Seven Falls cascades in seven steps down a granite cliff at Pikes Peak. The descent of the Falls is 181 feet. The water has curved a scenic panorama from the southern edges of the watershed to provide an area of stunning scenic beauty.
Beside the Falls, visitors can descend a set of 224 stairs that will lead them to Midnight Falls and Inspiration Point. The view of Colorado Springs from these vantage points is breathtaking. Take the 14-story elevator to Eagles Nest, which is a viewing platform that allows a stunning view of Seven Falls. Stop by American Dipper, a waterfall nesting area and view hummingbirds, rainbow trout and other wildlife species in their natural habitat.
Nathaniel Colby who homesteaded the area in 1872 owned the 160 acres that includes present day Seven Falls. The following year, he sold the land for a price of $1,000 to the Colorado Springs Land Company. The property changed hands several times, but each owner gained little profit from it. Then, in 1882, James Hull purchased the property for $1,300.
Hull was a naturalist who was greatly disturbed at the felling of trees in South Cheyenne Canon. Eventually, he purchased over 400 acres to protect the natural environment of the area. Being a good businessman, he advertised his ranch as a scenic resort. Hull had a road built through the canon for easy accessibility, and built a staircase beside the Falls, so visitors could fully enjoy the spectacular views of the area. He erected a tollgate at the bottom of the canon and his tourist resort flourished.
By 1900, Hull’s sons had taken over the property and the business. The local newspaper estimated its value at approximately $200,000. By this time the property included 1400 acres. C.D. Weimer purchased it for $250,000 in 1905.
On either side of the picturesque canon, the Pillars of Hercules stretch toward the blue Colorado sky. The seven steps of Seven Falls cascade down the granite slope at the head of the canon. The staircase beside the Falls descends to a crystal clear stream with banks decked with wildflowers. Pine and spruce trees frame a beautiful panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains. The grave of distinguished author, Helen Hunt is located at a viewpoint above the canon where she often sat to enjoy the majestic view of the mountains and plains. All of this beauty combined draws hundreds of locals and tourists to the area each year.
Two beautiful scenic hiking trails are open at Seven Falls from mid-March to mid-October. Trails close at dusk during the peak summer hours. Both trails must be accessed from the staircase beside Seven Falls and are moderate difficult climbs of 7,200 and 6,800 feet. Sturdy and comfortable hiking boots are recommended.
Midnight Falls Trail
This trail leads to beautiful Midnight Falls and is the most recent trail. A century ago, it was the favorite haunt of students attending Colorado College. Springs and snowmelt on Pikes Peak forms South Cheyenne Creek. Midnight Falls is close to the creek’s headwaters. From the staircase, a roundtrip hike is approximately 30 minutes.
Inspiration Point Trail
This trail is a mile in length, roundtrip and the longest trail at Seven Falls. It has been a favorite of visitors for over a hundred years. The round trip hike takes approximately one hour. The trail winds past scenic views to Inspiration Point, where guests enjoy a stunning view of the Colorado Springs’ skyline and the Great Plains.
Since 1948, a tradition of lighting up the canon has been upheld. Included is a life-sized Santa, reindeer and sleigh that’s placed on the roof of the Seven Falls Curio Shop. Locals and tourists gather during the holidays to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season at Seven Falls.
If you are in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado Springs, be sure to take time to visit Seven Falls. It is a scenic wonder that will leave you in awe of nature and make your visit to the region unforgettable.