There’s good reason waterfalls are always included on sound machines and relaxation soundtracks—the sound of falling water is good for the soul. The sight of it is even better. You can lift your body and spirit with a hike to these waterfalls near Aspen.
The Grottos is a popular and unique spot 9 miles up Independence Pass. The trail that crosses the bridge to the left leads to a magnificent waterfall. Other short trails lead to ice caves and overlooks of the cascading Roaring Fork River. The trail is easy enough for young kids, but high water has made the area deadly for hikers who got too close.
As if the Maroon Bells Scenic Area wasn’t spectacular enough, several waterfalls are a sensory bonus. The easiest to reach are the cascades along the Scenic Loop Trail at the far end of Maroon Lake. For more adventure, follow the Crater Lake Trail up and into the wilderness area. There’s one towering waterfall visible up the valley from Crater Lake. If you keeping hiking farther, you’ll spot another. Both of these falls are difficult to access, but the uncrowded scenery is pay off enough.
Hanging Lake is worth the one-hour drive down valley through Glenwood Springs. The hike is a steep 1.2 miles up. The reward is a spectacular basin fed by fanning waterfalls.
And Seven Castles follows a creek bed through a series of dramatic waterfalls leading up a red-rock, sandstone canyon that looks more like Utah than Aspen. There are even ropes for the daring to climb up through the falls. The terrain is fragile, and the route is dangerous. So you’re on your own finding this one.
Get more recreation tips here. And let us know what you think of your waterfall exploring in Aspen.