About Garden Creek Falls
Garden Creek Falls was a bit of an unexpected waterfall surprise in the eastern part of the state of Wyoming near the town of Casper.
It featured a thin multi-tiered drop in the heart of the Rotary Park just to the southeast of town.
From what I can tell, this waterfall may be about 80ft tall though topographic maps seem to suggest there are more tiers further upstream that are not seen from the bottom.
Even though our visit took place in late July 2020, we were pleasantly surprised by its still lively flow so it wasn’t as temporary as I had anticipated.
Indeed, this waterfall’s scenic allure seemed to be “just right” as it wasn’t overwhelming with its flow nor did it feel overrun with people.
It just felt inviting and like a place where locals could hang out.
There was even one friendly Casper resident who welcomed me to Casper as we briefly chatted at an overlook over the town of Casper from within the Rotary Park.
Yep, this waterfalling experience felt different, and it was almost like a throwback to some of our more peaceful waterfall visits from the past.
Indeed, as with many such waterfalls that we’ve been to over the years, things eventually would get pretty crazy with crowds, urban blight, out-of-control social media lemmings effects, etc.
So who knows when Garden Creek Falls might start to get more notoriety on the internet resulting in some of these consequences?
Then again, maybe that “just right” scenic allure combined with its off-the-beaten path location might help keep this place quaint and friendly for the long term.
Garden Creek Falls Trail Description
In any case, our visit to Garden Creek Falls was a straightforward affair.
From the closest parking lot (see directions below), we had a choice of walking to the right over a nearby bridge or straight ahead.
Both paths eventually merged again further upstream by another footbridge near a trail junction with a steep path going uphill to an overlook of Casper.
Continuing further upstream on the west side of that footbridge, after a few paces more, we reached a couple of benches looking right at the Garden Creek Falls.
There was a pretty wide open area with loose rocks that seemed like a good opportunity to at least get the feet wet, and this allowed us to walk right up to the very bottom of the falls for a direct look at it.
So as far as the waterfall was concerned, this was pretty much the extent of the exertion necessary, which I’d say was less than a quarter-mile each way.
Casper Overlook and Extending the Rotary Park Visit
In addition to the base of Garden Creek Falls, I did pursue a steep uphill path on the east side of the sturdy footbridge just downstream of the waterfall.
This steep path was a little on the crumbly and slippery side so some caution was necessary.
On the way up, I managed to get a more elevated (but partial) view of Garden Creek Falls, which gave me some perspective as to the waterfall’s overall height.
Then, barely 150ft up this hill, I reached an overlook deck with a nice view of Casper.
This was the extent of my extension of the hiking in Rotary Park, but I easily could have turned this into a 1.2-mile loop, which seemed to go over the top of Garden Creek Falls while also possibly providing other overlook opportunities.
I can’t say much more about the full loop since I didn’t do that, but maybe on a return visit, I might do that just to complete the Rotary Park experience.
Garden Creek Falls resides in Rotary Park just south of the town of Casper in Natrona County, Wyoming. It is administered by Natrona County. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.
Garden Creek Falls resided in Rotary Park, which was directly south from the town of Casper along Casper Mountain Road.
The way we got here was by leaving the westbound I-25 at exit 185 for Wyoming Blvd (just east of Casper).
Then, we turned left and took Wyoming Blvd for about 5.5 miles to the traffic light at the intersection with Casper Mountain Road.
We then turned left and followed Casper Mountain Road for 2.3 miles before turning left onto the signed S Rotary Park Road.
Next, we followed S Rotary Park Road to its end in a half-mile, where there were parking spaces around a Rotary Park sign.
Alternately, instead of taking Wyoming Blvd to Casper Mountain Road (which avoided driving through Casper), we also could have gone directly south from Casper on S Wolcott St, which then became Casper Mountain Road.
For context, Casper was 50 miles (less than an hour drive) west of Douglas, 112 miles (over 90 minutes drive) south of Buffalo, 147 miles (over 2 hours drive) south of Sheridan, 145 miles (about 2.5 hours drive) east of Lander, 178 miles (2.5 hours drive) north of Cheyenne, 269 miles (over 4 hours drive) east of Jackson Hole, 196 miles (about 3 hours drive) southwest of Hot Springs, South Dakota, and 253 miles (about 4 hours drive) southwest of Rapid City, South Dakota.
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