It may be an easy hike to view the falls, but some visitors never return.
Colorado is home to some of the most sweeping and expansive views in the United States with places such as the Garden of the Gods, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Great Sand Dunes. Stories and folklore surround the lonely mountains (some a bit more famous than others… looking at you, Stephen King). But about two hours south of Rocky Mountain National Park and the mile-high city of Denver is a section of North Cheyenne Cañon Park that is said to be haunted.
Just outside Colorado Springs lies North Cheyenne Cañon Park, the home to Helen Hunt Falls. Named after the famous poet and activist (and not the Academy Award-winning actress), the 35-foot falls have been fascinating visitors for decades… and some of those visitors never return.
History buffs, activists, Coloradans, and hikers visit the falls each year, and while the trail is only 1/10 of a mile (roundtrip), many accidents are reported and at least one death occurs each season. Of course, hikers who might want to explore a bit more than a 10-minute jaunt up to the falls can start their journey at the Lower Columbine trailhead at the Strasmore Visitor Center (currently closed). This will turn your 10-minute journey into a four hour one (and that’s just one-way) with an elevation gain of about 1000 feet.
While you’re wandering along the creek and taking in the sights of the falls, remember the tales told by your fellow hikers as you make your way along the treacherous path:
Those who dare to explore the trail at night (which we do not recommend as the area is very dangerous and has killed hikers in the past… don’t you remember?!), report hearing strange sounds, voices, and screams coming from the darkness… they must be particularly loud to be heard over Helen’s beautiful waterfall.
All visitor centers are closed at this time due to Covid-19, however, Colorado is encouraging the use of their parks and hiking trails as long as you use common sense and practice social distancing.
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