Elk Falls in Staunton State Park is really an adventure that has it all. Probably the biggest waterfall close to Denver, gorgeous views, abundant wildlife, historic cabin ruins, even a lake, this place is fantastic!
This adventure lies within one of Colorado’s newest state parks, Staunton State Park founded in 2013. You’ll need a parks pass for this one. Parking is plenty, but on weekends can fill up quickly so be sure to get there early.
It is quite a trek to get to the waterfall, but there are many rewarding views along the way. Start on the Staunton Ranch Trail and head until you get to the Bugling Elk trail. Take this and you will end up at Elk Falls Pond, a beautiful place to rest for a bit. From here you will want to take Lion’s Back Trail, which will take you to a beautiful overlook of Elk Falls. The waterfall is a ways away from the lookout, but don’t worry, you can get closer!
After coming down from the overlook, take the Chimney Rock Trail. This will eventually loop back to Elk Falls Pond, but before you get there take Elk Falls trail which will take you straight down to get up close and personal with the falls. This is a great place to relax, listen to the water and get lost in nature.
We recommend getting a map since this is a long hike, with a few trail changes. You can get one at the park entrance, or download the park HERE.
Staunton is a great place to bring your dog, ride your mountain bike, and there are even some fantastic rock climbing areas in the park.
Be prepared for this one to take a while as it is a longer adventure and there is a lot to see along the way. This is a great get-away for a day, and the waterfall is pretty spectacular, especially for being such a short drive from the city.
With abundant wildlife, cabin ruins, sweeping vistas, and a large waterfall, bring your camera to Staunton!
Relax next to the waterfall or the pond on the way up. This is a fantastic place to get away from it all!
Have a picnic to reward yourself after a long hike!
There are lots of old cabins with great history on this trail!
Just past Conifer off of 285, Staunton is easily accessible from Denver. Remember your State Park Pass or purchase one at the entrance.