Maxwell Falls and Cliff Trail Loop Trail

#1 of 146 trails in Arapaho National Forest

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This candy wrapper style loop trail, located near Evergreen, CO, will take you past 2 small water falls and Upper Maxwell Falls if you do the whole loop. This is a easy to moderate trail with only a minor elevation gain of 644 ft.

This forested trail has two trail head options with a loop in the middle. This information is from the lower trail head parking lot.

From the lower trail head the distance to Upper Maxwell Falls is about 2 miles. From the lower trail head after crossing the foot bridge stay to the left and follow the signs and the river upwards to go directly to Upper Maxwell Falls or go right to go up Cliff Loop Trail which will meet back with Maxwell Falls trail just above the falls. If you take Maxwell Falls trail first the falls will be two miles up on the left and down. Just listen for the water getting louder and keep an eye out. Its a bit hidden. You can turn back from here or continue past the falls a short way to find the Cliff Loop Trail on the right. This will take you back around to the foot bridge. Or you can go the opposite way, taking Cliff Loop Trail from the foot bridge and coming back down Maxwell Falls Trail. You will see one very small falls a bit lower on Maxwell Falls Trail and another on Cliff Trail near the foot bridge.

A trail map has been added to the photos.

Directions from Evergreen for lower trail head: Take Highway 74 to the center of Evergreen. Turn right at the stoplight onto Highway 73. Go to Brook Forest Rd. and turn right. The lower trail head is encountered first on the left just past Columbine Road

To access the upper trail head go past the lower trail head to Black Mountain Road. On Black Mountain Road turn left and go 1.25 miles to the upper trail head.

There is a good sized parking lot with no restrooms, no water and no trash cans. Please pack out your trash and dog waste. Dogs are required to be kept on a leash.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Great moderately challenging hike. You'll feel accomplished when you finish it and its good for kids and dogs.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

This is not so much a review as a correction to the directions. The directions on the website assume you are coming from the north of Evergreen (it makes a difference for the turn in the center of Evergreen). There is no Black Mountain Road. It's Black Mountain Drive. There is really no turn from S. Brook Forest Road onto S. Black Mountain Drive; one street becomes the other.

Here are some alternative directions (note also that you can also get there via US-285 and Conifer): From C-470, take the Morrison Road exit heading west on Highway 8. In the town of Morrison, continue straight (west) on Highway 74 for about 10.6 miles. In downtown Evergreen, turn left at the stoplight onto Highway 73. Go about 1 mile to S. Brook Forest Road. Turn right and go about 5.2 miles. You will pass the lower trail head. S. Brook Forest Road becomes S. Black Mountain Drive (CR-78). Go about 1.25 miles on S. Black Mountain Drive to the upper trail head. It's on the left (north) side of the road, and is marked with a large metal sign.

To get to the falls (and the water stream), you have to hike down from the main trail. There are several well-worn paths you can take. You have to climb up a few rocks to get a good view.

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9 Completed 9 Reviews

Completed this trail on Memorial Day. SUPER crowded. Definitely wouldn't recommend for holidays or weekends unless you're ok with constant passing foot traffic on some narrow trails. Crowd aside, it was a great hike. Dog friendly. Though the falls aren't on a grand scale, the upper falls is a perfect spot to stop and have lunch if you start on the lower trailhead. Take the cliff loop back to avoid some of the crowd. Small parking lot but all the overflow parked along the side of the road. Just be careful on blind corners with traffic and bikers.

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56 Completed 28 Reviews

This was VERY crowded; it was a warm Sunday afternoon, but still more than even state park trails have on weekends this time of year. The falls were very small, and hard to get to with so many people. The cliff loop section was quieter, and afforded view of the valley below. Probably worth doing if you are nearby, but for me, it was not worth a 50 minute drive. Might be good at off-times.

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3 Completed 1 Reviews

I went this morning with my two dogs and completed the whole trail. I have hiked a lot, but this is only the dogs third hike. I enjoyed it; very pretty, not many people, fantastic views. However, I found the Cliff Loop trail difficult with my dogs in the parts that are really rocky. Also, a lot of the trail is really soft and sandy, which my dogs found challenging when moving downhill. I would recommend this for people, but unless your dogs are experienced with hiking and tall enough to navigate the rocks safely, I wouldn't recommend it for dogs.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

A good hike. It is quite busy. If you go there during the weekends I'd recommend early to mid-afternoon. Otherwise the parking lot will likely be full and you'll have to park on the side of the road. Can't really say anything other reviewers haven't already noted. These are the coordinates for the trail:

Lat 39 34.919
Log 105 21.722

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53 Completed 10 Reviews

There is in fact a water fall. I climbed down to it and took pictures to prove it. It is down below the trail and hard to see but if you are listening you can hear the water get louder. Upper Maxwell Falls is at least 15 ft and is tiered into two sections. Its quite pretty. The trail itself is nice. It must have rained overnight because the ground was moist and the forest smelled wonderful. I arrived around 8 am on Saturday to find only a few cars parked. On my way down it was like watching a line from Disneyland. There were so many people. The trail was not to difficult. It didn't just go straight up but would go up and down giving people a chance to catch their breath. The only thing wrong with this trail was all the people that dont pack out their dogie bags. Seriously people, dont be lazy and ruin it for others. Also, the GPS point was off and takes you past the trail head parking lot. I fixed that. Its on the left and a little hidden but at least the GPS point is correct now.

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3 Completed 3 Reviews

Sounds like there's going to be an actual waterfall, there's not. That's kind-of disappointing

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4 Completed 4 Reviews

Nice enough walk through the woods.. Not really a waterfall per se-more a brook running through rocks. Very crowded, might keep this one to weekdays.

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26 Completed 5 Reviews

Nice and quick hike close to Denver. Nothing to spectacular with regard to views, and the waterfall is not grand and spectacular by any means, but nonetheless enjoyable hike on a nice day. For more photos, visit http://www.ohnophoto.com/maxwell-falls/

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