Are you planning an afternoon at Garden of the Gods? Plan to also enjoy the scenic Helen Hunt Falls, located just 10 miles away—a short drive.
Helen Hunt Falls is a stunning 35-foot waterfall in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, west of Colorado Springs. You can see the falls from the parking lot or you can take a short walk to see it up close. It’s fun for everyone, and it only has to be a hike if you make it into one—perfect for tourists getting adjusted to the altitude, beginner hikers, the elderly, and families with young kids.
What to Do
Enjoy the view — Take in the waterfall from the parking lot, or take a short walk up to the bridge at the top of the falls. It requires very little exertion for such an amazing view. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy. If it’s your thing, bring a book along too—people sometimes sit and read near the bridge at the top.
Hike to Silver Cascade Falls — If you want to hike more, you can continue on the trail past the falls to the Silver Cascade Falls. The trail is less than a mile with an elevation gain of 200 feet. Though it is a little steeper than the trail to the top of Helen Hunt Falls, it’s still an easy hike with benches along the way if you need to rest. It’ll take you above the falls to enjoy awesome views of the canyon.
Visit “The Cub” — Helen Hunt Falls’ visitor center and gift shop is located right by the parking lot and the base of the falls. You’ll find snacks, drinks, souvenirs, and more. Learn about the nature in the area by exploring the exhibits, seeing maps and videos, and talking to staff. They also have guided hikes and nature walks. “The Cub” is only open during the summer months (late May to early September) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tunnels on Gold Camp Road — Whether you’re coming to or leaving from Helen Hunt Falls, make sure you take Gold Camp Road at least one way so you can experience the three large tunnels!
North Cheyenne Canyon Park, plus Starsmore Discovery Center — If you’re wanting a longer or more difficult hike, there’s many more trails to enjoy after you see Helen Hunt Falls. My favorites in North Cheyenne Canyon Park are Seven Bridges and St. Mary’s Falls. Or visit the Starsmore Discovery Center for activities for guests of all ages. You’ll learn more about the region, enjoy the bird-watching window, and explore the hands-on nature exhibit. Programs include Tipi Raising & Ute Heritage Workshop, Junior Ranger Program, Cheyenne Cañon Camp, and Friday is Ute Day.
Rock Climbing (for Experts) — Are you an expert rock climber? There’s a number of fantastic — though difficult — climbs in Cheyenne Canyon, including Graduation Boulder, The Amphitheater, and Fly Cave Wall. And when the weather cooperates, ice climbers sometimes head to Helen Hunt Falls for a challenge.
History of Helen Hunt Falls
In 1881, Bruin Inn was built at the base of the falls. One of the outbuildings of the Bruin Inn was turned into a visitor center, and as the smaller building, it was called “The Cub.” A fire destroyed the Bruin Inn, but the Cub survived and remained to serve as the visitor center for the falls. In 1966, Helen Hunt Falls got its official name. The falls were named after Helen Maria Hunt Jackson who lived in the 1800s and was buried in Colorado Springs. She was a U.S. poet, writer, and activist for Native American Rights.
- Address: 3440 North Cheyenne Cañon Rd, Colorado Springs
- Directions: from the North Cheyenne Cañon Park entrance, drive for about 2.5 miles until you see the parking lot and the falls nearby.
- Hiking distance: 1/10 mile
- Elevation: 7,200 feet
- Admission is free! There’s no cost to see this spectacular waterfall.
- Open year-round — though watch for icy spots if you go in the winter
- Pets are welcome, on a leash.
- Watch out for wildlife. Bears and mountain lions live in Cheyenne Canyon, so be careful and dispose of food in proper containers.
Are you excited about Helen Hunt Falls? Plan your visit, and please share this article if it was helpful.