Ouray Colorado has plenty to offer. If you are waterfall chasers like us, then this is the post you’ll want to read about visiting Ouray. Here is a short but awesome list of waterfalls in Ouray Colorado. Not only are they beautiful, but these are EASY to get to waterfalls.
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We visited all of these waterfalls with our 4 kids, so we know they are easy enough to get to whether you are coming with kids or simply just looking for some mninimal effort with big payoff.
Between seeing a waterfall inside a canyon, standing at the bottom of a waterfall, and checking out an awesome waterfall in Ouray from a drive-up viewpoint, there is truly no easier way to see waterfalls than this!
So read on for the best, easy waterfalls in Ouray to enjoy on your trip.
Driving? See the Best Denver to Ouray Routes!
Table of Contents
Bear Creek Falls
- Cost: FREE
- Access: Viewpoint off 550
Bear Creek Falls is located off of highway 550 (the Million Dollar highway) a little bit south of downtown Ouray.
You can simply drive to, check out Bear Creek Falls, no hiking required.
As you head south out of town, you’ll come to a pullover spot to watch the falls. There, you can watch as Bear Creek Falls drops 200 feet into the Uncompahgre Gorge below. There is a sign at the pull out that gives you a little history of the area.
Next to Bear Creek Falls you’ll see what almost appears to be a staircase. It’s actually just rock, made of sandstone and shale. The view you see is a result of erosion and water running down it formed these ripple marks.
Box Canyon Falls (“Box Cañon Falls”)
- Cost: $5-7 (3 and under, FREE)
- Access: Short, easy hike to the falls
Another awesome waterfall you MUST stop at is Box Canyon Falls. Here, you’ll be able to walk on an easy path to a metal walkway that takes you right to a waterfall. Like, RIGHT to it. It’s really loud.
To access Box Canyon Falls, there is an entrance fee per person. This helps cover maintenance of the trails and walkways. Dogs are not allowed at Box Canyon Falls.
This is probably the most popular Ouray Colorado waterfall to visit, and for good reason!
Trail to Box Canyon Falls
Box Canyon Falls Trail
To get to the main trail for Box Canyon Falls, simple follow the “to the falls” sign. This takes you on an easy route with minimal steps to get to the walkway. The walkway will take you through a little bit of the canyon and right up to the falls.
As you get close to the waterfall, it gets hard to hear. That’s because the falls are dropping thousands of gallons of water per minute in between two close rock walls each over 100-feet.
(My daughter and I were both yelling after my son for something and he legit could not hear us 10 feet away).
It’s a really cool experience to be in the canyon with the falls. You can also head down some stairs for another view closer to the river.
High Bridge, Rocky Trail, View from the Bridge
High Bridge Trail (Upper Falls)
You can also head for High Bridge Trail, which takes you on a steeper (but short) trail up to the top and cross a bridge at the top of the canyon.
The trail is bit rough and steep, so if you have knee issues or really little ones, it may not be the best choice. We counted 95 steps/stairs on this route. My kids really enjoyed climbing up and using the steel cable to help pull up tougher spots.
Once at the top, you can then take in view of the river, falls, and town from 200 feet up.
Don’t worry, the bridge felt very sturdy and didn’t bounce.
After you cross the bridge, you’ll go through a mountain/rock tunnel. This just leads you to the Perimeter Trail. You can go through the tunnel for fun, but the way back is just to turn around and go back the way you came.
The Native Trail is just another option for getting to the falls. It’s not very long and has 0 steps.
See my 2 minute video of Box Canyon Falls
Lower Cascade Falls
- Cost: FREE
- Access: a little steep, but short hike up. Less than 1/4 mile.
Another waterfall that’s easy to get to is Lower Cascade Falls in Ouray. This is a short hike to the bottom of an impressive waterfall in Ouray. There are a few little areas to take some great photos in front of the falls.
You’ll end up right at the bottom of this gorgeous waterfall in Ouray, able to touch the water (but be careful as rocks can be slippery).
To get here, head east on 8th Avenue until it ends. This will drop you at Cascade Falls Park, where you’ll end up in a parking area with the trailhead to Lower Cascade Falls. This hike seems steep, but it’s less than a 1/4 mile and definitely worth it.
There is also an Upper Cascade Falls trail, but that is longer and not as suitable for children. But you’ll be plenty impressed with the Lower viewpoint.
There are bathrooms in the parking area.
Cool Tip: If you look in the picture above from the Box Canyon bridge showing the view of Ouray, you can actually see Cascade Falls flowing on the mountain opposite, almost in the center of the picture at the top.
Check out a quick sampler of these awesome waterfalls:
Coolest Waterfalls in Ouray that are Easy to Get to
There you have it! 3 awesome waterfalls in Ouray that are EASY to see! These are perfect for if you are traveling with kids, or with someone with bad knees, etc. These Ouray waterfalls are stunning and so much fun to see.
And they are easy to access. In fact, we saw all three of these in the same day. We took our time and really enjoyed them, and yet still had time to hit the hot springs in Ouray.
For a fun, easy day, check out these awesome waterfalls in Ouray with the kids!
FAQ: Waterfalls in Ouray
What is the Waterfall Outside of Ouray
The waterfall that you can see on the mountainside of Ouray is Cascade Falls. This makes a beautiful backdrop to the town and can be accessed easily at Cascade Falls Park
Is Box Canyon Falls Free?
No, Box Canyon Falls is not free. There is an admission fee for anyone over 3 years old. This helps protect and maintain the park, walkways, trails, and bridge.
What are Some Cool Waterfalls in Ouray?
Cool Waterfalls in Ouray are Box Canyon Falls, Cascade Falls, and Bear Creek Falls. These are each easy to get to, as noted in the post.
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