One of our favorite things about spring is the waterfalls. When the snow melts, even the smallest streams comes to life and every waterfall becomes captivating as the water tumbles over rocks and sometimes beneath them. To help share all this, we put together this list of waterfall hikes near Medicine Bow Peak in the Medicine Bow National Forest.
- Lake Marie Falls: We put this one first because it’s the easiest one to get to but I don’t feel right calling it a waterfall hike since you can almost see it from your car. It isn’t the most dramatic thing in terms of height or volume but it is in one of the most beautiful places near Medicine Bow Peak. The waterfall is the start of South French Creek as it leaves Lake Marie and works its way toward the Platte River. We recommend this one for people who don’t want to walk far and don’t mind other people nearby.
- Reservoir Lake Falls: This waterfall ranks pretty high on our list of favorites but it is probably the hardest to get to on this list. The waterfall drains the very large and natural Reservoir Lake north of Medicine Bow Peak. It would be taller but it disappears under some boulders at the bottom and doesn’t reappear for quite a while. We recommend getting to the waterfall by hiking Gap Lakes Trail and then Quealy Lake Trail. This would be the shortest route at 3.4 miles one way and by far the most scenic. We recommend this one for people who don’t mind a moderately difficult and technical hike. You will most likely have this waterfall all to yourself.
- Sunshine Falls: The third waterfall on our list in the area around Medicine Bow Peak is Sunshine Falls along the French Creek Canyon Trail. This waterfall isn’t hard to get to but it can be a pain to get back. It is 2.8 miles from the Tipple Trailhead which is the high point of the trial so it’s all up hill on the way out gaining 976 feet. Sunshine Falls is also easy to miss. You can’t see it from the trail even though it is very close to the trail. There is a sign placed by the Forest Service to guide you. The French Creek Canyon Trail is an amazing hike in its own right so you certainly won’t be disappointed even if you do miss the falls.
If it is still late spring or early summer probably only the Lake Marie Falls will be accessible due to the snow. Let me know if you’ve enjoyed these waterfalls and please tell me if I missed one.