Rainbow Falls – Manitou Springs, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Rainbow Falls

Hidden beneath a bridge, this waterfall is known for the large amounts of graffiti painted on its base. 


Running out of Fountain Creek in Manitou Springs, Colorado, Rainbow Falls is a lovely little waterfall tucked away beneath a modern highway overpass. However it is better known as “Graffiti Waterfall” thanks to the ever present coat of alluring, yet illegal art that is painted on and around it. 

The gorgeous little spot is not well known outside of the local community, but they seem to know it pretty well judging by the frequent graffiti that shows up all over the natural spot. The robust and colorful graffiti that litters the walls of the bridge, has long been a phenomenon and problem, and the city has repeatedly tried to clean the area up, but to no avail. 

Many hikers and waterfall enthusiasts find the graffiti to be off-putting, even avoiding the area because of what they see as a blight to the natural landscape. But considering that the waterfall is hunched under a brutal concrete highway bridge, that seems like a moot point. The vandalism brings vast amounts of bright color to the landscape and helps to maintain a less crowded state. 

Although well hidden from the throngs of tourists that clutter Manitou Springs, you will often find photographers of all ages honing their photography skills, families playing in the waterfall, and rebellious teenagers climbing the bridge.

Know Before You Go

Graffiti falls is beneath the Manitou Avenue overpass just before merging with HWY 24. You simply walk up a short dirt road till you see the falls. Summer hours: Friday-Monday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sept-Oct: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The falls are closed in the winter.

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