South Fork is home to some of the nation's most beautiful waterfalls, from the impressive roar of North Creek falls to the elegant flow of Treasure Falls.
This amazing waterfall is located right alongside the Silver Thread Scenic and Historic byway, passing through the towns of Creede and Lake City, Colorado. The waterfall is over one hundred feet in height, and is carved into the landscape of southwestern Colorado. Indeed, the sight is most often referred to as 'the most photographed waterfall in Colorado', and for good reason.
You do not need to hike to see this stunning waterfall, and it is wheelchair accessible. The overlook is usually snowed over from December and April, but can be accessed to snowmobilers and snowshoers. It also contains a useful rest stop with amenities overlooking the waterfall. For more information, click here.
One of the most impressive waterfalls in Colorado, South Clear Creek Falls is a powerful waterfall and trail that allows you to get up close and personal with it. While not quite as tall as Bridal Veil Falls (Colorado's tallest waterfall) or neighboring North Clear Creek Falls, South Clear Creek is not as well known as those, so you have a good chance of having the site all to yourself.
The views of the valley and the Sand Dunes are fantastic from Zapata Falls, featuring four miles of well-marked hiking and biking trails below the parking lot. Access to the mountain and wilderness area is also available on Forest Service Trail #852 starting in the parking area. This trail follows South Zapata Creek towards South Zapata Lake. There are several ruins of cabins along the trail to view. The falls are particularly beautiful during the winter, when it freezes into a symphony of ice. In both fall and summer, the water is cold and the rocks can be slick, so use good judgment when traversing. Even in the summer, air temperatures inside the alcove can be chilly, so bring a jacket. You can access Zapata Falls from Highway 150, 12 miles north of the intersection with highway 160. Turn right at the sign, and after three miles on the dirt road you’ll find the parking area.
Treasure Falls is an easily accessible waterfall situated fifteen miles east of Pagosa Springs on Highway 160. It’s visible from the parking area, but requires a short uphill hike to get to the base. This a perfect short trip for anyone traveling on Highway 160, and even if you’re really short on time, a quick pull-over is still worth it.
The trail is well maintained, and features switchbacks up a densely-forested hill. The views at the top are excellent. It is about 1/4 of a mile hike up to the falls, with an elevation gain of over 300 ft. Plan about 30-45 minutes for the entire round trip.
The parking area for the falls is halfway up Wolf Creek Pass just before the ski area (if you’re coming from Pagosa).Scenic Drives: Highway 160: Scenic Byway 149