We're hiring an experienced UX Designer to join us in Boulder, CO.
Hiking Project Logo

Ouzel Falls & Back

 42 votes

5.4 Miles 8.7 Kilometers



993' 303 m


-992' -302 m


9,376' 2,858 m


8,505' 2,592 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (15°)

Minor Issues

60 days agoUpdate

Three waterfalls, one mountain creek, and 5.5 miles of alpine bliss.

Caleb Joyce


Seasonal. Closed during winter months. For road status: nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/…
If you like the sound of water running out of the hills, this trail is for you. If not, head to the desert. This moderate trail on the lesser traveled southeast side of Rocky Mountain National Park is a pure gem. The trail is well maintained and perfect for your half day outing. The Wild Basin Trail offers many great rest spots overlooking the creek and falls as you work your way out and back to Ouzel Falls.
Features: River/Creek — Waterfall — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

This trail is amazing during the early summer months when the creek is rushing with snow melt. Get there early or later in the afternoon since parking is limited at the trailhead. Optional parking can be found further down the road, adding a dusty road stretch to your approach and descent.

At lower altitudes you might want some bug spray. A few mosquitos may be present.


A wide, defined, and well-manicured trail make this an excellent outing. This route follows a single trail, the Wild Basin Trail, with a small detour to see the Copeland Falls around the 0.5 mile mark. I'd recommend dipping off to see Copeland Falls on your way back down. This way you can conserve your energy and build anticipation to get to the larger falls upstream, saving your energy to meander through the slightly smaller Copeland Falls Trail on your way back down. Other than the Copeland Falls turn off, you can't get lost. Follow all signs to Ouzel Falls.

Cruise up the trail about 1.4 miles and stay left at the North St. Vrain Fire Trailhead. If you want to, hike in and camp at one of multiple backcountry sites. The trail to the right is all yours.

Continuing on, a short way up the trail you'll find the jaw dropping Calypso Cascades. I'd make this your first stop to chow down some trail mix and soak in the babbling water as it rushes down the mountain side.

A mile after the Calypso Cascades, you'll find the Ouzel Falls - a gem of a waterfall. Check out the falls from the bridge. When you want to move closer, there is a lesser trail to the left of the bridge that takes you to the mouth of the falls. Work your way on up for a closer view, you'll be rewarded with a misty shower. High five your buddy for making it halfway!

When you've soaked in enough of Ouzel Falls, reverse your journey, sliding off to the right to see the Copeland Falls on your way back.

History & Background

Rocky Mountain National Park is the 9th National Park, earning it's title January 1915.


Rate Featured Hike

   Clear Rating

4.5 from 42 votes

Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins


Nov 26, 2017
Jessica Lopez
The best
Oct 24, 2017
Charlie Burks
Oct 20, 2017
Andrew P
Awesome hike to the falls, pretty gradual, lots of scenery, road to the trailhead very bumpy and tough on the car, did it with Baxter
Oct 17, 2017
Tracey Ziniel
Oct 14, 2017
Gillian Scarborough
Oct 7, 2017
Laila Saleh
Sep 26, 2017
Greg Wolff
Sep 22, 2017
Joe Baumann

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 42 votes


in Wild Basin


  4.5 from 42 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Wild Basin


in Colorado


85 Views Last Month
2,796 Since Jun 12, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



Minor Issues 60 days ago
Snowy, Icy, Fallen Trees: Hike now begins at winter trailhead adding 1+ miles
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking