I recently took a day hike up to beautiful Four Mile Falls nestled in the sunny San Juans outside of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The day was a perfect, clear blue sky kind of day that you can routinely experience in Southern Colorado. It was my fourth or fifth time on this particular trail, and I never seem to get tired of it. The trail itself meanders through open meadows, pine forests and rocky slopes on its way to multiple water falls, beautiful vistas and high mountain lakes. It is an easy trail for experienced hikers but can be challenging at points due to the high altitude and occasional steep stretches. The trail gets harder if you decide to go on beyond Four Mile Falls toward some of the back country falls and lakes higher up.
You should typically allow 1.5 to 2 hours for the hike to the falls and a little less time for the return trip, but know that your time will be well spent. On this trip, I packed in lunch and enjoyed watching the roaring falls cascade over the huge rock formations and boulders while enjoying some sandwiches. The spray from the falls is the perfect antidote to the heat generated by the summer sun and the exertion needed to climb the last few hundred yards. Visitors should pack plenty of water or bring filtration gear to replenish along the way, and wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots.
The trail to Four Mile Falls is well traveled and during the summer you will probably see a steady stream of families, friends and solo hikers enjoying the trail. Its a wonderful way to spend half a day in some very beautiful country. You’ll be tired by the time you get back to the trailhead, but its that good tired, right?