Colorful Colorado and beyond…
The fact Lower Maxwell Falls are so close to Denver makes it perfect for a great day hike. Lower Maxwell Falls are located in Arapaho National Forest in Evergreen, CO. About an hour drive from Denver.
I have recently discovered the app The Outbound, a kind of social network for adventurers. On The Outbound, Maxwell Falls is listed as beginner, intermediate hike, however, as a newbie hiker I would say this is more intermediate.
Maxwell Falls is a popular trail for hikers. This 4.2 mile hike is a candy wrapper style loop trail with 1010′ elevation gain. Once you cross this foot bridge below you can either go left, up to Maxwell Falls or head right up Cliff Loop Trail which will lead you to the Falls as well.
Sit and enjoy the quiet. Take a few pictures, because it’s all uphill to the Falls. The trail is lined with heavy pine forest and makes for a shaded hike.
We arrived at the trailhead, using navigation on Google maps, late in the morning, around 11:00 am. That’s kind of late for a hike as the parking was full. We lucked out to get a parking spot. Also, there is always a risk of afternoon thunderstorms, which we did experience…just a light sprinkles and thunder.
It is late in the season so I think the run off was low. This was the first creek crossing and I had read that the water could be high and we would need to cross the downed log pictured in the upper part of this photo. Obviously, the water is a bit low.
Mountain wildflowers are some of my favorites things. One of my least favorite things? People who let their dogs off leash when the signs clearly state, “leash your pet”. When you are hiking rocky terrain and add a rambunctious dogs off leash to the mix, you could unintentionally hurt someone or yourself. We witnessed this as two Golden Retrievers just about knocked their owner off the waterfall cliff when one didn’t want to cross the creek and the other plopped down in the water to cool off. While the owner struggled to get the reluctant dog across the creek, the soaking wet dog slipped out of his collar, running past her, making her trip over the other dog. Please bring Fido but keep him on leash.
Things to bring on a day hike: water, snacks, sunscreen, hat, good walking shoes, a camera, and a light jacket.
The Falls are down below where my daughter is standing. It’s was hard to get a photo from this angle unless we climbed down the rocks on the other side. And I didn’t want to do any bouldering today. Honestly, though the hike was still worth it. I just didn’t get a great photo of it. Another app and website I love is All Trails. Check out brave member photos there.