Seven Falls in the Pike’s Peak region has been called the “Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado.” Located in South Cheyenne Canyon just ten minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, Seven Falls is a wondrous natural creation. During the summer, Seven Falls are brilliantly lit and illuminate the entire canyon.
The History of the Seven Falls
The land around Seven Falls had several owners in the 1800’s but none realized its true value. That is until 1882 when a naturalist named James Hull bought the property for $1300. He also owned acreage around the canyon area that brought the total acreage of land to 400.
Hull was not only a naturalist with a desire to keep the property protected from the loggers; he was a businessman who could see the potential of the area as a tourist resort. Hull constructed a road through the canyon up to the Seven Falls and built a stairway along the side of the Falls. He put up a toll gate at the foot of the canyon and advertised the area as a scenic resort. In the early days access to the Falls was by horse, burro or carriage; and a local entrepreneur paid Hull and his sons $500 for the privilege of taking passengers to the Falls. He charged 25 cents each and Seven Falls soon became a prominent tourist attraction in the area. In 1905 the property, then owned by Hull’s sons and totaling 1400 acres, was sold to C.D. Weimer for 250 thousand dollars.
What to see and do at Seven Falls
Seven Falls is located in a natural box canyon. The road winds through the canyon for approximately one mile between steep cliffs that are only 41 feet at the narrowest point and rise to 940 feet on the right side and 790 feet on the left. At the end of the road is Seven Falls cascCredit: photo by Philading down seven distinct steps of pink granite.
The main attraction is the 224 steps stairway alongside the Falls leading to Eagle’s Nest Observation platform. The stairway was built alongside the Falls in 1885. For those less inclined to make the climb; there is an elevator located inside the mountain that goes up to the platform.
At the top of the Falls, there are two hiking trails open from mid-March to mid-October. The trails are moderately difficult as you climb from 6,800 at the trailhead to 7,200 at the trail’s end. One of the trails leads to Inspiration Point; is one mile long and is the more popular of the two trails. At Inspiration Point the reward is a magnificent view of the Great Plains and the city of Colorado Springs. The other trail, about a half-mile long leads to Midnight Falls and is the newest of the trails.
In the waters of the Falls rainbow and brook trout can be seen. In the fall, the brook trout spawn in the cold waters higher up in the canyon. In the spring, they swim down Cheyenne Creek; over and down the Seven Falls; and rest in the pools below.
Birds seen in the canyon include the hummingbird and one of the most unusual songbirds of the world—the American Dipper which nests and lives along the creek. This songbird swims underwater and sometimes even walks on the bottom of the stream bed. This amazing bird is able to do this due to several adaptations for surviving underwater where it finds its favorite food of stonefly and mosquito larvae.
Stay at the nearby Broadmoor Hotel
When visiting the scenic Seven Falls, the trip isn’t complete without a stay at the majestic Broadmoor Hotel which is located nearby in Colorado Springs. For 50 consecutive years the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort has been honored with a Five-Star Award by Forbes Travel Guide. Sitting in the sCredit: photo by Cheryl Weldonhadow of Cheyenne Mountain the Broadmoor offers a range of amenities including a spa, fitness center, two swimming pools, three outdoor hot tubs, a lap pool, three golf courses, six tennis courts, 24-hour room service, valet parking, and 24 specialty retail shops.
The Broadmoor was built in 1918 by Charles L. Tutt and Spencer Penrose who amassed a fortune from mining claims at nearby Cripple Creek. After touring Europe’s finest hostelries, Penrose decided to build one with no expense spared.
The hotel has known many celebrities and dignitaries including the late President Ronald Regan, John Wayne and members of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). The Broadmoor Hotel and Resort has over 700 rooms and 18 restaurants and cafes. The dining experience is varied and features The Penrose Room, the only Five-Diamond dining in Colorado. Credit: photo by Kari Sullivan
Nestled in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain, many of the rooms at the Broadmoor have a marvelous view. The view from the Penrose Room is breathtaking; some claiming to see “all the way to Denver.” After a vigorous climb up 224 steps and an hour long hike at the beautiful Seven Falls; what better place to relax, soak in a hot tub and later enjoy a delicious dinner.
The hours of operation for the Seven Falls varies throughout the year. Check here for the most current schedule of open hours.
www.sevenfalls.com - accessed May 20, 2010
www.broadmoor.com – accessed May 20, 2010
The copyright of the article “The Seven Falls in Colorado Springs Delight Visitors” is owned by Cheryl Weldon and permission to republish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.