About Cornet Falls
Cornet Falls (also called Cornet Creek Falls) was perhaps the waterfall that stole the show when it came to waterfalling the Telluride area on our first visit back in April 2017.
Unlike the nearby Bridal Veil Falls at the time, this 80ft waterfall was not locked up in ice and snow so it performed quite nicely.
It even had a snow cone at its base that would make Disney’s Elsa proud.
However, when we came back in the Summer of 2020, I got to experience this waterfall unencumbered by the hazards from the presence of snow and ice.
The result was a much easier hike as well as a thinner plunge waterfall that allowed me to stand behind it.
I was first made aware of Cornet Creek Falls by the receptionist working at the charming Victorian Inn as an alternate to the more famous Bridal Veil Falls.
That said, she made the hike seem easier than it turned out to be, even suggesting that our six-year-old daughter could do the hike.
I suppose that this trail may be more difficult or easier depending on the level of erosion that it was subject to.
When I first did it in April 2017, the trail conditions appeared to have changed for the worse given the prevalent erosion as well as the presence of snow and ice on some of these precarious sections.
However, when I came back in July 2020, the trail seemed to have been improved and re-routed since that time, and so I had a much easier hike.
Nevertheless, in either case, the trail still had some very narrow ledges as well as eroded slopes that I still had to get across so I definitely had to exercise an abundance of caution.
Cornet Creek Falls Trail Description
Overall, the brief hike to Cornet Falls was about 0.3 miles in each direction (0.6 miles round trip) from the northern end of North Aspen Street (by the Jud Wiebe Trail and bridge over Cornet Creek; see directions below).
Just to give you an idea of the differences in trail conditions in my visits, it took me about 45 minutes total to do this hike on my first visit, but it only took me less than 30 minutes on my second visit.
So from the northern end of North Aspen Street, I followed the street uphill past some more homes to its end as the road’s surface became dirt.
I also passed by some trailhead signage for the “Jud Wiebe Memorial Trail”.
Not even a minute’s hike beyond the sign, I then encountered a footbridge that continued the Jud Wiebe Trail.
However, for Cornet Falls, I avoided crossing the bridge and continued up the right side of Cornet Creek along a much narrower trail.
Barely another few minutes of hiking later, the trail then got to a part that was once pretty badly eroded alongside what appeared to be intermediate cascades well downstream of the main falls.
The trail actually was supposed to continue further uphill to the right slightly away from the creek, but this section was re-routed to go straight ahead to a restored set of steps by some wooden planks.
It turned out that the upper trail going around this eroded section had some dropoff exposure itself, and it still had to negotiate the eroded sloping section where the planks were.
Thus, it made sense that the re-routed trail completely avoided this climb and cliff-ledge altogether.
Beyond this formerly eroded section, the narrow trail continued hugging ledges while going uphill alongside the Cornet Creek below.
There were a few more steep and somewhat eroded uphill climbs as well as what appeared to be another little rockslide section.
Nevertheless, these hazards seemed to be pretty tame though I’m sure the dropoff exposure and narrowness of the trail might intimidate the inexperienced hiker.
The narrow trail ultimately approached the Cornet Falls after about 15-20 minutes, where the falls never really presented itself until the very end.
Cornet Falls pretty much sat at what appeared to be the head of this mini-canyon carved out by Cornet Creek as it was pretty much surrounded by cliffs on three sides.
The terrain around the base of the falls was also steep and slippery, but I managed to scramble around to the backside of the waterfall for that unusual perspective that seemed unique among Telluride’s waterfalls.
Anyways, after having my fill of the Cornet Creek Falls, I went back down the way I came.
The hike back felt a lot easier since it was mostly downhill, especially since Telluride in general was at high altitude at nearly 9,000ft.
Cornet Creek Falls resides in the town of Telluride in San Miguel County, Colorado. It is administered by the town of Telluride. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
Cornet Creek Falls was pretty much in the town of Telluride.
Once in town, I would continue along Colorado Ave (the main drag through town) before turning left onto N Aspen St.
N Aspen St was about 0.4 miles east of the last roundabout before the Clark’s Supermarket.
Continuing north (uphill) on N Aspen St, I then drove about as far as its intersection with Dakota Ave.
That was where I managed to find two-hour street parking along N Aspen St.
For context, Telluride was 111 miles (over 2 hours drive) north of Durango, 126 miles (about 2.5 hours drive) southeast of Grand Junction, 330 miles (over 6 hours drive) southwest of Denver, 132 miles (under 3 hours drive) east of Moab, Utah, and 322 miles (about 6 hours drive) northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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