Ouzel Falls

Estes Park, Colorado

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A popular hike in all seasons or weather situations, the trail to Ouzel Falls follows whitewater streams most of the way. Ouzel seems an odd name for a creek, falls, lake, and peak in Wild Basin. But to wild bird enthusiasts the word labels a chunky gray bird somewhat smaller than a robin and shaped something like a wren. The odd but fun word (OO z’l) is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word for a blackbird, which makes no sense to anyone with any notion of what a blackbird of any species looks like. However, the European ring ouzel is a black bird that vaguely resembles another bird species the English call a water ouzel. Following the English precedent, as American birders once did slavishly, the gray bird common to whitewater streams in the West was called a water ouzel—as it still often is called as an alternative to its very descriptive name of dipper.
Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park

by Kent Dannen (Falcon Guides)

A popular hike in all seasons or weather situations, the trail to Ouzel Falls follows whitewater streams most of the way. Ouzel seems an odd name for a creek, falls, lake, and peak in Wild Basin. But to wild bird enthusiasts the word labels a chunky gray bird somewhat smaller than a robin and shaped something like a wren.

The odd but fun word (OO z’l) is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word for a blackbird, which makes no sense to anyone with any notion of what a blackbird of any species looks like. However, the European ring ouzel is a black bird that vaguely resembles another bird species the English call a water ouzel. Following the English precedent, as American birders once did slavishly, the gray bird common to whitewater streams in the West was called a water ouzel—as it still often is called as an alternative to its very descriptive name of dipper.

© 2015 Kent Dannen/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Estes Park
Distance: 5.4
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 5 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 8,500 feet
Top Elevation: 9,450 feet
Local Contacts: Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242; www.nps.gov/romo
Local Maps: USGS Allens Park; Trails Illustrated Longs Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to Ouzel Falls

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Apr 2018