Hiking at Boulder Falls, Boulder, CO

The Falls - Hiking at Boulder Falls, Boulder, CO

With four of the last seven days reaching over 95 degrees Fahrenheit, I was really looking forward to taking my daughter standup paddle boarding at the Boulder Reservoir this morning. But then… the storms came. Afternoon rains. Cooler weather. By yesterday the forecast put today’s high in the low 70’s with 60% chance of precipitation. A little too chilly for a 3-year old’s first experience in cold lake water. Bummer. Sometimes life and being a father requires a little flexibility.

All the rain got me thinking about waterfalls. I’m a huge fan of waterfalls – if you’re not, just do a Google search for Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil) to get inspired. I figured with all the rainfall visiting Boulder Falls would make for a nice Plan B. Boulder Falls, sometimes referred to as the “Yosemite of Boulder Canyon”, is just outside of Boulder, CO, and is less than a half-mile round trip hike. While it wasn’t standup paddle boarding, it was a perfect Plan B.

The Adventure

9:30 AM

We finish a leisurely breakfast and drive up Canyon Blvd to Boulder Falls.

9:45 AM

We pull into the parking area alongside the busy road. We replace our sandals with trail shoes and grab the camera. We leave everything else (which, admittedly, seems like I brought a lot of extra unnecessary gear!).

We cross the road and walk West to the trail head. The trail to Boulder Falls is well maintained and made up of a series of steps and flat-ish rock faces. We begin our decent into the canyon and discover a wire cable that runs alongside the majority of the trail, providing a handrail for navigating slippery rocks.

Stairway - Hiking at Boulder Falls, Boulder, CO

9:52 AM

Minutes later we arrive at the falls. That was easy. The water is boiling with intensity and rushing down the mountain, cascading against glistening rocks, and pounding into the ferocious pool beneath. The air feels different here. There’s electricity to it. Some voltage. Or, perhaps, there’s just a slight breeze being generated by the tumbling muddy water. Either way, it’s fun to see the falls with so much water.

10:04 AM

We arrive back at the trail head. Across the road we see a climber scrambling up the cliff face. The sun peeks out, reminds us of the hot summer, then flashes back behind the clouds.

Climbers - Hiking at Boulder Falls, Boulder, CO



Route - Hiking at Boulder Falls, Boulder, CO


Gear - Hiking at Boulder Falls, Boulder, CO



  • Trail runners
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt
  • Sunglasses
  • Mobile phone w/Strava enabled


  • Camera
  • Camera bag

Left in SUV

  • Rain coats
  • Fannypack
  • Water bottles
  • Snacks (Beef Jerky, Granola Bars, Dried Mango, Trail Mix)
  • Sandals

Wish I had

  • Balmy day


  • Get gear (or don’t, you don’t need much if anything for this one)
  • Pack the morning of
  • Have a leisurely morning
  • Hike!
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