Rainbow Falls, Manitou Springs, Colorado

by L. Nethery
(Colorado Springs, Co.)


This is a waterfall in Manitou Springs, Colorado. You can see the Indian statue on the right hand just before going to the Cave of the Winds exit. There is a no parking sign at the curve in the road. It is located just under Hwy 24 on the western exit of Manitou Springs on the business district. The amount of graffiti going up the trail is horrible and also around the waterfall. El Paso County is suppose to clean the graffiti up. This will be great once the area is cleaned up. It is only about a 1/4 mile hike to the falls.

Karen's reply: We went up to this waterfall several years ago but I was so discouraged by all the graffiti that I decided not to add it to this site, but I'm glad you did because it's still a nice waterfall. If they ever clean up the area, then I'll probably go back and see it again. Thanks for another great picture :-).

P.S. Thanks for giving directions to Rainbow Falls so other people can go enjoy it too :-).

Comments for Rainbow Falls, Manitou Springs, Colorado

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It's Beautiful
by: Anonymous

My daughter had her senior pictures done here. Her's are still the best I have ever seen.

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A very unique experience
by: AA Indepth Photography

From small children walking across the beams 100 feet up above to people quickly climbing rocks and disappearing, to the falls, to the amazing amount of color and diversity seen, this is a must visit area. The paint adds to its uniqueness. Some would say it is destruction of the earth but those rocks will be there long after the paint has faded and withered away.
I think it should be seen and understood for what it is. It is a free form mixture of art. Artists from all corners have come here to leave their mark. The best part is the mark is temporary and like art is, disappears with the new colorful replacement piece.

It was family friendly. Free to park and hike. Kids were playing. We were taking pictures and loved it. Will return if and when we get back to Colorado.

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I think it is great
by: Gloria

I love it I think everybody should go.

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Rainbow Falls Bridge Blueprint?
by: Bruce

I want to make a scale model of the Rainbow Falls Bridge. Could someone help me find a link to the bridge's blueprint please?

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I found gold there.
by: Anonymous

I literally found gold there.

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Rainbow Falls
by: Anonymous

No driving directions to the falls.

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Rainbow Falls a Must
by: Anonymous

I disagree, I don't think it's horrible. I think the graffiti gives it so much character. It is truly a rainbow of colors. I don't agree with defacing property but I think this is an amazing site to see. We go back each time we are in the area.

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Graffiti
by: Anonymous

I've never visited here before and I live in the Springs. But don't take away the Graffiti! Everyone on social media calls it "Graffiti Falls" because it looks cool with graffiti! I would love to come here one day and take pictures with the graffiti. Please don't take it away. That's what makes Rainbow Falls so cool!

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by: Karen

Waterfalls are way cool! And Rainbow Falls is a great example of one :-).

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Dumb
by: Anonymous

The graffiti is the only cool part. Without it, its just some water falling off a rock.

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Swimming under the falls
by: Karen

It's been too shallow when ever I've been there, and the water is pretty cold.

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swim under falls
by: paul

can you actually swim under the falls?

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Rainbow Falls name
by: Karen

Maybe it depends on the time of day that you go there.

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rainbow where?
by: hidden hearts

This site got me ready for a camping trip to rainbow falls but upset because there was no rainbow in the falls, why call it rainbow falls?

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It fits Manitou
by: Garrett

Having been to Manitou many times now, the wall drawings seem to fit. I don't so much like just names or rude comments, but Manitou is known for its hippy, artsy atmosphere. Live and let your freak fly.

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grafiti
by: Anthony Siu

In my own humble opinion, i believe the graffiti actually gives the area a unique feeling unlike any of the various other waterfalls in the area. To start there's natural beauty of nature with the man influence of the bridge which represents forward progression while the waterfall serves as a constant reminder that time is always moving forward. When you see the graffiti you're reminded that while time marches on and man builds towards the future those of us who live in the now want to be remembered just as fondly as the waterfall and the bridge

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Changes for Rainbow Falls!
by: Lisa

http://m.gazette.com/so-long-graffiti-hello-spiffy-park-rainbow-falls-improvement-project-on-the-horizon/article/1521157

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Trail open?
by: Abigail

June 2014--does anyone know if the trail to Rainbow Falls is open? I have heard that it was closed due to all the flooding last summer. Thank you very much.

Abigail,

There is a Facebook page called: "Rainbow Falls in Manitou Springs". And on that page is a picture of Rainbow Falls that the photographer said they took on May 30, so I'm assuming that means the trail is open. I don't know for sure though, just guessing :-).

Karen

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Heartsick
by: Anonymous

We went to see Rainbow Falls last week. I was so excited to think there was a waterfall so close to the city. Then, I saw what had been done there to the bridge and the rocks. Graffiti is not art in that context. It has a place but not near nature's natural wonders. This is what happens when you leave a park to the public without any supervision. What a shame. I never want to go back and see this again.

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Graffiti belongs nowhere
by: Photographer

I love taking pictures of nature and seeing the graffiti on something so beautiful makes me ashamed to be part of the human race that would defile and destroy....that's what humans are best at. Why don't all the so called artists put their talent to good use and display it at some art shows or galleries or sell it on-line. I've seen some beautiful art work murals on the side of some buildings( that's suppose to be there ) and that's fine, but they do not have the right to destroy the beauty of nature and ruin it for everyone else. I really wanted to go see these falls, but don't know if I can get any good shots without graffiti ruining it.

