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Best Easy Day Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park details 36 of the best day hikes that lead to some of Rocky Mountain's most scenic destinations.

Calypso Cascades

Trail Features: Waterfalls calypso-cascades
Trail Location: Wild Basin Trailhead
Roundtrip Length: 3.6 Miles
Trailhead Elevation: 8500 Feet
Total Elevation Gain: 610 Feet
Avg. Elev Gain / Mile: 339 Feet
Highest Elevation: 9110 Feet
Trail Difficulty Rating: 4.82 (easy)
Parking Lot Latitude 40.20883
Parking Lot Longitude -105.56614

Trail Description:

copeland-fallsThe hike to Calypso Cascades begins from the fairly remote Wild Basin Trailhead in the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park, located near the small communities of Meeker Park and Allenspark. To reach the trailhead from Estes Park, drive 12.6 miles south on Colorado Highway 7 to the Wild Basin Road junction and turn right. After driving 0.4 miles, make another right turn into the park. The Wild Basin Trailhead is located roughly 2.2 miles from the park turn-off on a narrow, two-wheel drive gravel road.

There are several destinations leading from the Wild Basin Trailhead. Lower Copeland Falls, your first destination along this route, arrives at just over three-tenths of a mile from the trailhead. The upper falls are located roughly one-tenth of a mile further upstream along the North St. Vrain Creek. There's a side trail that visits both the lower and upper falls. This path parallels the main trail, and once you've visited Upper Copeland Falls, will allow you to return back to the main trail without having to backtrack.

Beyond the falls the trail crosses over Sandbeach Creek. At just over 1.3 miles from the trailhead you'll reach a spur trail that provides access to a series of five backcountry campgrounds that offer a total of seven individual sites. To continue to Calypso Cascades, stay to the left at this junction.

At roughly 1.6 miles hikers will pass an unnamed waterfall, which shouldn't be confused with Calypso Cascades, which is still another two-tenths of a mile further up the trail.


During our first visit, on an early-September day, the 200-foot high Calypso Cascades weren't all that impressive, as seen in the photo above on the left. However, during the spring run-off, the falls are usually roaring, as seen in the photo on the right, taken on a more recent hike in late June.

In addition to Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades there are several other more scenic attractions in this area if you wish to extend your hike, including Ouzel Falls, Ouzel Lake and the spectacular Bluebird Lake. The hike to Thunder Lake is also an option from this point as well.