“The most popular trail in the Wilderness, and for good reason...”
— Tom Robson
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Cascade Trail is the most popular trail in the Indian Peaks Wilderness (IPW), especially on weekends and holidays.
The trail is fairly flat the first 1.5 miles before reaching the Arapaho Pass Trail
-Cascade Trail junction. Many campsites are available along its entire length and fishing is good in all the creeks as well as Pawnee Lake.
Shelter Rock with its huge overhanging ledges, is an illegal place to camp as it is within 100 feet of the trail. Just up the trail from Shelter Rock is the Buchanan Pass-Cascade Trail junction with the Buchanan Pass taking off to the left. 4.5 miles along the trail is Cascade Falls. Horses are not allowed past Cascade Falls.
The last 2.5 miles of the trail is the hardest. There are approximately 27 switchbacks along this last portion and can be especially hard with a heavy pack, but the view on top is one of the best in the IPW.