Bear Creek Falls, Ouray
by Tom Douglas
(Highlands Ranch, Colorado)
Bear Creek Falls under Highway 550
This waterfall is underneath the bridge along Highway 550 (Million Dollar Highway) and makes a good roadside view of this waterfall. It's located about 2 1/2 miles south of Ouray. The photo is about a 90-degree view from the bridge to the bottom of the falls. You'll need a panoramic camera to capture the entire waterfall, or shoot it in segments and use photo editing software to stitch the frames together as I did.
I hiked up the nearby Bear Creek Trail. The trailhead runs over the tunnel just before you get to the falls. I would strongly recommend that you be in good shape for hiking this 100-year-old trail as the first 1-2 miles has a steep ascent (1,000 vertical feet plus). In about 2 miles is a horsetail waterfall in a chasm before reaching Grizzly Bear Mine. There's a few more falls on the way to Yellow Jacket mine (5 miles) which aren't as tall.