Emily and I hiked to Lyric Falls on June 7th, 2021, from Sandbeach Lake Trailhead near the Wild Basin entrance station. Which is located on the southeast side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA.
- Hiking Distance: 10.55 Miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 2,188 feet
- Total Time: 6 hours 4 minutes
Video of Our Hike to Lyric Falls
To get to Lyric Falls, stay on the Sandbeach Lake trail for approximately 3.6 miles. Keep an eye out for the Hunters Creek campsite sign. Keep hiking on trail for another .3 miles until you reach the man-made bridge that lets hikers cross Hunters Creek. However, don’t cross the bridge.
Head north up Hunters Creek staying on the east side of the river. Keep in mind, there was still lots of snow on the ground when we did this hike. Lots of post holing and downed trees. This will be a much more enjoyable hike later in the summer after the snow melts. There was a faint social trail that kept going in and out. The amount of downed trees and snow made this a true bushwhack.
Continue north up Hunters Creek for about a mile. There is no signage indicating Lyric Falls. It is also not a very high waterfall which makes it even more trickier to find the waterfall.
Kind of reminds me of Calypso Cascades in the Wild Basin, but more windy. There is also less spots to get a good view of the falls even if you are right next to them. Lyric Falls sits at an elevation around 10,171 feet. At first I was going to try and use the change of sound from the water to try and pinpoint the location. But up near the falls there were many parts that still had lots of ice so that wasn’t an option.
Photographing Lyric Falls
For me, the most difficult part of photographing Lyric Falls was actually finding which sections are the actual falls. The lack of online photos, video and on-trail signage make it difficult to pin point the waterfalls exact location. Also, if you can’t get there about an hour or so after sunrise, pray for overcast. There were no clouds when we were there and the snow reflected the early morning sun. Even with a 6 stop ND filter I wasn’t able to balance the whites and darks.
I believe there are three sections of the waterfall, at least from a photographic view point. Getting the entire waterfall in one shot is not possible unless done from aerial. Trees and the windiness of the creek makes this quite difficult to photograph.
Heading Back from Lyric Falls
After spending about an hour hiking around the fast flowing water from Lyric Falls we decided it was time to head back. About .1 miles from the waterfall was a downed tree laying across the creek. We carefully walked across the tree to reach the west side of Hunters Creek. From here, we bushwhacked southwest about .3 miles to get back on Sandbeach Lake trail. Much easier than following the social trail back down. But then again, crossing Hunters Creek in June can be dangerous do to how fast and hard the water is flowing.
This also gave us a chance to swing by the beach. We had all of Sandbeach Lake to ourselves. The lake was almost completely thawed, with sounds of ice cracking from being washed up near the shoreline. I liked the hike overall. The Sandbeach Lake trail is well maintained and there are cool streams and cascades along the way.