RMNP’s Cascade Falls hike is a relatively easy hike that will take you to the West side of Rocky Mountain National Park. This part of RMNP is a little less traveled and the sights are just as amazing. Cascade Falls is one of the best waterfall hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park.
In the summer, from Estes Park, take highway 34 West over Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake. This road closes with weather. If Trail Ridge road is closed, from Denver, take I-70 West, exit onto US 40 and head north through Granby and turn right on highway 34 toward Grand Lake. Once in Grand Lake, head east on Street 5 (highway 278) for 2.3km. Turn left (north) on the dirt road to North Inlet Trailhead. Follow it to up the steep, bumpy road to the parking lot.
|When to do|
Summerland Park campground
In parking lot
Out and back
The hike to Cascade Falls starts at the North Inlet trailhead and heads east. For the first 1.6km, you’ll be parallel to the border of the park on the north side of the trail and private property on the south. You’ll be following a seldom-used dirt road for a private cabin you’ll pass at 2.4km. This is where the trail starts to climb, but it’s not that hard at all, and you’ll be following the river.
4.8km into the hike, the trail gets steeper, but then you can start to hear Cascade Falls ahead.
At 5.6km, you’ll see a small sign pointing to the right for Cascade Falls. Follow the trail down to the base of Cascade Falls, crossing a river to get there. When you come back to the main trail, you can hike up further to the top of Cascade Falls. This is a great place to take pictures and sit on a rock as the falls cascade around you.
To return to the trailhead, just go back the way you came, there are no intersections to worry about making any turns!
A 1.6km up the road is the East Inlet trailhead and a well worth the short hike to Adams Falls and a view of Grand Lake.
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