Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls
The Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls travels past not one, but three cascading falls before delivering you to Ouzel Falls. Four waterfalls in one hike? You couldn’t ask for much more from a Colorado Front Range hike. This stunning woodland adventure is a wonderful adventure that even novice hikers can enjoy.
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Route Description for Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls
Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls Hike is a stimulating adventure through a forested gulch in the Colorado Front Range. Though it is not as heavily trafficked as other Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) hikes, parking at the trailhead is a challenge. The Wild Basin Trail continues past the Ouzel Falls, and it is a very popular backpacking hike, so the parking lot fills up fast. To ensure you secure a spot, we recommend arriving early, plus morning hikes are better anyways, in our opinion! It is worth noting that bears are often spotted along this woodland path; consider bringing a bear bell to deter unwanted encounters and always give the wildlife plenty of space. Additionally, the spray from the waterfalls along the trail makes the rocky route extremely slippery, notably in the fall and winter. Wear microspikes and mind your footing as you navigate these sections. Lastly, the RMNP requires visitors to purchase a permit; these can be bought on-site or online.
Immerse yourself in nature and leave the stressors of the real world in the rear-view mirror as you trek along Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls. This incredibly scenic hike is ideal for hikers of all skill levels and children alike, and the secluded nature of this trail is peaceful and calming. Enjoy the meditative sounds of the several cascading falls you will pass as you ascend the forested trail. Encompassed by verdant pine trees, vibrant wildflowers and a babbling stream, this woodland walk will lull you into a state of relaxation. On your next journey to the Rocky Mountain National Park, make sure you add the Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls Hike to your itinerary.
Embark on your adventure along the Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls from the Wild Basin Trailhead. From here, take the Wild Basin Trail beneath the tree shade. Shortly after you depart from the trailhead, the path will guide you over Sandbeach Creek and over to the Copeland Falls. Enjoy the sight of the Lower Copeland Waterfall before hiking a few more steps to the Upper Copeland Falls. Appreciate the ambiance of the rushing waters and the mesmerizing sight before continuing your venture.
The trail will then lead you southwest along the curves of the North St. Vrain Creek. This section of the journey will guide you between dense tree coverage and exposed terrain. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you ascend the forested route! Hike along the creek’s edge, and you will eventually pass the dispersed campsites and confront an intersection. At this point, you will want to keep left on the Wild Basin Trail. Veer left, and you will be diverted over the North St. Vrain Creek. Cross the small footbridge, and the trail will begin to curve south. As you travel south, the sounds of the Calypso Cascades will grow louder.
Keep right at the next intersection, and from the trail’s bridge, enjoy sights of Calypso Cascades. Take a moment here, rest and rehydrate before commencing the final ascent to Ouzel Falls. From this point forward, the terrain will become increasingly rocky and steep. Mind your footing as you navigate the switchbacks up to the falls. Hike up the route until you meet the Ouzel Falls viewpoint.
Revel in the grandeur of the cascading falls and the towering granite cliffs. This picturesque waterfall presents the perfect photo opportunity, so hopefully, your camera is charged! From the viewpoint, you can cross the footbridge and explore the rocky terrain that frames the cascades. Be cautious as you trek around the perimeter of the falls, as the terrain will likely be slippery. Enjoy the hypnotic sight of the rushing waters and relax on one of the many boulders that line the basin.
If you still have some gas left in the tank, consider hiking up to Ouzel Lake, or if you have the gear, consider camping at one of several dispersed campsites along the route and continue up to the lake the following day. When you are ready to end your adventure, retrace your steps along the path back to the trailhead.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Tall are Ouzel Falls?
Ouzel Falls are approximately 12 m tall.
How long is the Wild Basin Trail?
The Entire Wild Basin Trail travels 25.0 km through the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Do you have to pay to hike to Ouzel Falls?
Yes, a Rocky Mountain National Park pass is required to hike the Ouzel Falls Trail.
Insider Hints for Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls
- There are food storage lockers at the dispersed campsites along the trail, overnighters are required to use these
- Bring a bear bell to deter any unwanted encounters with the wildlife
- If you are hiking this trail in the autumn or winter, microspikes are HIGHLY recommended as they spray from the waterfalls make the rocky routes extremely slippery
- Grab a coffee at the Meadow Mountain Café after your adventure
Getting to the Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls Trailhead
The Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls departs from the trailhead off County Highway 115.
Wild Basin Trail to Ouzel Falls Elevation Graph
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