Distance: 5 miles roundtrip. Hidden gem in Silverthorne, COWater crossings, fields of wildflowers, and a waterfall. Fairly easy hike. Plenty to see along the trail. Family friendly, great for kids.

Start at the Willowbrook Trailhead. You’ll hit a “Y” in the trail pretty quickly - go left and you’ll soon be at the first log bridge. There are quite a few water crossings on the trail, but they are easy to maneuver.

After hiking in the Willow Creek Open Space for a bit, you’ll enter Eagle’s Nest Wilderness and cross two more bridges as you head deeper into the forest. After a couple of gentle inclines, the trail flats out as you head into a meadow. It's wildflower wonderland in the meadow, with an incredible view of Buffalo Mountain.

After the meadow there is a gradual incline that passes a boulder field, a giant rock, and a small pond surrounded by ferns, that looks just like a fairy pond.

It’s only about 15 minutes from the pond to the falls. You can hike up the side of the falls for a close up view, or enjoy some time relaxing on the rocks below the falls. South Willow Falls is a tiered cascade tucked away in a thick pine forest. The upper falls plunge into a shallow pool and the lower part of the falls drops through a granite chute. It’s a great spot for lunch with a view.

Getting there: The Willowbook Trailhead is in the Wildernest subdivision of Silverthorne. The subdivision is north of I-70 and west of Highway 9.

If you want additional mileage, you can start from the Mesa Cortina Trailhead (8.7 miles roundtrip).

Pack List

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Snacks and/or lunch
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Hiking or comfortable shoes
  • Camera
  • Leash if hiking with dog
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Activities Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great hike to the Falls

We are retired from Iowa and come out to Colorado every summer to beat the heat. This was a great hike and we enjoyed every step. Great scenery, creeks running by the first 0.7 mi of the trail. easy to follow trail which was at times wide enough to run a jeep on them. Did this in early September so falls were not roaring but were still beautiful. Last quarter mile up to them was a little difficult for us old folks but worth the effort. Would agree this was longer than 5 miles round trip- I would say at least 6. Highly recommend this hike.

Beautiful little stroll

Pretty hike through some nice forest and great views of Red Buffalo! Not an epic waterfall but a very pleasant hike. I think it was more like 6-7 miles RT but still a very easy, family friendly hike

Serene & Secluded

We LOVED this hike. Great variety, few hikers along the way, quiet & just perfect!


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