Maxwell Falls: Denver's Nearest Water Falls
Denver is as widespread as the West tends to be, and coupled with an overwhelming number of hiking spots in the surrounding area, it can be tricky to pick only one. But not to worry: Maxwell Falls proved to be a great choice for my brief four-day trip to Denver this summer.
Once I’d selected my trek for the day (Denver has an overwhelming number of hiking options), I got up early and went to pick up a rental car I’d booked the week before: Bumblebee 2.0. This mustang was a ton of fun to zip through the mountains in, and gave me some autonomy and independence while my Denver friends were at work. I used the Turo car rental app, my second time renting with them, and I’ll leave you a code to receive $25 credit here.
Nestled in the mountainous rural town of Englewood, CO, a pretty area west of Denver, Maxwell Falls offers three different hiking options for its adventurous visitors (1-mile, 3-mile, and 4-mile). Visit the county website for helpful information for hikers, including bear safety and parking directions for each of the three trails. Given its convenient proximity to the city compared to other hiking options (about 50 minutes), and the nearest waterfall site to Denver, Maxwell Falls is very popular, and choosing quieter times like weekday mornings is best.
Personally, I love looking for trouble, and was hoping to spot a bear on my walk through the woods (somehow this seemed less threatening than a mountain lion…) No bears sadly, but in the quiet of a Monday morning with few others on the trail, plenty of smaller wildlife appeared. For the first time, I saw not one but two hummingbirds buzzing around the creek for a drink. One even stopping fluttering its wings long enough to take a splashy little bathe! Hiding behind a tree, I watched a nearby woodpecker makes its way noisiliy up a neighboring tree.
I took the 4-miler that wrapped its way around the mountain, and the trail was quite diverse and stunningly pretty. I’d walked through such diverse terrain that by the end of my long walk I’d seen thick and vibrant evergreens, luscious flower fields, cavernous rocks, a smattering of peppy white birch trees, and a gently hypnotic waterfall. Flowers are speckled throughout most of the trail.
This was 100% a top-three highlight from the entire trip, so if you can spare a morning to do it I'd highly recommend it!