Hike to Maxwell Falls

Colorado Maxwell Falls Lower Trailhead

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4 mile out and back with 644 feet of elevation change. Awesome waterfall hike less than an hour from Denver. Easy to moderate family-friendly hike.

Located just outside of Evergreen, this is beginner hike is a great escape from the city for a few hours. There are three different options to hike to the falls: Maxwell Falls Lower Trail (4 miles), Upper Falls Trail (0.5 miles), and Cliff Trail Loop (3 miles). On this hike I started from the Maxwell Falls Lower Trailhead. I arrived at 8:00am and the parking lot was half full, so I would recommend getting an early start.

There are two creek crossings on this trail. At the first crossing, the trail is not clearly marked. You will come across a large downed tree over the creek; this is where you cross the creek. Turn right and make your way up the switch backs. The rest of the trail is pretty well marked. Maxwell Falls are best in Spring and early Summer.

This is an easy to moderate hike that is great for the whole family. Don't forget to bring your pup! I saw lots of happy dogs on this trail.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Water
  • Map
  • Snacks
  • Jacket (just incase)
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Lee Big Stopper Filter (for long exposure of waterfalls)
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Activities:

Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

644 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Great Spring Hike

Did this hike last year (2016) mid-May, and again this year in early April. The main trail leads to the top of a canyon overlooking the waterfall. In mid-May the trail was dry and there was still a good amount of water at the falls. In early April parts of the trail were snow-packed, and parts of it were muddy. There were a few slippery spots, but regular running shoes still worked just fine. The waterfall was completely covered in snow, despite the sunny 65º weather. Overall a nice short day hike.

about 1 month ago

6 months ago

Beautiful

I did this hike with a few friends over the summer and it was amazing. We hit the trail at about 6:30 and were out before lunch. We missed a lot of the crowds which made it nice, if you don't like a crowded trail I recommend getting their early...the falls were fun to climb around and if you head up the trail a bit further there's a neat log bridge just where an old tree has fallen and it's fun to climb on and walk acrossed. There's lots of great places to take pictures as well. Overall it was a great experience and I'll be going back during the winter

6 months ago

10 months ago

Great Short Scenic Hike

We had a few hours to kill and decided on a shorter hike around the outmost edge of Maxwell Falls trail. I 100% recommend taking the path less traveled by going as far around the outside as you can due to the highly populated trails through the middle. I guestimate we went about 5.5-6 miles and I could have done more as this was very easy terrain. Our dogs loved it and my legs loved it more. Only took us 2 hours to do that with some exploring so don't plan on a full day.

10 months ago

about 1 year ago

awesome

did this hike on 04/23/2016.. it was wonderful than what i expected .. there is lot of snow through out the trail and the Maxwell stream is very scenic .. its an easy hike but i will definitely comeback for this hike when there is snow

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Winter Hike

We did this hike on April 23, 2016 (a week after a huge snowstorm) and it was wonderful! We definitely needed our Yaktrax but even that only helped so much - slushy spring snow, anyone? It was a gentle, easy hike with only 2 sections of "tougher" uphill, but even those weren't bad. I will say, though, that we crossed the creek 6(!) times instead of just 2. Only once was there a bridge, the rest were just walking through a few inches of water. Overall, it was a great hike!

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Nice & close to Denver

This was fun, despite that I actually missed the REAL falls. There was a stopping point where it seemed the falls would have been if there was more water run off. Other people made the same mistake I did too, there was alot of people stopped and looking at the view, which was pretty! But the actual falls are another 1-1.5 miles up the trail. Don't stop when it seems like you've reached them, its a trick falls area. :)

about 1 year ago

almost 2 years ago

Trail is usually busy. The Upper Maxwell Falls parking is closer to the falls. You can keep right and follow signs down toward the falls to make a loop instead of an out and back.

almost 2 years ago

over 2 years ago

The Cliff Loop is a good place to see a long-range view of fall foliage. I did that last year in October. Doing the Cliff Loop doesn't add much extra mileage, either.

over 2 years ago

over 2 years ago

I just did this hike two weekends ago (10/12/14) and it was lovely! If parking is full at the Lower Trailhead lot, there's more parking at the Upper Trailhead lot and you can still do a loop to see the falls.

over 2 years ago

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