A recent hike to Ozell Falls in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park coincided with a waterfall bursting with water from the snow. Standing under Ozell Falls is like taking a fresh mountain shower.
The roundtrip length of this hike is 5.4 miles. It is considered a medium growth with an elevation of 950 feet. My friend and I started early in the morning which turned out to be a great option. The sun angle was perfect and created a rainbow over the falls.
The hike begins at the Wild Basin Trailhead in the southeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. You reach this part of the park by heading south on Highway 7 from Estes Park to Meeker Park and Allenspark.
Upon our arrival in the parking area early in the morning, we saw two moose running around, a large male and a small animal.
Soon after the trail, we noticed how green this area of the park is right now. Beautifully, delicate flowers line the sides of the trail in multicolored glory. The tips of the trees were bright green where they are growing.
The path follows North St. Wren’s Creek. The gentle climb is almost always close enough to the water that you can hear the sounds, creating a lush feeling.
The first great stop on this hike that features meadows and woods is Copeland Falls, less than a mile from the trailhead.
After some short and scenic climbs, we crossed the creek and arrived at the stunning Calypso Cascades. The wooden bridges here are great places to take amazing pictures.
You can catch a glimpse of Mount Meeker and Longs Peak as you cross this waterfall and proceed along the trail.
After crossing the two streams, the trail starts going up. Here the hike gets even more difficult. When you reach Ozel Falls itself, the wooden bridge provides a nice view to the waterfall. But don’t stop there!
On the left is a trail that allows you to choose your own path to the bottom of the falls.
On this day, the sun streaming through the mist of the waterfall created a stunning rainbow.
Ouzels are small birds that you can often find along the banks of rivers. The falls were named by Enos Mills, an American naturalist, author, and homeowner who was the main figure behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park.
The waterfall was running so fast, as if standing under it and taking a bath. The water flows quickly and strongly over all the waterfalls and rocks, so watch your steps as you approach these features.
The down-and-back hike takes about three hours to complete, unless you’re like us, stopping every quarter mile to take photos and videos.
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