PeaceJoyAustin

Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

Elk Creek Falls Trail at Staunton State Park

  • ★★★★
  • 11.2 miles round trip (out & back)
  • Elevation gain: 900 feet
  • 3-5 hours
  • Easy
  • Great fall colors
  • Mountain views, meadows, & a unique waterfall

Distance from Denver: 50 minutes

Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/MmjTTwiEdB52

Parking: $7

Staunton State Park is Colorado’s newest state park and Elk Creek Falls is the park’s newest trail, having just opened in fall 2016. Previously, the waterfall was only viewable from a distant overlook; now you can get up close & personal with it. 11 miles may seem like a lot, but this is one of those trails that doesn’t seem as long as it is because it’s so flat and easy.

Begin the hike by driving into the main Staunton State Park entrance and paying a $7 admission fee. Drive up the road and make the first right into the parking lot where you will begin your hike. Take the Staunton Ranch Trail for 3 miles, then continue straight onto the Bulging Elk Trail. When you reach Elk Falls Pond, go to the right and then follow the signs for the Elk Falls Trail. This trail takes you downhill to the falls in one of the only elevation changes on the hike. Return to your car on the same paths.

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