Directions: From Creede, Colorado travel west on Hwy 149 for about 26 miles to the North Clear Creek Falls Observation Site. Turn right and drive the 1/2 mile good dirt road to the parking area, restrooms, and picnic area.
North Clear Creek Falls is an impressive sight. The waterfall cuts through the cliffs creating a sight that would be more at home in Oregon or California and rare in Colorado. A short and easy trail leads down to the rim of the canyon with guard rails and interpretive signs to learn more about this area's unique geology. The views of the waterfall are stunning as are the views of the surrounding canyon and rolling mountains.
While the waterfall is the main draw to this site, it is not the only attraction. From the waterfall viewing platform, follow the trail along the edge of the canyon a series of overlooks behind the ridge. A faint trail leads up to the ridge and over to a bench and the official "Bristol Head Overlook." This viewpoint offers breathtaking vistas east towards the chunky cliffs of Bristol Head and the Santa Maria Reservoir Valley (although the reservoir itself is not visible). The Bristol Head Overlook is also accessed from the main parking area along an easy gravel trail.
North Clear Creek Falls is more of an attraction than a hike but if you are passing through the area between Creede and Lake City then it is very much worthy of your time. In the winter, the 1/2 mile road is closed but you can snowshoe or ski to the overlook making it much more of a hiking experience. Regardless of the season, North Clear Creek Falls should be on your Colorado to-do list.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
North Clear Creek Falls
Rio Grande National Forest
Date Hiked: July 28, 2019
Distance: .5 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 130 ft
Elevation Min/Max: 9,969 - 10,082 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 37º 50' 54" N; 107º 08' 58" W
Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service