Waterfalls, Waterfalls, Waterfalls!!
This trail is pretty popular due to the beauty of the falls and the close proximity to Colorado Springs. The trail is listed as 1.6 miles by the forest service; however that was before a section of the road was closed. Now the road is closed about a mile before you get to a closed off tunnel that used to be part of gold camp road and you have to walk a short section along the road before getting to where the trail starts. Because of the extra walk, I am listing this trail as 2.6 miles one way instead of 1.6. This trail will take you to a 250 cascading waterfall and the trail can be continued to go all the way up Mt. Rosa.
Walking along the road you'll see sand and granite cliffs to the side as you pass by Cheyenne Creek. After about a mile you come to an odd looking tunnel that has been fenced up to keep people out of it. From here turn left to continue on the trail. The first part of the trail takes you through a mixture of aspens, pines and spruce trees. There are some nice views of Colorado Springs to the east as you begin to gain elevation. About a quarter mile after the trail officially begins, it starts to follow Buffalo Canyon Creek. There are lots of different wildflowers here in the summer and the forest is covered by thick undergrowth, chokecherries and other interesting plant life. As the trail follows the creek be sure to stop and take a look at some of the 33 waterfalls 3 feet or taller that dot the creek. With about half a mile to go the trail starts to climb more steeply and turns away from the creek for a short period of time. From here you can see the top of Mt. Rosa, if you want you can make this into a longer hike and go all the way to the top, about 12 miles round trip. Shortly after the top of the mountain comes into view, you reach the creek again and there is another sign that points out St. Mary's is .2 mile away. The trail climbs steeply as it turns away from the creek and there is one switchback which takes you the rest of the way to the 250 ft cascading falls.
Note: Afternoon thunderstorms are common here!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.