Trip Planner:   Manitou Springs  /  Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls, Manitou Springs

4.2
#8 of 9 in Nature in El Paso County
Waterfall · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Rainbow Falls (informally known as Graffiti Falls) is a waterfall located on Fountain Creek in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The falls' plunge is located beneath a bridge that links Manitou Avenue to Highway 24.

The trailhead to the falls is located on a 180-degree bend on Serpentine Drive, about 1⁄2 mile (0.80 km) off of Highway 24 across from the entrance to the Cave of the Winds. The falls were closed in 2013 for improvement from the El Paso County Parks Department, but have since reopened with a concrete walkway that snakes along the river.
A visit to Rainbow Falls represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Manitou Springs trip planner to plot your vacation.
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Rainbow Falls reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
20 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Be sure to bring water shoes! You can only see the entire falls when you step into the water. In August it was cold, but bearable, but the small, sharp rocks made it painful to walk. Water shoes... 
    Be sure to bring water shoes! You can only see the entire falls when you step into the water. In August it was cold, but bearable, but the small, sharp rocks made it painful to walk. Water shoes...  more »
  • When we visited, it was only open until 4 pm. There were very limited parking spaces, so we had to drive down a bit and park in the public area below. Did a short walk to the falls. The trail is... 
    When we visited, it was only open until 4 pm. There were very limited parking spaces, so we had to drive down a bit and park in the public area below. Did a short walk to the falls. The trail is...  more »
Google
  • Awesome spot to do some offroading! Highly recommend you check it out with a full tank of fuel, some food/snacks and lots of drinks. Some of my favorite trails are Mini Moab, The Gulches, Schubert’s Loop. Most trails can be done in a stock jeep rubicon with a bit of skilled driving.💯💯
  • For me personally, this was a fun trip because we were able to enjoy nature and hike up the mountain to the Falls since there weren't any parking spaces. HOWEVER, I noticed around lunch time spaces open up. So if you're wanting to plan it where you have a chance of having a parking spot actually in the Rainbow Falls gate, try going then. My experience started rocky, pun intended. We arrive at 9:15 not knowing they didn't open until 10 and that's when we noticed there's hardly any parking spots inside that gate. My mom had already tried to visit 3 times before this most recent but didn't have time to wait for a spot to open, so she had to leave. Anyway, the Rainbow Falls attendant came out and told us to drive around until 10 and come back. Which we did. And when we came back, right at 10, every spot was taken as we knew would happen. It was frustrating at first. After we backed out, we decided to find a spot in town and just walk, mind you had a five year old with us and didn't know if she would be able to hang it there. It was also getting in the 90s, super hot. Thankfully, we all had brought water bottles so we were able to hike it. It really was a beautiful walk, at times there's weren't sidewalks so we had to walk in the road with traffic. There's also construction going on, a bit of a mess but we made the best of it and decided to soak in the nature! Once we reached the Falls, BEAUTIFUL!!! It was very cold and I would recommend wearing crocs or shoes you can walk in the water with, there's rocks that will hurt. For us, it was perfect since we were hiking up and down the mountain to get to/from our vehicle, so the water felt great and refreshing. We came on a Saturday right as they opened, perhaps during the week might be better, parking wise? If hiking sounds like your ideal thing, then DO ITTTT. Plan to pay for parking in town and take your time walking, it's worth it :)

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