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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Wild Basin

October 27th, 2014 · No Comments

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Sharon and I managed to make one more trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park before the snows of winter come. Each of us wanted to get back to Wild Basin, which is one of the prettiest parts of the park and is the closest to our homes in Boulder.​

“Ouzel Falls is the most popular destination in Wild Basin,” says Lisa Foster in Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking Guide. “It is a short cascade in Ouzel Creek that plunges dramatically over a small granite cliff.”

This is my favorite Wild Basin hike too, one that I’ve made four or five times over the years. Sharon has also hiked here often. But neither of us had been to Wild Basin since the September 2013 flood damaged many of the trails and took out several of the bridges, including the one over Ouzel Creek, effectively blocking the trail beyond the falls.

That didn’t inconvenience us, because the 5.4 mile roundtrip hike to Ouzel Falls was long enough. We started at 8 a.m. when the car thermometer registered 29 degrees 8,500 feet up in the Rocky Mountains. After climbing steadily for 1,000 feet, we reached the falls.

Much of the hike was within hearing distance of North St. Vrain Creek, into which Ouzel Creek flows. A spur trail took us to a short waterfall en route.

​Copeland Falls on North St. Vrain Creek

Copeland Falls on North St. Vrain Creek

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​When the trail reached Ouzel Creek, we could see the falls in the distance. But the real view required a little scrambling up the left bank over boulders and through thickets until we got close enough to the falls to feel the mist.

Sharon Enjoys the Mist of Ouzel Falls​

Sharon Enjoys the Mist of Ouzel Falls

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A Steller’s Jay showed up during our stop at Ouzel Falls. Sometimes people picnic there, and it looks to me that someone fed the bird, which is a no-no. But I was glad to have it come so close.

​A Steller's Jay Picnics at Ouzel Falls

A Steller's Jay Picnics at Ouzel Falls

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