Viewing Helen Hunt Falls and hiking the Silver Cascade Trail behind the falls is the perfect Colorado Springs kid-friendly hike that will offer a taste of Colorado to all.
We have visited the falls several times over the past several years. However this time we actually hiked the entire trail for the first time, and I am so glad that we did!
To get to Helen Hunt Falls, drive on North Cheyenne Cañon Road approximately 2 miles past the Starsmore Discovery Center. You will drive past several other trailheads.
Parking: There is a large parking lot at Helen Hunt Falls. However, if that lot is full, drive a little past to the Upper Columbine Trailhead parking lot and hopefully there is parking at that lot. It’s about 100 yards from Helen Hunt Falls.
There is a new visitor’s center at the base of the falls (summer only) where you can purchase water and is staffed with guides. Guided tours are also available (we did not do a guided tour).
Waterfalls are usually the reward for the hiking journey- however this hike starts with the largest waterfall (Helen Hunt Falls) and ends with the smaller Silver Cascade Falls. The trail starts right next to Helen Hunt Falls. There are stone steps that lead to the bridge over Helen Hunt Falls (careful- slippery when wet), and then the trail continues upwards for 1/3 mile.
The first part of the trail runs along the creek and my boys thought that this was great. They are huge fans of throwing rocks into any body of water, so we had to keep directing them to hike instead of rock throwing. About halfway up there is an overlook that looks onto the side of the Silver Cascade Falls.
The trail combines a gravel path and wooden steps. It appears very well maintained- there was an employee there with tools and wood for ongoing maintenance of the trail. The trail is a little steep at times- I am in decent shape and was huffing and puffing some (but again, I was carrying a 25 lb baby). There are benches and larger rocks to sit on if you need to sit for a break.
Several times along the way we were distracted with smaller waterfalls, bridges, creeks, and more rock throwing. If it hadn’t started to rain I think we could have hung out on this trail for hours. I haven’t seen my boys this engaged in a hike in quite some time.
The top of Silver Cascade Falls will give you a spectacular view of Colorado Springs. This hike is also higher up in elevation so is much cooler for hot summer days.
Boys’ ages at time of hike: 5, 3, and 1. Not stroller friendly. Baby was in the Ergo.
Location: 3440 N Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
*Featured as one of our Top 5 Kid-Friendly Hikes for Summer 2017**