Waterfall Hikes | A Local’s Guide

Snow is melting, rivers are roaring, and the waterfalls are flowing! Watching the cascading water roar over rocks while you sit back, relax and enjoy the view…what could be better? We’ve compiled the BEST waterfall hikes in Summit County, just for you. Grab your hiking buddy and go on a picturesque adventure this summer!

Check out these resources before your hike:

McCullough Gulch

Distance: 2.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 892 feet
Route Type: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: April – October
Dogs OK? Yes

The lake and waterfall views are absolutely incredible during a sunset. There is some rocky and mixed terrain about halfway up, but the views are worth the effort. The trail itself is spectacular; during the summer the trail blooms with wildflowers!

Continental Falls

Distance: 8.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,129 feet
Route Type: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: July – September
Dogs OK? Yes (and horses)

Heading up Spruce Creek, towards Mohawk Lake, you will encounter the stunning Centennial Falls about halfway up. This challenging, but fun trail increases in elevation towards the end, but the views are worth the effort. It takes about an hour to get to Lower Mohawk Lake and Continental Falls and another 20-30 minutes to get to the top. It can get a little crowded, so weekdays might be your best bet if you want to lay low.

Blue Lakes

Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 342 feet
Route Type: Out & Back
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: May – October
Dogs OK? Yes

This is a laid-back hike for those who don’t want to commit to anything crazy. The best part? The views are just as rewarding! You’ll also most likely see some mountain goats roaming around, so keep a look out!

Willow Falls

Distance: 11.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,864 feet
Route Type: Out & Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: Accessible year-round
Dogs OK? Yes, but must be kept on a leash

This hike is incredibly beautiful; it’s worth the long trek! This is the perfect place for camping or a mini-backpacking trip if you really want to get into it. Signage is a little tricky, make sure you do some research before getting here so you know where to go. Along with the spectacular waterfall, expect a plethora of wildflowers and possibly some mountain goats.