Winter hike, Browns Creek Falls, is finding a mind-blowing frozen waterfall deep in the canyons. The trek is full of views, snow-laden forests, sparkling snow field meadows, and snow-covered bridges — a sensational winter hike with unsurpassed beauty.


Browns Creek Falls Trailhead

waterfall hikes, winter hikes, winter trails in Colorado, Buena Vista hikes, best day hikes, family adventures, Browns Creek Falls, best hikes in Colorado, hiking trails

Browns Creek Falls has been a favorite summer and fall hike, and after completing this hike in January, I’m not sure which season is the best. We found hiking in winter has its unique beauty and intense quiet. We encountered eight hikers the entire day, which is unheard of on Colorado trails lately!

If you are from Colorado, you know it’s time to get outside in the winter when the weather forecast is high clouds, no snowfall, and minimal winds. Chaffe County is a great location to find winter trails.

It is a balmy 35 degrees, and the occasional sunshine on our backs is warming. The hike begins on a steady uphill incline with the occasional snow patches. However, the trails fill with snow cover after reaching the junction for the Colorado Trail.

A mile and 1/2 in, and it’s a white wonderland. Rabbit and Deer tracks are appearing everywhere in the deep snow. A nice treat when winter hiking! I have my eye out for moose tracks and am happy the bears are sleeping.


When you reach the meadow, you are getting close. The views here are spectacular. We found little snow drifts and mini sparkles under the smaller trees, which twinkled brightly.

Something that can only be seen in winter! 

Winter Extras that Keep me Warm

Keen Revel 4 Polar Snow Boot – Comfortable and keep my feet dry. I add Foot Warmers and my feet stay cozy and warm.

Swany Mittens – I love these gloves. I’ve had the same pair for over ten years. Add Hand Warmers, and you never have cold fingers!

Outdoor Research Gaiters keep the snow from going down your boots. Added warmth too.

day hikes, winter hikes, best winter trails in Colorado, day hikes, family hikes, waterfall hikes
day hikes, winter hikes, Colorado winter trails, hiking trails, waterfall trails, best winter hikes in Colorado, hikes Buena Vista, hikes Salida, Colorado

The snow becomes more profound and intensely quiet as we leave the meadow and head back into the trees. After that, the hike gets more impressive.

A couple of bridge crossings add a childlike adventure.

winter hike, winter trails in Colorado, Colorado winter, Colorado winter snowshoe trails, family hikes, Colorado,

Just a few more feet to go, and tucked inside the canyon, almost hidden, you will find Browns Creek Falls in all its frozen glory.

Winter Hiking Tips, How to be Prepared!

Browns Creek Falls, Winter hike

Browns Creek Falls is thick with ice and snow. What a sight! Dramatically different than summer. Beautiful. 

I’d recommend this hike even if you are new to hiking and have acclimated to a higher elevation. It’s moderate initially, but If you can do the first mile and a half, the rest is a stroll.

NOTE: At the turn to the Falls, you can go straight for another grueling uphill 3 miles to Browns Lake. In winter, you need snowshoes.


Rated: moderate

6.2 miles out and back

Trail #1429

Start at 8,990 ft, elevation, End at 9,830 ft

Open to: leashed dogs, horses, mountain bikes

No motorized vehicles

Nearest Towns: Buena Vista / Salida

San Isabel National Forest

Salida Ranger District

Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).

Favorite Winter Hikes

Colorado hikes, Snowshoeing, Colorado trails, where to snowshoe in Breckenridge, Boreas Pass, hiking on Boreas Pass, snowshoe trails, easy snowshoe trails, XC skiing, winter hikes in Colorado, day hikes, MTB trails in Colorado, Summit County, hiking in Summit County, Get outside, Colorado vacation, kid friendly trails, dog friendly trails, Bakers Tank,

Baker’s Tank Trail

Beginner snowshoe trails in Colorado, family hikes, best trails for kids, hikes in Summit County, Colorado vacation

Mayflower Gulch Trail

Spruce Creek Trail, Snowshoe, best snowshoe trails in Breckenridge, day hikes, where to hike in winter, snowshoe trails,

Spruce Creek Trail

Can't wait to see you on the trail!

Connect with me on Instagram! I enjoy hanging out there and leaving tidbits of trails I’ve hiked in Colorado. Follow me and say hi – send me a message! Follow other hikers and be inspired!

Check out some favorite outdoor specialty shops