How to get to Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls.

It’s a cool place and we get a lot of questions about how to get to the falls.

Friends don't let friends Introducing (3)

Curt Gowdy State Park does a great job of marking trails and trail intersections, but it can be tricky to find the best route. We see people up there all the time looking for the waterfall and on the wrong trail.

We thought we’d dedicate a post to Hidden Falls and give you a few tips for this hike. We’re going to break it down into the most popular route, the easiest route, and a fun loop.

Most Scenic/Popular Route:

  • Start from the Aspen Grove Trailhead. If you look across the parking lot (on the archery range side) you’ll see a trail sign and another smaller sign that says “waterfall.”

Hidden Falls 1

IMG_6939

  • Follow this trail up and through the meadow and then the trees.

IMG_6940

  • You’ll come to the first intersection,  but it’s well marked. Just keep heading down the trail.

IMG_6943

  • You’ll climb a little bit farther and then come out in a meadow. The next intersection is where people make a wrong turn. Hang a hard left and keep on climbing. You’ll want to stay on the trail and not turn left but do it. This intersection is not currently marked with a “waterfall” sign.

IMG_6947

  • The trail will climb a little bit higher before it starts to descend through the forest. As you get into the forest you’ll notice  more rock formations, thick, green vegetation (and wonder if you’re still in Wyoming) and hear the sound of water rushing through Crow Creek.

IMG_6959

  • The next intersection you’ll come to will be down, close to the creek. Your instinct will be to keep hiking low along the creek but the trail actually makes a hard right turn and starts switchbacking up again. This intersection is marked with a “waterfall” sign and hang in there- you’re on the right path.

IMG_6965

  • Shortly after this intersection you’ll come to a bridge, this intersection will give you the option to either continue along Crow Creek trail or head on Alberts Alley. Keep trekking along the Crow Creek trail, at this point you’re less than 1/2 mile from the waterfall.

IMG_6978IMG_6977

  • You’ll come to another intersection but keep on moving down Crow Creek.
  • IMG_6991You’ll  know you’re almost at the waterfall when you start to hear it, and the rock formations become dense. The last few feet up to the waterfall follow a stone staircase.

On this route the waterfall is just about 2 miles from the trailhead.

  • To get back to the Aspen Grove Trailhead simply retrace your steps.
  • You can do this trail with a lightweight jogging stroller like a Chariot but I don’t recommend it. You’ll have to carry the stroller over several rocky places and have any child exit the Chariot and walk along several portions of the trail. It’s much easier to carry a child or double carry two children along this route.

Chariot

Easiest/Kid-Friendly Route:

  • If you’re looking for an easier kid-friendly route (albeit less scenic) park at the Aspen Grove trailhead and walk through the horse stables.

IMG_7031

  • Link up with the Lariat Loop and follow it through a meadow. It’s not much of a trail in places.

IMG_7020IMG_7016

  • Eventually, you’ll come to the intersection where the Lariat Loop links up with Albert’s Alley. Follow Albert’s Alley down the meadow.

IMG_7019 IMG_7028

  • Follow Albert’s Alley down to this bridge. This is the same bridge you’d link up with if you came on this trail via Crow Creek.

IMG_6992

  • At the bridge hang a right and get onto Crow Creek trail.
  • Not far from the bridge is another trail intersection, keep on truckin’ down Crow Creek trail.

IMG_6991

  • You’ll  know you’re almost at the waterfall when you start to hear it, and the rock formations become dense. The last few feet up to the waterfall follow a stone staircase.
  • The waterfall is just about 2 miles from the trailhead on this route too.
  • To get back to the Aspen Grove Trailhead simply retrace your steps.
  • This is a much more Chariot-friendly trail, without a lot of boulders, roots or other obstacles. Your child will be able to ride in a Chariot until the last few hundred feet to the falls. Bicycles are not allowed on the Lariat Loop but the park has said nothing about jogging strollers, so there’s some gray area there. I figure that a parent hauling a toddler in a stroller isn’t moving at the speed of a mountain biker and has plenty of time to give equestrians and horses their space.

IMG_7023

The Loop: 

For a fun 4-mile-loop I recommend heading down to the waterfall via Crow Creek & Pinball and heading up via Alberts Alley and Lariat trail. This will show you the most terrain diversity and loops are always fun!

Pro-Tips:

  • Bring sandals or water shoes  if you’re hiking with kids because they will want to splash in the water. I just stripped my kids down to their skivvies and packed their Keens to wear in the water. After we played in the water I wrapped them in our rain gear (because I wasn’t about to pack the extra weight from towels) and sat them on a rock to warm up and dry off after playing in the water.

IMG_6990

  • Some signs at intersections say “waterfall” and some signs don’t. Look at a map before you strike out (or print off a FREE map and bring it with you) before you go.
  • Another way for easy navigation is to download a map of Curt Gowdy State Park on your mobile phone. Just follow the blue bubble, it’ll pinpoint your location onto a map as long as you have service. We had cell service for most of the hike except the last mile or so along Crow Creek to the falls.

IMG_8346

 

Overall this is a fun hike through some interesting terrain to a fun waterfall! Kids love the waterfall and climbing on the big boulders along the route. Just know where you’re going before you leave the trailhead and don’t depend on “waterfall” signs and you’ll easily find this hidden gem.

Have you been to Hidden Falls? What tips do you have for the trek there or the route?

+ Add a Comment

User Comments

  1. Shelly Coulter |

    We just went yesterday and just took crow creek from the road the whole way. It was nice to not have to change trails and it followed the river the whole way. Beautiful hike and my two boys loved swimming at the end! 🙂

  2. Rob Maes |

    You did a great job of giving directions! Followed them, and did a little creek fishing up near the falls and made out like a bandit. Really wide variety of trout up there. Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, and Brook trout all swim in the eddies there. Better fishing that I dare say than at the lakes, and 10 inch fish on average! The only thing I’d note is that people have taken shortcuts in some spots, and over time it has created a path which can make it a little confusing at times. Thanks for posting this!

    • Rebecca |

      Thanks Rob 🙂 Glad you were able to find some fish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ Add a Comment