South Willow Falls

Silverthorne, Colorado

based on 10 reviews



6.17 miles

Route Type



Added by Jennifer Broome

South Willow Falls is a hidden gem in Silverthorne, CO. This is a fairly easy, kid-friendly, hike with plenty to see along the trail.

Start at the Willowbrook Trailhead. You’ll hit a “Y” in the trail pretty quickly - go left and you’ll soon be at the first log bridge. There are quite a few water crossings on the trail, but they are easy to maneuver.

After hiking in the Willow Creek Open Space for a bit, you’ll enter Eagle’s Nest Wilderness and cross two more bridges as you head deeper into the forest. After a couple of gentle inclines, the trail flats out as you head into a meadow. It's wildflower wonderland in the meadow, with an incredible view of Buffalo Mountain.

After the meadow there is a gradual incline that passes a boulder field, a giant rock, and a small pond surrounded by ferns, that looks just like a fairy pond.

It’s only about 15 minutes from the pond to the falls. You can hike up the side of the falls for a close up view, or enjoy some time relaxing on the rocks below the falls. South Willow Falls is a tiered cascade tucked away in a thick pine forest. The upper falls plunge into a shallow pool and the lower part of the falls drops through a granite chute. It’s a great spot for lunch with a view.

Getting there: The Willowbook Trailhead is in the Wildernest subdivision of Silverthorne. The subdivision is north of I-70 and west of Highway 9.

If you want additional mileage, you can start from the Mesa Cortina Trailhead (~8.7 miles roundtrip).

Please Note: Parking at the Willowbrook Trailhead is limited, but there is overflow parking at the bottom of the subdivision (1.1 miles from the trailhead). No on-street parking is allowed near the trailhead or anywhere in this neighborhood. The streets have signs stating this and violators will be ticketed. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

South Willow Falls Reviews

Not too many people on a weekday. I recommend familiarizing yourself with the route or take a photo of the map as there are lots of intersections and it can be confusing, especially on the return trip.

Some rocky bits which may be challenging for novices esp last 7/8 mile to the Falls. Signposts have been helpfully amended.

I took this hike in July of 2021. It is a long hike. The last couple miles are uphill. Took my 8 year old daughter and dog. The waterfall is definitely worth the hike!

We hiked in Oct 2020 during a dry season. Beautiful path through thick forest. Water areas were relaxing and Aspin trees in glorious fall color.

I love this hike. The ending made every step worth it and it was quite pretty long the way. Pack some snacks and take an some time to enjoy the end view.

Absolutely loved this hike! One of my top favs. However, I went in late May which was warm enough and seemed fine until I got closer to Buffalo Mountain where snow covered most of the trail. I wasn’t expecting this, so my shoes weren’t the best for the slippery ice. It’s a pretty steep drop at times next to the trail and when that’s covered with three feet of weeks old icy snow, it can be a little scary. Bring a walking stick and some good shoes and you’ll absolutely be in heaven!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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