2.8 Miles RTElevation Change:
260 Foot Drop Rating:
Dogs are allowed, but according to Denver Water's rules and regulations
they must be leashed. Advice:
Wear pants, there's lots of growth on the trail and downed trees to crawl over.Location:
Boulder area, near Gross Reservoir. You don't need a 4-wheel drive to get to the trail head, but there is dirt road. (Directions below)
I've canoed around Gross Reservoir and I consider myself a waterfall junkie, so I was surprised to hear there was a waterfall at Gross Reservoir. The directions to this hike also surprised me. I don't remember many left turnoffs in Boulder Canyon.
But this is the first weekend of hiking season, Memorial Day weekend, so I figured it was a good time to "get outside" and I decided to start my hiking season with what sounded like a short, simple hike.
We got a late start. We didn't get to the trailhead until 3:30 p.m. With late sunsets, we figured we had plenty of time. We did.
We parked at the upper lot. Don't expect many signs. There's a gate here with your typical forest warning signs, but that was about it.
We started down the Jeep road, then hiked left at the "V." A few yards later, we found several cars and several tents. We also saw lots of fire rings along the trail, so this is apparently a popular place for camping.
This is where we picked up the "trail" of sorts.
While I normally don't like trails that drop in elevation, this one is a treat. Most of the hike follows a small stream.
One report I read before the hike said there are a lot of wildflowers in late May and June. I spotted four different kinds of flowers. While I don't know what kinds of flowers they were, I will tell you I saw white, purple and yellow flowers, but they were all very small.
If you like flowers, this may be a better hike in late June. Also expect to climb over several trees along the way, there were several that were across the path. Above Forsythe Canyon Waterfall
After 1.0 miles, you're there. The top of a 20 to 30 foot waterfall. It's not a gusher, but it was flowing pretty good.
Here you can sit on the rocks and then go back, but I'd recommend continuing on down the path to Gross Reservoir.
You can climb down the rocks on the side of the waterfall or return to the trail and follow it down. We took the adventurous route, working our way down the rocks so we could take pictures at the bottom of the falls. My boyfriend crossed the stream and climbed the rocks on the other side so I could take his picture next to the falls.
After some photos, we continued on. The trail goes another tenth of a mile or so to the inlet for Gross Reservoir. Unfortunately, when we got there, the water level was really low. Denver Water's web site says Gross is at 44% of capacity right now. We did find a buoy attached to a chain that said no boating. So at some point, I would assume there was/is water here.
But the low water level gave us a chance to hike a little more. We walked on the rocks and sand another 1/4 mile to the water. We didn't see the whole reservoir, just the inlet, but we did see a family that had kayaked to this spot and had a fishing pole in the water. Inlet of Gross Reservoir at Forsythe Canyon
After a break, we turned around and headed back, uphill this time.
If you come here in the heat of the summer, don't plan to swim in Gross Reservoir
. It is part of Denver Water's supply and because of its temperature, no swimming is allowed. It was opened to non-motorized, non-trailered boating such as canoes and kayaks a few years ago.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, hiking suggestions, advice, etc... just email me: email@example.com
Web sites I used to plan this hike:
Ruth Carol Cushman
From Denver, take the Boulder turnpike to Boulder. Turn left on Canyon. Watch the street numbers. At Canyon and 9th, check your odometer. Drive 4.7 miles and turn left on Magnolia. This is a twisty road with hairpin turns, respect the speed limit. Between mile marker 6 and 7, look for Country Road 68, turn left. Then it's 2 miles to the trailhead on your right. There's a nice parking lot here. If you have a 4-wheel drive, you can drive the next tenth of a mile to a V. At the V -- there's a parking lot to the left and a Jeep road to the right. We started from the first parking lot.
Previous hiking reports:(lower elevation hikes have a star)
, Mallory Cave*
, Marshall Mesa
,Heil Valley Ranch*
, South Boulder Peak*
, The Boulder Flatirons*
, Walker Ranch*
, Bear Peak*
, Rabbit Mountain*
, Bald Mountain*
, Betasso Preserve*
, Wonderland Lake*
, Chimney Gulch*
, Apex Park*
, Elk Meadow*
, Chicago Lakes
, Chief Mountain
Rocky Mountain National Park:
, Twin Sisters
, Bierstadt Lake
, Chasm Lake
, Lulu City & Little Yellowstone
, The Loch, Andrew's Glacier
, Sandbeach Lake
Indian Peaks/James Peak Wilderness:
King, Bob & Betty Lakes
, Forest Lakes
, Arapaho Lakes
, Mitchell & Blue Lakes
, James Peak Area
, Heart Lake
, Devil's Backbone*
, Lake Agnes
Summit & Eagle Counties:
, Missouri Lakes
, Mohawk Lakes & Continental Falls
St Louis Lake
, Waterfall At Snow Mountain Ranch
, Granby Ranch
Exploring Fulford Cave
, Our Favorite Hikes
, Our Favorite Bike Rides
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