The Alberta Falls trail is fairly easy and offers a rewarding view of a cool little waterfall. The trail to the falls is about 1.6 miles, and hikers can continue past the waterfall for a few miles to view some scenic lakes and ponds. We decided to turn back after reaching Alberta Falls because we wanted to explore some other areas on our last day, and it made for a perfect morning warm-up hike.
We almost missed the falls because there was a lady on the trail telling us to go back because it was impassable due to snow. Since we’d done a pretty lengthy hike on a snow-packed trail the day before without any problems, we decided to ignore her warning and keep on going. I’m glad we didn’t turn back, because the hike wasn’t difficult at all.
As we hiked intrepidly onward, we encountered few obstacles other than all of the spring runoff that had left parts of the trail a bit mushy. There were a couple of spots where I had to get a running start to clear the trickling waters. Of course, my 6’4″ boyfriend stepped right over them like they were nothing. This is sort of a recurring trend, as the same phenomenon was experienced later that day with the stairs on our hike to Gem Lake.
There was another spot where a natural ice bridge crossed a stream. It was a bit too wide for me to jump, so I braved the bridge. My boyfriend, fresh from taking a bit of a dip through thin ice in Nymph Lake the day before, chose to jump it. I thought it was a fun little low-stakes adventure as I crossed the 3-inch deep water on a natural sheet of ice and snow.
We almost stopped a bit short when we came to a small gorge with a barely visible waterfall. The only way to see the falls there was by standing close to the edge and holding my camera out as far as it would go.
Fortunately, we had the sense to keep going up the trail and soon arrived at our actual destination: Alberta Falls. In total, it’s about a 30ft waterfall, and I loved the unique top portion.
The water comes tumbling down from the right, hits a rock wall, and rebounds back in the opposite direction before falling the rest of the way down the main drop. It’s absolutely mesmerizing.
The rocks to the left of the trail were perfect for climbing, so I scrambled all the way up to the top to get a closer view of the fascinating swirling water up there. The swiftly flowing water has a lot of power for a relatively small stream, and we were there in peak melting season.
The trail continues for a few miles further towards Sky Pond, but we turned back after soaking in the view of the waterfall. The walk back to the parking lot is a touch easier, as it trends downhill. The trail as a whole is relatively easy, and most people of average fitness level should be able to make it to and from Alberta Falls.
What’s the best waterfall you’ve ever hiked to?
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Colorado never ceases to amaze me! I usually skip RMNP in favor of dog-friendly hikes, but this looks like a good one, glad you didn’t listen to that lady and turn around!
What a wonderful post! I love hiking although I’m new to the snow. (I’m from FL). We snowshoed for the first time in Portland, OR this Spring and it was incredible..and exhausting! Asheville, NC has had some amazing waterfalls for me.
Crossing a stream on a natural sheet of ice. You must have really good hiking shoes Kris. 😉 I would have probably landed on my hind as I normally do in the snow. Brave of you! And good you didn’t listen to that lady.
Great post! Very informative. Looking forward to a hike here.
Great post, the hike looks amazing. I haven’t hiked much in the snow, this sounds like fun. And Colorado is too beautiful!
What a beautiful waterfalls. A 30 ft waterfall will, of course, make me amazed. I wish I could go there 🙂 I enjoyed reading your article too.
This hike looks awesome! I’d love to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park soon. Seems like there’s plenty of beautiful hikes to do there!
This sounds like such a fun hike!! I would love to walk over an ice bridge! Also I have never hiked in the snow, did you wear special shoes?
Love the pictures 🙂
We just had our regular hiking boots. I’d brought some rubber cleats, but I didn’t feel like I needed them for this hike.