The 720-mile trek known as the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is an incredible journey through Colorado terrain, leading to several of the state’s most healing waters. Along the way, visitors can seek out the scenic beauty of waterfalls, which are sprinkled throughout the loop—cascading as symbols of strength, tranquility, and natural majesty. Check out these falls.
- Fish Creek. One of the most popular destinations around Steamboat Springs are the fresh, rushing waters spilling into Fish Creek Canyon from the 280-foot Fish Creek Falls. After a brief ¼ mile hike, visitors can gaze into the majesty of the lower falls, while a more moderate trek leads to spectacular views, heightened by the upper section. Fish Creek Falls roars most in the spring thanks to the snowmelt, though the clear water in the late summer and the icy face in winter make for an all-season stop.
- Treasure Falls. Treasure Falls, located approximately 15 miles east of Pagosa Springs, is a powerful sight to behold. The cascading waters can be seen from the highway, though a short, looped trail is available for a more intimate view—where splashes make their way to admirers. The waterfall tumbles and sparkles, adjacent to an open view of the valley, making for an easy-choice overlook stop on the pass.
- Hanging Lake. A National Natural Landmark and one of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado, Hanging Lake is located in Glenwood Canyon outside of Glenwood Springs. Though just under a mile in length, the trail is rocky and steep; it leads to a series of magnificent waterfalls, spilling into a turquoise pool, nearby a fallen log, suspended in the water. Hanging Lake’s existence is tied to conservation; visitors must be aware of the posted rules and signs, prohibiting swimming, pets, or walking on the log.
- Box Cańyon. Box Cańyon Falls is a dramatic beauty, considered Ouray’s own wonder of the world. The 285-foot waterfall, fueled by Canyon Creek, erupts from the falls, plummeting into the narrow, quartzite canyon. Visitors can soak in the beauty from both above and below the falls all while enjoying the rare birds that call the canyon home. The lower trail follows a catwalk and staircases straight into the belly of Box Cańyon Falls. The upper, can’t-miss trail leads to a suspension bridge overlooking Canyon Creek and the city of Ouray.
- Agnes Vaille Falls. Located on the southern slopes of Mt. Princeton in Chalk Creek Canyon, Agnes Vaille Falls is a small, elegant waterfall that sprays from a rocky shelf below the peak. This Chaffee County wonder can be seen by the recently updated Cascade Creek Trail, which gives visitors a glimpse at the simplistic beauty of the falls, while also detailing the area’s history through interpretive signs.
After hiking to each of these grandiose falls, be sure to stop by the local loop hot springs for a soak. These geothermal waters are ideal for soothing muscles and relaxing tired minds and bodies, a perfect complement to any Colorado adventure.
For more information on the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop, visit www.colorado.com/hotspringsloop.