We hiked Browns Creek Trail to the waterfall on June 6th 2020. The original plan Sunday was to double up 14ers Belford and Oxford but weather was not in our favor; wind gusts were predicted to be around 40 miles per hour.
I’ve planned enough hikes to see them not fall through for one reason or another. That’s why it’s imperative to have a back up plan. I wanted to find a waterfall near Buena Vista and Browns Creek waterfall trail popped up.
Check out our Video of our Browns Creek falls Hike
Browns Creek Trailhead
Slept in today, as our wake up call was 5:30am. Spent roughly an hour packing up camp and arrived at Browns Creek trailhead at 6:30AM. Though it was disappointing to veer off the original plan, we were tired from our Mount Yale hike. The Browns Creek waterfall trail seemed like a nice recovery hike.
The Browns Creek Waterfall trail is a 6.2 out-and-back with 940 feet of elevation gain. However, there are tons of connecting trails, including Colorado 14er Mount Antero. There was also a guy offering horse rides on the trails. Not sure if they are always there or not.
Time to Get Hiking
Half of the elevation gain occurred in the first mile; 530 ft. We passed through one gate surrounded by barbed wire, but were unable to discern its purpose. After a mile and a half, the trail merges with the Colorado Trail and it was exciting to be on a trail that travels across the state of Colorado.
There were a few groups who were camping alongside the trail, but other that this we were the first group walking through that morning.
At the three mile mark there is a well-placed sign indicating the turn off for Browns Creek Waterfall; continuing on the current path would bring us to Browns Lake, a 12 mile round trip jaunt. After hiking perhaps a tenth of a mile we reached the waterfall.
Browns Creek Falls
In true spring fashion, Browns Creek waterfall was flowing hard. There was ample opportunity to bust out the GoPro and the camera tripod. We had the waterfall to ourselves for the better part of an hour, but a couple other groups filtered in an out while we enjoyed the views.
After some superb photography ops, we decided it was time to head back to the trailhead. We were at the waterfall for about 30 minutes and glad we got there early, because this place was about to get packed.
This is a Busy Trail
On our way back we encountered an increasing number of people using the trail, rightfully so as it is a milder hike with great views of surrounding peaks. The trail is accessible to horses as well and we happened upon plenty of evidence that horses are used for hiking this trail often. Start to finish along with several stops factored in took us three hours total.
The Browns Creek Waterfall Trail boasts beautiful scenery and is available for a variety of activities including hiking, camping and horseback riding. The trail is adequately labeled and bridges are well maintained which makes for a more enjoyable experience.