Helen Hunt Falls is a very short hiked located in North Cheyenne Canyon Park right outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Accessed by a very short out and back trail, this walk is great for people of all ages and provides a fantastic waterfall experience for beginner or family hikers. This is not a destination hike but certainly worth the visit if you are in the area.
Helen Hunt Falls Quick Facts
Rating: ★★★ (3/5 Stars)
Distance: .7 miles RT (starting from parking lot)
Elevation Start: 7,303 ft
Summit: 7,503 ft
Total Elevation Gain: 200 ft
Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes or less
Difficulty: Walk in the Park What does this mean?
Class: Class 1
Season: Year Round (Expect some snow during October – March)
Directions to Helen Hunt Falls
Trailhead: Helen Hunt Falls
Getting Here: North Cheyenne Canyon Park Road to Parking Area
The easiest way to access Helen Hunt Falls is to park in the lot at the base of the falls. Once you are in Colorado Springs, follow W Cheyenne Road until you reach N Cheyenne Canyon Road. Take this for about 2.5 miles until you see a large parking lot and the first waterfall on the hike.
If you do not want to start in the parking lot, you can take the Columbine trail.
Dogs: Dogs are allowed at Helen Hunt falls but must be kept on a leash. If your dog is not a “people person,” you might want to leave them in the car because this hike is extremely heavily trafficked.
Camping: There is no camping allowed in North Cheyenne Canyon Park or Helen Hunt Falls and camping in general near Colorado Springs is not ideal. However, if you need to camp in the area you can try Golden Eagle Campground. I personally have never stayed there, but it is an option for you.
Make it a Loop: This trail is a short out and back but can be paired with other trails like the Columbine trail, Buckhorn Cutoff or Lower Capt Jacks trails. The map here shows all of the trails in the North Cheyenne Canyon Park.
Trail X Factor: Crowds and Flow of Falls
Since this trail is so short, it is hard to find a true X Factor. However, if I had to provide a few it would be the flow of the falls and amount of people sharing the views with you. I think this is a great spot early in the morning or later in the evening so that you take some photos and enjoy the falls without the crowds. During the late spring months, snow melt from the mountains is high which makes the falls much more powerful.
Hike Tip(s): Waterfalls in Colorado have the most activity during the spring melting period. March, April and May are a great time to visit the falls before the rivers and streams slow down a bit. Regardless of the time you visit, the falls are impressive.
Best Views: If you are looking to take some long exposure shots of the waterfall, be sure to bring filters and a tripod to maximize the photo opportunities around the river and falls themselves. In addition, I feel that the best views on this hike are at the bottom and along the way, not at the end of this hike.
Our Trip to Helen Hunt Falls: May 2016
My trip to Helen Hunt falls was a surprise ending to another hike I had planned in the Canyon. When Jackie and I decided to hike the Columbine trail we were not aware of the falls at the end of that trail. The first set of falls are located right off the parking lot and provided a beautiful opportunity for some long exposure shots. I probably spent about twice the amount of time it took for us to walk the entire trail sitting right off the parking lot at the first waterfall. The walk up to the other set of falls is very straight forward and easy for hikers of all experience levels. Helen Hunt falls is a beautiful short walk that I would recommend to anyone in the Colorado Springs area.