Helen Hunt Falls

North Cheyenne Canyon Park / Colorado Springs / El Paso County, Colorado, USA

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1
Helen Hunt Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Helen Hunt Falls was our introduction to the waterfalls in the Colorado Springs area, and it was quite easy to visit. It was essentially a modestly-sized two-segment cascade on North Cheyenne Creek dropping about 36ft that was easily seen from the parking lot along the main road in North Cheyenne Canyon Park (also spelled North Cheyenne Cañon Park; see directions below). There was a visitor center building there, but I'd imagine that it was open seasonally as it wasn't open during our visit in late March 2017. Given how easy this visit was, our daughter had quite a bit of fun playing near the water at the base of the falls as well as interacting with some locals visiting with their dogs.

While it was easy to think of the name of this falls in terms of the actress Helen Hunt (who acted in the sitcom Mad About You as well as movies like Twister, As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Castaway, Pay It Forward, etc.), when doing research prior to and after visiting this falls, I learned that the waterfall was named after writer Helen Hunt Jackson who lived in and was buried in Colorado Springs later in her life in the 19th century. In addition to writing works inspired by the scenery of the Colorado Springs area, she was an advocate for Native American rights, which was quite revolutionary at the time given the history of Native Americans during an era when land was being seized from the various tribes throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In fact, her most notable work titled Ramona was said to be about the mistreatment of Native Americans in Southern California, and she often published anonymously to get her voice heard while minimizing the anticipated backlash from speaking out.

During our visit, North Cheyenne Creek seemed to have fairly average to less-than-average flow, which was surprising to us considering it was early Spring. Even though most of California had been getting much higher than average rainfall in the Winter, apparently this part of the Rocky Mountains didn't get as much of that precipitation that we were getting hit with. Thus, I'd imagine had the area not gotten any more precipitation the falls could go dry in the Summer once the snow pack had been depleted.

Our visit only took us less than 30 minutes, which encompassed lingering around the base of the falls and hiking up to the bridge above the falls. Julie talked me out of doing the Silver Cascades Trail further beyond the top of Helen Hunt Falls as we were short on time (though I did see an attractive cascade a short distance further upstream). According to the signs, that trail was said to be about 1/3-mile in each direction with about 275ft of elevation gain (which can hit you if you're not already acclimated to the elevation of Colorado Springs at about 6,000ft and the dry climate).




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PHOTO JOURNAL

With Helen Hunt Falls being so close to downtown Colorado Springs, we were also able to spend time at the beautiful Garden of the Gods with its majestic cliffs and spiresWith Helen Hunt Falls being so close to downtown Colorado Springs, we were also able to spend time at the beautiful Garden of the Gods with its majestic cliffs and spires
Also roughly an hour's drive from downtown Colorado Springs was the summit of Pike's Peak at 14,115ft, which we were able to drive to. This was perhaps the only 14,000ft peak that we were able to bag.Also roughly an hour's drive from downtown Colorado Springs was the summit of Pike's Peak at 14,115ft, which we were able to drive to. This was perhaps the only 14,000ft peak that we were able to bag.
Just minutes from North Cheyenne Canyon Park was the impressive Seven Falls on South Cheyenne Creek, which was perhaps Colorado Springs' signature waterfallJust minutes from North Cheyenne Canyon Park was the impressive Seven Falls on South Cheyenne Creek, which was perhaps Colorado Springs' signature waterfall
Context of the view along North Cheyenne Creek towards Helen Hunt Falls as seen from the visitor centerContext of the view along North Cheyenne Creek towards Helen Hunt Falls as seen from the visitor center

Looking across the base of Helen Hunt FallsLooking across the base of the falls

Contextual view of the front of Helen Hunt Falls with bridge above itContextual view of the front of the falls with bridge above it

The short path leading to the bridge above Helen Hunt FallsThe short path leading to the bridge above the falls

Looking down over the top of Helen Hunt Falls before reaching the bridgeLooking down over the top of the falls before reaching the bridge

Tahia approaching the bridge above Helen Hunt FallsTahia approaching the bridge above the falls

Looking down over the top of Helen Hunt Falls towards the visitor center and parking lotLooking down over the top of Helen Hunt Falls towards the visitor center and parking lot

The Silver Cascade Trail went further upstream along North Cheyenne Creek before switchbacking to the left to ascend even higher up the canyonThe Silver Cascade Trail went further upstream along North Cheyenne Creek before switchbacking to the left to ascend even higher up the canyon

This was an attractive cascade further upstream from Helen Hunt Falls seen along the Silver Cascade Trail, but this was as far up as I went before heading back due to time constraintsThis was an attractive cascade further upstream from Helen Hunt Falls seen along the Silver Cascade Trail, but this was as far up as I went before heading back due to time constraints

Returning to the footbridge above Helen Hunt Falls after my brief stint on the Silver Cascade TrailReturning to the footbridge above Helen Hunt Falls after my brief stint on the Silver Cascade Trail


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Checking out the front of the falls from all along the viewing area getting all the way up to the falls itself


Checking out the very top of the falls from the bridge then walking all the way down to the main viewing area while examining the falls from all sorts of different angles


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

While there were many ways to drive to Helen Hunt Falls from various spots in the Colorado Springs area, we'll just describe the way we did it from the I-25 exit at Tejon Street (exit 140) a few miles south of downtown Colorado Springs. Once we got off the freeway and reached the next traffic light at the off-ramp, we then turned right and followed Tejon Street for about 0.4 miles to its junction with West Cheyenne Blvd, where we kept right and followed this street for about 2.4 miles to its intersection with North Cheyenne Canyon Road (right across from the North Cheyenne Canyon Visitor Center). We then turned right to go onto North Cheyenne Canyon Road and followed this narrower road for about 2.6 miles to the obvious parking lot in front of the visitor center, where the waterfall could clearly be seen already. Overall, this drive took us about 20-25 minutes to get from the Rockrimmon Blvd ramps along the I-25 (near the Hyatt House where we stayed) to this part of North Cheyenne Canyon Park.

For further context, Colorado Springs was about 71 miles (or over an hour drive without traffic) south of Denver along the I-25, or about 97 miles (around 90 minutes drive) south of Boulder.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.


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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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