10 Must See Frozen Waterfalls in Colorado


Winter activities are huge in the state of Colorado. With breathtaking beauty and towering mountains — it’s easy to see why. From these mountains — the state of Colorado is graced with the presence of picturesque frozen waterfalls. These frozen waterfalls are a monument to the beauty that Colorado holds year round — and you can reach some of them in a day from Denver.


1. Hanging Lake

Top coloradan adventures, Colorado bucket list, hanging lake, best hikes to do in Colorado,

Hanging Lake in the winter. Photo by Alex Faubel.

Round Trip Distance: 3 Miles

Trailhead: Hanging Lake Trailhead

Difficulty: Moderate

The Lowdown: Hanging Lake is renowned as one of Colorado’s most famous nature destinations. Located just a few miles outside of Glenwood Springs this gem is tucked just off I-70. Due to the fame that this destination has received snagging a parking spot for this hike has become an issue and if you plan to hike it you better be prepared to get there early. Open year round this trail will have some ice on it so be prepared to take it slower than you might in summer.

2. Helen Hunt Falls

Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

Round Trip Distance: N/A

Trailhead: North Cheyenne Cañon Park

Difficulty: Easy

The Lowdown: Located in Colorado Springs — Helen Hunt Falls is an easy access waterfall that anyone can enjoy. Just a 2.5 mile drive up North Cheyenne Cañon from the park entrance lands you at this beautiful waterfall. From the parking area at the base of the falls — you can explore the visitor center or enjoy any of the multiple hikes in the area starting from these falls.

3. Seven Falls

Photo courtesy of Seven Falls on Facebook.

Round Trip Distance: N/A

Trailhead: South Cheyenne Cañon

Difficulty: Easy

The LowdownSeven Falls — owned by the Broadmoor — has been a favorite waterfall of Colorado Springs residents. Take a trip to these falls and climb the stairs located on the waterfall’s edge. These stairs give you a closer look at the waterfall and access to hiking trails in the area. Access to Seven Falls must be done through the Broadmoor — tickets can be purchased here.

4. Horsetooth Falls

Photo by Josh Kellogg via Flickr Creative Commons

Round Trip Distance: 2.5 Miles

Trailhead: Horsetooth Falls Trailhead

Difficulty: Easy

The LowdownHeading north — Horsetooth Falls in Fort Collins has been a destination for college students and travelers for years. The falls are located on an almost three-mile long loop trail — you’ll have to put in an effort to see them. These tall slender falls are just a two-hour drive from Denver — allowing you to make it there and back in a day.

5. Alberta Falls

Glacier Gorge photo via National Park Service

Round Trip Distance: 2 Miles

Trailhead: Glacier Gorge Trailhead

Difficulty: Easy

The LowdownThis short, easy hike in Rocky Mountain National Park leads you to Alberta Falls. This beautiful 30-foot high falls flow down a small gorge on Glacier Creek. Just a short drive from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park leads you to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. After that, it is just over eight-tenths of a mile to the falls.

6. Timberline Falls

Timberline Falls via Getty images.

Round Trip Distance: 8 Miles

Trailhead: Glacier Gorge Trailhead

Difficulty: Difficult

The LowdownContinuing seven miles past Alberta Falls — Timberline Falls is one of the harder falls to reach in Rocky Mountain National Park. With an elevation gain of over 1,500 feet — this hike is not easy and should be taken seriously. This trail will take you past lakes and other waterfalls in the park — but eventually, you are rewarded with the view of Timberline Falls frozen in time in the winter cold.

7. Rifle Falls

Photo courtesy of Rifle Falls State Park Complex on Facebook

Round Trip Distance: .2 Miles

Trailhead: N/A

Difficulty: Easy

The Lowdown: Rifle Falls is truly an epic sight to behold. Home to Colorado’s only 80-foot triple waterfall, the frozen wonder is just an easy walk on a paved path from the parking lot. It’s a popular destination though so arrive early in order to snag a snapshot.

8. Bridal Veil Falls (Telluride)

Bridal Veil Falls (Telluride) via Getty Images.

Round Trip Distance: 4 Miles

Trailhead: Pandora Mill

Difficulty: Moderate

The LowdownJust a three-mile drive from Telluride puts you in striking distance of these magnificent falls. Falling over 360 feet — Bridal Veil Falls is the tallest free-falling falls in Colorado. This moderately difficult trail sends you hiking up to the falls and the surrounding forest. Sitting atop the falls is a historic power plant that was built in 1907.

9. Adams Falls

Adams Falls via Getty Images

Round Trip Distance: 1 Mile

Trailhead: East Inlet Trailhead

Difficulty: Easy

The LowdownJust outside of Grand Lake — Adams Falls is a short hike up into the forest. These falls flow down and into Grand Lake eventually connecting to Lake Granby. Falling just over 50-feet these icy falls bounce down a series of steps in a narrow gorge.

10. Vail Amphitheater

Vail Amphitheater via Getty Images

Round Trip Distance: Less than a mile

Trailhead: South Frontage Road

Difficulty: Easy

The Lowdown: Although a little hard to find, the Vail amphitheater is more than a pretty view. Known as one of the best (and hardest) ice climbing spots in the world, your trek off the East Vail exit is sure to provide a spectacular show as daring climbers shimmy up these massive icicles.

As beautiful as these frozen waterfalls are — you should be cautious when you view them. Trails can become icy and hiking in winter has added risks. Take the time to prepare yourself if you’re planning on taking on any of the longer hikes and take the gear you need.