After leaving the wonderful Pagosa Springs area we headed to Canon City to explore the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. We marveled at the amazing Treasure Falls just a few minutes out of Pagosa. Then we were able to enjoy some breathtaking views at Wolf Creek Pass. Both were amazing and we were glad we were able to see them on our way out of the Pagosa Springs area.
Getting to Treasure Falls didn’t take very long as it is only 15 miles east of Pagosa Springs on Highway 160. Since we were in a hurry to get to Canon City, it was nice that the waterfall is visible from the parking area. However it requires a short uphill hike to get near the base. The waterfall cascades 105 feet into Falls Creek, which connects with the San Juan River. FYI, the San Juan begins at the top of Wolf Creek Pass and then flows west all the way to the Gulf of California.
For the adventurous type there is a trail that leads you even better views. It is a well maintained set of dirt switch backs up the side of a densely-forested hill. We heard that the views at the top are exceptional. It’s about 1/4 of a mile trek to the falls, with an elevation gain of over 300 ft. However, it does take about 30-45 minutes round trip, and we didn’t have enough time.
I love waterfalls, and this one was pretty darn cool. I have attached a short video for you to view if you also like waterfalls.
We left Treasure Falls and made our way up to Wolf Creek Pass. The views were amazing and seemed to go on forever. The summit of the Wolf Creek Pass reaches the Continental Divide at above 10,000 feet, which explains the spectacular views. We stopped at the top, took some pictures, and read the displays on the monument.
For those of you who are not aware Wolf Creek Pass is a high mountain pass on the Continental Divide, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It is the route through which U.S. Highway 160 passes from the San Luis Valley into southwest Colorado on its way to New Mexico and Arizona. We were there in May, and as you can see, there was still a lot of snow.
I found it very interesting that we were technically straddling the spine of the Western Hemisphere. It was also amazing to learn that snow/water that falls her goes so many places. The water on the west side goes to the Pacific Ocean, south to the Gulf of Mexico, east to the Atlantic Ocean, and north to the Hudson Bay and up to the Arctic. So interesting. If you are in the area, you need to stop and take in the phenomenal views, even if only for a short time. You will be glad you stopped.
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