Rainbow Falls ... Beneath The Highway
Rainbow Falls is such an amazing place. Fountain Creek takes a significant drop of maybe 50 to 60 feet on the west end of Manitou Springs (outside of Manitou's city limit). It can be accessed off of Serpentine Road at the one and only hard switchback. I snapped this photo of Rainbow Falls while hiking to it on a summer day.
Now Rainbow Falls has quite a history to it. In the settlement days, vacationers could take a guided mule ride to the waterfall. With the advent of the automobile, a road and bridge were built practically over the waterfall that led to points west up Ute Pass. It was during the modern era where the environment was viewed as something to be conquered, paved over and disregarded ... all for the sake of "progress."
Today, Rainbow Falls is probably known for two things: 1) A little-known yet beautiful waterfall that local Manitou Springs residents visit from time to time, and, 2) A popular spot for teenagers to "hang out" and get themselves in trouble. On occsaion, there is a sad story of someone dying who climbed up the structure underneath the bridge who fell perilously to their death from the long drop.
Call me an optimist and a dreamer, but I long for the day when Rainbow Falls will restored to its former glory. You can see more of my photos of Rainbow Falls here: Rainbow Falls
-Steve (June 12, 2006)