Benjamin Schneider | "Hiking Memory" St. Mary's Falls

"Hiking Memory" St. Mary's Falls

September 28, 2016  •  2 Comments

Hello and welcome back to Just Ben!

As I said in my last blog post I want to create a “Hiking Memory” of all the photo hikes I did so far. I want to use it to remember how a location looked like, how to get there, what photographic opportunities I encountered and so on.

So let’s start! The first hike that I want to upload today is:


St. Mary’s Falls

I did that hike the first time on 09 AUG 2016 but I want to do it again soon, because I can’t really recall if there were Aspens near the trail, and being fall one should know that! Now you see, that is why I need the Hiking Memory ;-)


1. Short Overview:

Date and Time:                       09 August 2016, 07:30 (7:30am)

Length (out and back):          10km (6,2miles)

Altitude Difference:               roughly 400m (1300ft.)

Time (out and back):              2 hours

Coordinates (Waterfall):        approx. 38.770831, -104.918329


2. Map

3. The Hike

The hike starts at the parking lot right above Helen Hunt Falls, which is also the parking for Seven Bridges Trail (Coordinates: 38.790677, -104.903950).

The first part of the trail is a wide dirt/gravel path that used to be a road (as far as I know).

Once you reach the start of Seven Bridges Trail you continue to the left until you reach a blocked tunnel. The trail continues on the left side of the blocked area.

From here on the trail is slowly but steadily increasing the altitude, so you go uphill the whole time. After a while you reach a place where the trail splits up, but it doesn’t matter which one you take since both paths will lead you to the main trail.

From here you just follow the trail all the way up to St. Mary’s Falls.

I just met a handful people that were hiking up while I was going down again, so I think it is not the most crowded hike (at least in the mornings).

Here you can download the gpx file for use in smartphone or Navigation System: GPX File


4. Photographic Opportunities

Since I went in August I can only talk about the photographic opportunities at that time…yet.

I am planning to hike it again soon to see how it looks like in fall.

During most of the time you follow the trail right along a little creek that could offer some nice opportunities. I did not stop though, since I wanted to get up there as soon as possible. I was just interested in the water fall that day ;-)

I stumbled over a few mule deer that looked at me like I was crazy running up that mountain. So wildlife is available as well.

The waterfall itself is very nice and offers lots of opportunities. I took some pictures that day, but the light was pretty bad already, so I am not really happy with those.

From the waterfall you also have a nice view over a part of Colorado Springs and the plains east of the city.

I will go there again early morning and in the evening to see how the light changes in that location.


5. Light Situation

When I reached the waterfall it was almost 8:30am and so the light was not really in my favor.

The complete waterfall was already hit by direct and very harsh sunlight. I also had no clouds at all that day, so there was no point in waiting for a cloud to smooth out the sunlight.

I cannot really predict yet how the light will look in the evening, so I will have to check that soon.


6. The Photos

Even though the light was not in my favor I still got my camera out to get some pictures and played around with different angles. That way I know already what will look good when I come up next time, and the light is better!

I used a wide angle lens (Canon 17-40mm F/4) and tried to get close to the waterfall to make it a dominant part of the photo. I then backed off and changed my location for a while to get a feeling what would look best.


7. Conclusion

A moderate hike with a nice waterfall and also some photographic opportunities on the way up the mountain.


If you have any questions or you would like to hear more, just let me know!

Thank you and I hope you have a photo-tastic week!









Benjamin Schneider
Hi Steff and thank you for your comment! I will definitely check it out again once winter hits. Could look pretty neat once it's frozen!
Nice shot with warm color. It's interesting when it's covered in ice, too. You can hear the water rumbling underneath. I think we went early spring.
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