The Cascade Falls trail is a relatively easy hike through fields and mountains to a rocky waterfall. Hikers begin by walking down a dirt road that passes through private land, then ascends up and around mountains to the falls.
Trail length: 6.8 miles / Difficulty: Easy+
The trail is accessible via the North Inlet Trailhead just north of Grand Lake, Colorado.
The trail experience
The first third of the trail is an easy and relatively flat walk down a dirt road (pictured below), passing fenced farm lands and an old cabin clearly marked as “Private Property”. Keep to the path and everything will be okay. 🙂
Be aware that the beginning third leaves hikers completely exposed to the elements. We hiked in early September of 2016 and the sun got very, very warm. But, rain, wind or snow will affect your progress and enjoyment depending on the time of year.
The trail pushes into a denser wilderness and ascends gently as it winds through the mountainous landscape. Be aware of horse droppings along the trail, and you may need to step off the trail from time to time to let horses by. We had to stand aside to let Llamas pass (guided by park rangers).
Hikers descend slightly as the falls near. Plenty of shade blankets the surrounding wilderness around the waterfall, offering hikers protection from the sun, rain or snow. We packed a lunch and enjoyed it sitting on a shaded rock as we watched the frigid water crash down the falls.
It took us around four and a half hours, round-trip, to complete the trail. This includes stopping for photo ops and taking a 20-minute break at the falls to eat lunch.