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Moments of Joy, Boulder Falls

The Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge, all bring wonder and joy. But not everything has to be big, or the first thing on every tourist must-see list, in order to bring joy.

So I learned when I quite unexpectedly discovered Boulder Falls.

Photo of waterfalls, flowing into a stream with a lot of large rocks. Two hikers are walking on the rocks.

I was traveling from the eastern edge of Denver to Nederland, Colorado, had passed through Boulder, which by the way looks like it would be a great place for a future visit, and was about 10 miles west of Boulder when I came across a sign reading “Boulder Falls.”

There were 20 or so cars parked on either side of the highway, I was ready for a break anyway, and so I pulled Betsy (my car) over and came to a stop. I’m glad I did.

The hike to the falls, though a little slippery in spots from recent snow melting, was an easy walk of only about a football field’s length.

The falls, just 70 feet in height, are located in a small canyon. A large stream from the falls floats around large rocks, surrounded by green trees and lush vegetation.

It all looks like the perfect shot from some television commercial where a loving young couple wade through the water, sampling whatever product they happen to be promoting.

I would not have been all that surprised to see leprechauns peeking out from behind the trees and boulders.

Photo of stream flowing under overhanging pine branches.

Boulder Falls was donated to the City of Boulder by banker and, one might say, nature lover Charles G. Buckingham in 1941.

The falls had been a popular spot for people traveling to Boulder by train but that ended in 1894 when the tracks were flooded out.

Thirty years later, thanks to the construction of Highway 119 traversing directly past the falls, it once again became an attraction with many people from Boulder driving out to view it and even taking the time to sit for a picnic lunch.

However, don’t you just hate those howevers, history repeated itself and in 2013 another massive flood swept through, again making the area unsafe.

This time, the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks came to the rescue, devoting $1.2 million to restore the area, once again making it a beautiful stop for travelers, like yours truly, to experience the joy.


**I allow use of my photos through Creative Commons License. I'm not looking to make money off this thing. I only ask you provide me with credit for the photo by noting my blog address,, or a link back to this page.


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