North Clear Creek Falls on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Colorado. Located in Hinsdale County west of Creede Colorado, between Creede CO and Lake City, CO. This impressive waterfall drops over 100 feet from the plateau above to the canyon below. North Clear Creek Falls is directly fed by the meltwaters of the high altitude mountains of the San Juan Mountain Range near Slumguillion Pass (around 11,500ft) and Spring Creek Pass (around 10,500ft). This waterfall’s vertical drop was the result of some volcanic eruptions and ash flows that were also responsible for the creation of the underlying Nelson Mountain Tuff layer as well as the San Juan Volcanic Field which created the San Juan Mountains.
Hiking Opportunity: From the North Clear Creek Falls parking lot, a trail takes you east to a knoll, which offers a breathtaking view of Bristol Head Mountain, the Santa Maria Reservoir and other Rio Grande headwaters reservoirs and lakes.
Directions: Travel west on Hwy 149 from South Fork CO to Creede, Colorado then travel west on State Highway 149 for 26 more miles. Follow the signs and turn right on FS510 and go southeast for 1/2 mile to the overlook. There are restrooms available and offers picnic tables, ample paved parking for even larger vehicles, trails to the overlook, safety railings, and interpretive signs. It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible trail to a high lookout spot.
Wildlife Viewing Opportunity: The red-stemmed willows along Hwy 149 are the perfect setting for a moose sighting opportunity. Not far after the North Clear Creek Falls stop on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway Route is a large pull-over area overlooking a large willow area where moose and other wildlife tend to hang-out. Binoculars may be useful at this location. Colorado Parks and Wildlife began introducing moose into this area in 1991. Over a two-year period, a total of 91 moose were released at the North Clear Creek Falls area. The moose were transported from northern Colorado, northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming.