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.
Unlike the nearby Bridal Veil Falls, this 80ft waterfall was not locked up in ice and snow so it performed quite nicely during our April 2017 visit.
As you can see in the photo above, the falls also featured red rock cliff surroundings to contrast the white of the water.
It even had a snow cone at its base that would make Disney’s Elsa proud.
Accessing Cornet Creek Falls
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.
But as you’ll see shortly, perhaps the trail conditions had changed for the worse since the time the receptionist last did it.
In hindsight, I was definitely glad Tahia nor Julie joined me on what turned out to be a trickier hike than I had anticipated.
Overall, the brief hike to Cornet Falls was about 0.3 miles in each direction (0.6 miles round trip).
However, there were some very real dangers of dropoff exposure and some pretty bad trail erosion during my hike so I bumped up the difficulty score.
It took me about 45 minutes to do this hike solo, but it likely would have taken longer had I brought the wife and daughter along.
Cornet Creek Falls Trail Description
From the nearest street parking (see directions below), I followed the street uphill past some homes to its end as the surface bacame dirt.
I also passed 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 pretty badly eroded section 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.
That said, I noticed footprints cutting straight for some wooden planks that were set up to try to slow down the trail erosion.
So I made the precarious scramble alongside the creek.
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.
This was definitely a section of the hike where I had my doubts about whether this was a safe trail or not.
Beyond this 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, it seemed to me that the worst part was over back at the first eroded section I encountered.
Aside from some dirty snow sections and residual muddiness on the upper reaches of the trail, the narrow trail continued hugging ledges before finally approaching the Cornet Falls after about 15-20 minutes.
The 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 it did appear possible to scramble around the backside of the waterfall (if not for the snow cone that was there during my April 2017 visit).
That said, I didn’t have to go that far just to get close enough to the snow cone to notice some interesting icicle formations on it.
I don’t know much longer this snow cone would typically last before it would completely melt away.
Anyways, after having my fill of the Cornet Creek Falls, I went back down the way I came.
However, I did take a slightly longer way back at the badly eroded section, which seemed to be more sanctioned than the way I took in, but it was still scary.
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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