There are two routes you can take on the Maxwell Falls Upper Trail from the Upper Maxwell Falls Trailhead. Both are scenic, fun, and accessible, featuring views of just about every kind of mountain scenery that nature lovers might want to see. Not only is this one of the most popular day hikes near Denver, some people have even called it "doggie heaven" due to how much fun pups have here. Don't hesitate to bring your favorite four-legged hiking buddies along for this one, even if they've never hiked before.
There is no bathroom at the trailhead, but there is simple pull-off parking and a sign marking where the trail begins. Maxwell Falls is about a half-mile hike from the trailhead. If you're feeling tired or are pressed for time, you can hike to the falls and back in less than an hour. If you want to spend more time on the trail, bear left at some of the trail forks to take the Cliff Trail Loop, a three-mile loop that you can finish in just under two hours.
Each option grants great views of Maxwell Falls, a modest but scenic waterfall that tumbles over natural stone stairsteps in a nest of fragrant pines. The longer loop will take you past spectacular rock formations and up chiseled cliffs to a promontory with soaring views. From this vista point, you can see distant mountains and forests carpeting the valleys below them. In the fall, you'll notice some streaks of gold aspen among the deep green pines and painterly splashes of red and gold brush along otherwise bare rock faces. The shallow, rocky creek provides a pleasant burbling soundtrack along the way.
Thick forests provide deep shade, making this hike a nice option on a hot summer day. It's a popular trail, so parking can get crowded at times. Well-socialized dogs will enjoy the opportunity to meet the many other dogs that flock to this trail with their people, tongues out and tails wagging. Be sure to be prepared and bring water and clean up bags.
Don't pass up the pawsome opportunity to make life-long memories with your dog on this beautiful trail.