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blue Ouzel Falls & Back

  4.5 ( 88 ) Favorite


5.3 mile 8.5 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 921' 281 m
Descent: -921' -281 m
High: 9,357' 2,852 m
Low: 8,511' 2,594 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)


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Trail shared by Caleb Joyce

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

Caleb Joyce

Features River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildlife

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.

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.

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Jul 18, 2019
Taylor D
6mi — 3h 25m
Jul 13, 2019
Mike Amolsch
With sis, 2 friends- tons of water and a rainbow!, 11.5 miles RT, 5.5 hours! Left at 4 am- great hike 11.5mi
Jul 13, 2019
Joe Martinez
Beautiful water hike several waterfalls Ending w s lake. Started at 5:5 am 11mi
Jul 7, 2019
John F
Best in the morning. Spectacular hike.
Jul 5, 2019
Jennifer H
The waterfall was beautiful. Trail was crowded, but a fairly easy hike. 5.3mi — 2h 05m
Jul 2, 2019
Cheryl Laniewicz
Jun 29, 2019
Steven W
Jun 29, 2019
Chris Gummer

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 88 votes


in Wild Basin


  4.5 from 88 votes
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