trails around Ouray (pronounced u-ray) Colorado and was looking to explore on foot. It was late afternoon so I wasn’t up for anything too long; just something scenic to finish the day that didn’t involve driving.
I saw a sign on the North side of town that said Cascade Falls with an arrow pointing up the hill. I turned up the road aptly named “Cascade Falls” and headed up less than a mile to the parking area.
A large sign greets visitors with a brief history of the falls and a trail description. The falls are named after Cascade Creek which is the primary drainage for Cascade Mountain. The course of Cascade Creek takes it over a series of 7 waterfalls and Cascade Falls is the final series. If this is the 7th series, I’d sure like to see the first 6! Maybe that’ll be tomorrow’s adventure…
Shortly after starting up the trail, I found a couple of benches and a wooden bridge. At this point the trail forks; the left fork heads for the falls and the right fork heads to the Amphitheater campground.
I almost just walked left toward the falls but decided to wander over to the benches. Wow!! I could see the entire waterfall cascading from the top of the mountain all the way to the rocky bottom. If I hadn’t stopped, I would’ve missed a great view. These benches are a great place to observe the grandeur of the falls without taking the full walk to the base.
Like most people, I had to get closer to the falls and walked over the bridge and followed the short trail the falls. The trail forks again and I took the right fork which follows the stream, but appears to be a little more jagged than the left trail. Either one will get you there.
At the base of the falls, you can feel the mist of the water, look up and see the several layers of the falls. The side of the mountain has rock shelves that are horizontal and appear to lead right to behind the falls. I found the rocks too slick for my comfort level. Besides, I wanted to enjoy the falls, not become part of them!
While at the base, look a little up and to the right and you’ll see a square, cave like opening. A couple of people were enjoying a unique perspective from inside there.
I enjoyed getting out on foot and experiencing the beautiful falls without the need to drive far or even carry a back pack. When you’re in Ouray and looking for scenic stroll in town, be sure to stop by Cascade Falls.