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Sad times for falls
by: Chuck S.

I grew up on the west side of c.s. and swam and went hiking at rainbow falls back in the early 70's, the spray paint was absent then and the falls was a great place to hang out with friends. Such a shame people have had so little respect for such a beautiful place! It was great to swim under the falls into the small cave, hopefully the county can correct some of the destruction done with paint cans and people that have no idea what the paint is really for!!

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Rainbow Falls Needs Help
by: Jeff Christlieb

The first time I visited Rainbow Falls was in 1999. I was doing research on my wife's ancestor who owned a bakery near the falls in the 1870s. Seeing Rainbow Falls with bridge above it, and the graffiti below, made my heart sink. This was one of the most photographed places in Colorado during the late 1800s. Yes, graffiti is an art, but not this graffiti. This is graffiti on top of graffiti. El Paso County owns the falls, and there is a coalition of volunteers who have put picnic tables up and tried to paint over the graffiti. The last time I was there, I brought a trash bag to pick up all the spray cans and trash strewn about. I even met a Sheriff's Officer who was walking up to catch taggers. Yes, the Sheriffs Office goes up once per day. Now, with the burn area flooding, Fountain Creek has even changed course below the falls and the area is closed, and Rainbow Falls was put on the back burner. They're having a hard enough time just keeping Highway 24 open do to the floods. If you go up there, clean up a little trash, and ask the taggers to stop. Now, if I could just knock down that bridge!

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Awesome
by: DeAnna

I went 3 years ago. Easy to find. I took 2 dogs & 3 teenage boys with me. I enjoyed it. Graffiti and all. It was a beautiful hike to and from the falls.

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Art
by: Anonymous

I think the graffiti is a wonderful new twist to the waterfall! That's the main reason I visit the location. It's natural beauty and art. Just because a few people do not like graffiti means nothing. I guarantee more than half of the visits here are for the fact that one can see such a sight!

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Access to the falls is CLOSED
by: Anonymous

As of August 2, 2012:
Due to heavy rainfall and the runoff from the Waldo Canyon fire area, the trail to the base of the falls has been washed out! Access to the falls is closed indefinitely.
This is good and bad. Good to keep most of the graffiti "artists" out, and bad for those of us just wanting to enjoy the beautiful sight.

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Be Careful
by: Anonymous

July 2012

Graffiti can be art, if done tastefully and appropriately. Racial or derogatory comments are no art!

Everyone visiting Graffiti Falls with the intent to tag, drink, or do anything else should be leery. Video cameras have been installed and the police are watching. There is a no tolerance for any defacing (as the new owner is calling it) of Graffiti Falls. The new owner plans to restore the park to Rainbow Falls.

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Not Art
by: Anonymous

Graffiti is not art when it is obscene and/or desecrating the natural beauty of Colorado. I'd rather appreciate it elsewhere. You can not improve upon God's art.

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Aprox time from I-25
by: Anonymous

It is about a 10-15 minute drive (turn left at the light at Cave of the Winds to avoid Manitou Ave traffic) from the I-25 Cimmeron exit 141, and depending on your pace a 10-20 minute hike to the falls.


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Is it Art? No
by: Ken

I understand the need for diverse artforms. And Spray paint/graffiti can truly be one. However, the graffiti at Rainbow Falls is really trash. About twice a year I see something that may be considered as thoughtful. The natural formations, cliff faces, etc are covered in obscene language and images that detract from any type of beauty.

We have had conversations with local artists, including Cottonwood Art Center (which offers graffiti classes) to successfully direct the medium in a way that does not offend families and tourists.

Unfortunately, the offenders are often breaking multiple laws at once, rather than taking the experience seriously.

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artwork
by: Anonymous

I know the tagging seems ugly to most people but it is still an art and it would be nice if they keep the graffiti there so others can admire a different type of art. Maybe regulate a way for people to come and express themselves but go thru a process where they have to sign off on stuff to put their art out there.

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Improvements!
by: ken Brickman

El Paso county has purchased Rainbow Falls!!!

Manitou Environmental Citizen Action (MECA) along with the Rainbow Falls Coalition (a dedicated group of community organizations including, El Paso County, City Of Colorado Springs, City of Manitou Springs, and CDOT) have reclaimed this gem of a park.
New trails installed July 2011
New picnic tables installed August 2011
Cleanup efforts quarterly
Security monitoring increases
New signage, overlook, and security cameras to come. Please enjoy the park, volunteer with cleanups, donate, or tell the vandals that this park is OUR park and we WILL NOT have it desecrated any longer!
find us on Facebook or google us!

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Manitou Springs
by: Anonymous

no very easy

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Mountain road?
by: Anonymous

Any switchbacks or dropoffs? I can't do real mountain driving! THANKS! :)

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Manitou Springs
by: Anonymous

You take I-25 to the hwy 24 Manitou Springs exit I think exit 141, go west toward the mountains all the way through the business district of Manitou Springs. When you get through town there is a road going to Cave of the Winds and you will see an Indian where water use to pour out of a jug and also Manitou Water Bottling company, the road will y there so you take it to the right and park about a 1/4 mile up the road. Where the road bends and says no parking there is where you take the short hike.

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How far off of 25?
by: Anonymous

We will have just a day in Colorado Springs, unfortunately, but would like to make a stop in Manitou Springs. How far off Highway I-25 is this waterfall? Thanks!

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