Hike to Cascade Falls, Rocky Mountain NP

6.8 miles 425 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Matt Johnson

A great day-hike on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Cascade Falls is an easy hike with minimal elevation gain right into the heart of the mountains.

Cascade Falls is accessed through the North Inlet Trail on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The trailhead, North Inlet Trailhead, is north of the main town area of Grand Lake. Parking at the trailhead is limited, so hikers can also park along the road leading to the trailhead. The beginning of the hike is on an unpaved road, leading to a privately owned cabin (1.0 miles in). Just ahead is the Summerland Park Group Site, located to the right of the trail. After walking away from the stream, the trail leads to the Summerland Park Backcountry site (1.7 miles) and the Twinberry Backcountry site (3.0 miles). About 0.25 miles past Twinberry, the trail splits. To the left is a stock trail for pack animals and horses, and to the right is the trail. Just ahead, hikers can see the sign for Cascade Falls to the right to access the lower viewing area for the falls. To see the falls from above (much better view) continue hiking on the trail and hikers can see a natural ledge for viewing. 

The North Inlet Trail is apart of the CDT, and leads CDT hikers into Grand Lake towards the Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge. Hikers usually are able to see multiple mule deer and moose along the trail, especially near the river towards the trailhead.

The trail can be busy during peak season, so its recommended to start your hike in the morning for more privacy. If you're stopping for lunch or dinner after your hike, check out Grand Pizza or Sagebrush BBQ and Grill. 

Read More

Tags

Hiking
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

PRO

🥇Top Contributor

2 months ago

awesome falls

its relatively flat until near the falls, then some incline. worth it as this cascade is amazing year round.

Beautiful Hike

My wife and I did this trail in Mid-June and it was beautiful. Not very strenuous, so it is perfect for kids or visitors not used to the elevation. The trail is very well maintained and can even be done in sneakers if need be (but I recommend hiking boots). We enjoyed seeing the river and we even spotted a couple moose! After about an hour of hiking, we reached the beautiful cascades where we stopped for a bit to cool off and enjoy a snack. I would highly recommend this hike if you are looking for something relatively easy that still feels like a true Rocky Mountain adventure!

🥉Contributor

over 3 years ago

Fun Trail!

As a novice hiker, this trail was super fun to do! I actually ended up hiking a mile more past the Falls just to enjoy the beautiful scenery. I highly recommend bringing a lunch with you, if you can, so that when you reach the Falls you can maneuver your way (safely, of course) through the rocks to find a nice place to sit and eat. It's a beautiful view, just be careful of chipmunks who might try to take your food, haha!

Stay Nearby

Grand Lake, Colorado

Charming Cabin In The Woods — Near Hiking & Lakes

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Nestled in the woods of a private community, this 3BR/3BA log cabin in Gran...

From $91/night

Grand Lake, Colorado

Secluded Mountain View Log Cabin, Near Snow Trails

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Tucked quietly away at the edge of the Rockies, this adorable two-story 2BR...

From $192/night

Grand Lake, Colorado

Riverfront Gem With Panoramic Mountain Views

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •This 3BR/2.5BA riverfront gem has so much to offer. Cozy up in two inviting...

From $88/night

Grand Lake, Colorado

Charming Log Cabin On Colorado River With Deck

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Originally built in 1925 in the Never Summer Wilderness area, this 2BR/2BA ...

From $91/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack the CDT Loop in Rocky Mountain NP

    This section of the CDT begins at the North Inlet trailhead, located on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The trailhead is north of the main town area of Grand Lake. Parking at the trailhead is limited, so hikers can also park alon...

    24.3 miles 4000 ft gain

  • Catch the Fall Colors on the West Side of Rocky Mountain NP

    A Fall adventure in Rocky Mountain National Park is among the most spectacular experiences Colorado has to offer. The change of the seasons offers an amazing change to the landscape that makes taking a bad picture darn near impossible. The light i...

  • Hike to Lone Pine Lake (Grand Lake, CO)

    Starting at the East Inlet Trailhead, with an elevation of 8,391 feet, the trail is on a nice dirt path and you're immediately greeted with the sight of Adams Falls on your right, just 0.3 miles in. After continuing on after Adams Falls, the next ...

    11 miles 1494 ft gain

  • Hike to Verna, Spirit, Fourth, and Fifth Lakes

    This summer backpacking trip provides plenty of opportunities for exploration and endless moments to take in awe-inspiring scenery. On our visit, after setting up camp at the Lake Verna backcountry site, I quickly made my way to the next lake (Spi...

    19 miles 2460 ft gain

  • Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 




    Learn More