I decided to visit Moab, Utah to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. In the process, I looked to see if there were any waterfalls in the vicinity. It just happens there’s a waterfall right outside of Moab on Mill Creek. I wasn’t feeling particularly great earlier in the day today (the elevation wreaks havoc on my sinuses), but I felt better later in the evening, and set off to find Mill Creek Falls.
The drive to the trail head is pretty easy, and the hike to the falls isn’t wildly complicated either. You will have to cross Mill Creek three or four times to get to the falls. I’m someone who doesn’t like to get particularly wet, but the water was warm and very clean. I had no problem wading through the creek. (The first time you’ll likely enter the water may not be necessary, but it’s easier than trying to stay on the slippery rocks above.) And while you have to cross the creek a few times, you’re rewarded with very little elevation gain, if any.
Once you get to the falls, you’re rewarded with the 10-15′ Mill Creek Falls. There might be another waterfall up above, but I didn’t have the boundless energy to explore even further. I was content with finding a beautiful little waterfall without much effort.
- As you’re driving along Main Street (US-191) in Moab, you can turn on many of the streets running perpendicular to arrive at the falls. Heading south on US-191, I turned left onto E 100 S.
- I drove along E 100 S until it ended, and then turned right onto N 400 E (also Fourth E St).
- I then drove until I got to E Mill Creek Drive, and turned left. (You do have to end up on this road.)
- Drive along E Mill Creek Drive. There will be a point where you have to turn right to continue on E Mill Creek Drive. (Otherwise, if you continue straight, you will be on Sand Flats Road.)
- After driving on E Mill Creek Drive for a short ways, turn left on Powerhouse Lane. Continue on Powerhouse Lane until you reach the parking area for the trail head.
- Follow the trail to the falls. It’s pretty hard to get lost.
*From what I’ve read, this waterfall used to be unknown to most tourists…now it’s rather busy. Make sure you respect the land and clean up anything you take in. It’s free to visit right now…let’s ensure it stays that way.
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate, there’s one spot that’s difficult, I found it easier to wade in the stream)
Length of Hike: 2 miles round-trip
Mill Creek Falls in June 2017
Where in the World is Mill Creek Falls?
Berthoud Pass Falls in August 2009
As I’m driving higher and higher in elevation toward Rocky Mountain National Park, I keep thinking there should be some waterfalls somewhere! We’re talking about 10,000′ feet here, and there’s enough elevation change to expect a few along the roadside! Well, there were one or two of them, and I’ve called the easiest to visit Berthoud Pass Falls.
Berthoud Pass Falls is found as your going through the Berthoud Pass, which might be obvious. The pass is found along US-40 after exiting I-70 going toward Winter Park/Fraser, which continues on into Rocky Mountain National Park. There is a pull-off near the highest point which I think is really meant for the awesome views of the valleys far, far below. If you look ahead, you’ll notice a creek cascading down a hill, and this is where the falls (maybe should cascade) are found. In the summer months, others will also likely be exploring the area. It is a truly beautiful sight early in the day. The wildflowers were exploding along the creek in mid-August. Even if the falls aren’t the most unique, it’s still definitely worth a stop for the overall ambiance.
- If you’re driving along I-70 past Idaho Springs, this can be found along US-40.
- Take the exit for US-40, which starts heading north toward Winter Park and Fraser, continuing on to Granby and Rocky Mountain National Park.
- I’m not exactly sure how far it is to Berthoud Pass, but I believe there’s a sign, and the turnoff is relatively obvious. You will have been heading uphill for a ways as you come along the area.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′ (possibly more)
Length of Hike: not applicable/roadside
Where in the World is Berthoud Pass Falls?
Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain NP (August 2009)
Adams Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit in Rocky Mountain National Park. The town of Grand Lake is a nice little town, though the food was rather expensive. At the end of West Portal Rd., you’ll find the parking area for the falls. As you hike the short distance to the falls, you’ll see some spectacular views of the Rockies.
Once you get to Adams Falls, though, you may be slightly disappointed. The falls are actually more than appear in the picture, but it is almost impossible to get a picture of the lower drops that are considerably more interesting. I couldn’t even see some of the drops. What you’re left viewing is a small portion of the falls. The actual beauty isn’t really contained in the falls, but the background around the falls.
- From US-34 in Grand Lake, head east on CO-278/West Portal Rd.
- Drive to the end of West Portal Road, where you’ll find the parking area for the trail leading to Adams Falls. The trail goes beyond Adams Falls, though the hike is only 0.3 miles one-way.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 25′ (?)
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Adams Falls?
Cascade Falls in August 2009
I’ve been visiting various waterfalls in Colorado, and I’ve had mixed feelings about them. Some are beautiful, while others have been disappointing. Cascade Falls was one of the more beautiful ones, so I’ve decided to give it precedence.
Cascade Falls is found on the outskirts of the amazing Rocky Mountain National Park. Cascade Falls can be accessed from the North Inlet Trail right in Grand Lake (the western entrance of the park). The trail to the falls is extremely pleasant, and has only very brief inclines. The total elevation gain is listed as 300′, but it didn’t seem to bad, at least compared to some other falls I’ve visited.
Even so, bring something to drink and wear sunscreen. The trickiest part of the climb is the elevation (at 8000’+). Being from Michigan (at 700′ above sea level), it isn’t too bad, but I can still feel the effects. I think it just has a tendency to wear me out more than usual. The trail to the falls roundtrip is 6.8 miles, which I can handle.
- You’ll be heading north on US-34 toward Grand Lake.
- As you approach Grand Lake, you can head straight and enter the park, or veer to the right and head toward Grand Lake. Head RIGHT.
- After a short distance, you’ll come to another choice. My first instinct is to keep going, but instead, take the offshoot to the left, staying on W. Portal Rd.
- A little distance after splitting off onto W. Portal Road, pay attention for a sign indicating the trailhead for the East Inlet Trail. It’s very easy to miss the sign, especially if you’re coming from the opposite direction. I’m not even sure there is a sign in the opposite direction.
- Turn left onto the road leading to the trailhead.
- Turn right into the parking area for the East Inlet Trail. From there, connect onto the trail and start your journey.
Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Length of Hike: 6.8 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Cascade Falls?