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Weird place Wednesday: Mystic Falls.

Mystic Falls

Although there are many waterfalls in Colorado, Mystic Falls really does stand out. It is not only an incredible location, but holds true to its name by being difficult to get to.

This week’s Weird place Wednesday is one of my all time favorite awe-inspiring places: Mystic Falls!

A notice before I get started on this one: The hike to Mystic Falls is short but very steep. It lies down in a canyon with potentially fast moving water and can be very dangerous. Much of the land around it is private, so use care and respect in getting there. I will tell you how to get there, but whatever you decide to do with this information is of your own accord and at your own risk. Always tell someone where you are going and when they can expect to hear from you.

I photographed Mystic falls in June of this year during high water runoff. I am happy that I did and very happy with the result, but I am not sure that I would do it again. I really enjoyed the challenge of not only finding Mystic Falls but also the drive and hike getting there. I was nearly fooled by the terrain, but I am relieved that I was able to figure it out. After a lot of research and a mistake or two, I can now bring you some solid information on what not to do. Read closely because it might get confusing.

Mystic Falls sits in western Colorado, southwest of Telluride near the very small community of Ames and just west of Hwy 145. It is buried in a canyon and you may be able to see it from an elevated portion of Hwy 145 approaching Ames but don’t let it trick you; that may not be Mystic Falls. (More on that later.) From the big bend in Hwy 145; turn west toward Ames on Rd. 625; which is a dirt road that goes down in elevation quickly. ;Head west on 625 for a short time until you hit Ames Rd., which will be on your left or the south side of the road. Drive southeast on Ames Rd. for a very short time as it bends around to the west. You will see some buildings and an electrical substation on the left or south. Just past the west building is a sparsely traveled dirt road heading south. (I am sure the map will make more sense of this.) This dirt road is not long but is narrow and gets pretty rough. I was able to do it in a Toyota RAV4 but not easily. The dirt road winds around some, and when you come to a fork, take a right which will lead you to a parking area. This is where you want to begin the hike to Mystic falls.

Following map shows the path of the dirt road from Ames rd. to the falls parking area.

Mystic Falls Parking Area

Going from Ames Rd. to the Mystic Falls parking area.

GPS Coordinates (can copy and paste into Google maps)

Falls parking area: 37 51 47.19 -107 52 59.69

Mystic falls: 37 51 45.07 -107 53 4.48

If you are looking at these maps, you might notice something confusing near the falls parking area. The parking area is right next to a very nice waterfall that you can see from above but this IS NOT Mystic Falls. Mystic Falls is about sixty yards west of the falls you can see. Two streams parallel to each other and both producing amazing waterfalls. How insane is that!? Many people have mistaken these falls for Mystic falls. I nearly did the same thing. I photographed the falls nearer the parking area and almost left thinking I got it. The closer falls is a pretty setting from above, but if you hike around the back of these falls and over the creek, you will see a higher volume creek. Follow that to the north and you will soon overlook Mystic Falls. Mystic Falls could not be a more appropriate name it is a truly mysterious place. The map below gives you a good idea of where to go on the hike.;The vast majority of the way, there is a trail to follow; although, it is not real obvious at times.

Mystic Falls Hike

Hiking from the parking area to Mystic Falls

The view from the overlook of Mystic Falls is absolutely gorgeous and this is a good place to stop. If you want to get to the bottom of the falls, it gets much steeper and will require some route finding. If you continue on north from the falls on the ridge between the two creeks/waterfalls, this will take you down to creek level. As you continue down, you will see options to go left or right. Left (or west) will take you to the creek that leads to Mystic Falls. Right (or east), will take you to the creek that leads to the first falls you see from the parking lot. Even in June when i was there, the creek leading to the first falls was wadable and the volume of the water was not dangerously high. The creek to Mystic; on the other hand, was far too fast and furious in June to be crossed. Even with my hip waders I would not attempt it. I was relegated to climbing along the stream bank above the water, which was very sketchy. I would highly recommend hiking to the bottom of Mystic Falls later in the summer when the water level is most likely lower and you could wade through the stream safely.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me or ask in the comments below.

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