If you’re visiting Boulder for the first time or you’re a long-time resident who just wants to experience the natural beauty of a waterfall, Boulder Falls should be at the top of your list. This 70-foot waterfall west of Boulder may be a relatively small waterfall, but it packs a big punch. Not only is it stunning, but Boulder Falls is close to town and can be the perfect pitstop on your way to a longer hike or mountain bike ride. Some people call it the “Yosemite of Boulder Canyon.” The cascading waterfall is located just outside of town, which means it’s pretty easy to get to without much planning.
The falls are part of five acres of mining claims that were entrusted to the City of Boulder in 1941 by Charles G. Buckingham, a banker who hoped the city would protect the falls. The falls became a popular destination for those traveling through the area by train until the railroad was washed out in the great flood of 1894 and was rebuilt on a different route. The falls regained their popularity when Highway 119 was built, until 2013 when a massive flood made the area unsafe. Luckily, the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks invested $1.2 million in restoration and improvements, and the refreshing falls can once again be enjoyed by visitors.
Boulder Falls is one of the easiest hikes for kids near Boulder, so it is very popular. A short, 100-yard hike will lead you to this gem-like waterfall that rushes down the rock wall at a height of about 70 feet. While there is no swimming in Boulder Falls and no climbing on the surrounding rocks, you’ll be able to feel the cool mist rising off the soothing falls, get lost in the sound of the rushing water, and take in the scent of the surrounding pine trees and maybe even spot some wildlife.
Once you arrive at the waterfall, take your time to enjoy the views Boulder Falls is a beautiful, large waterfall. The rock formations above it are equally gorgeous. Don’t forget to turn around since the views of the canyon are breathtaking. Furthermore, due to the clean trail, you won’t need any special footwear for the Boulder Falls Trail. Sneakers would be best, but visitors can even get away with supportive sandals like Teva or Keens. A water bottle and a light snack are always a good idea on a hike, no matter how short. There are plenty of large rocks to sit on for you to take a minute to eat, drink, and indulge in the views.
There is limited parking at the Boulder Falls trailhead. Along Boulder Canyon Drive, there is a small parking lot is opposite the trailhead. During popular times that can get filled up quickly. Some people will also park on the side of the road, though that parking is also limited. As always, be careful when crossing the street from the parking lot. Weekends are busy, so your best bet is to arrive early or late in the afternoon. If you can do this easy hike during the week, then you will encounter fewer people.
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