This is a moderately steep out and back trail in Eldorado Canyon State Park near the Visitor's Center. Clocking in a bit over 4 miles round trip, it is a great option to see a quieter side of Eldorado Canyon SP and soak in the sights and smells of the Front Range. Plenty of wildlife roam this area, making it a great spot for wildlife watching. Binoculars are right at home out here, and they also are fun to use to watch climbers scaling the steep walls of Eldorado Canyon once you are done hiking. Winter conditions normally require microspikes/traction and offer further solitude and snowy beauty, conveniently close to the city.
Though an out and back for this 2.1mi 1-way, it can also be used as a connector to the approx. 8mi. Walker Ranch Loop. That combo is not for the faint of heart, with a hearty amount of elevation change and distance totaling nearing 14 miles. If this is something you desire, I'd recommend tackling the Walker Ranch Loop first, THEN trying out this variation. Have fun out there!
NOTE: This trail is located within Eldorado Canyon State Park, which does require a day pass for entry. Annual passes are an option if desired. Rate options exists for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. Due to the large volume of visitors in prime weather seasons, the State Park does hit capacity and must deny entry to vehicles if full. Go early and carpool!
Once in the park, you'll want to head to the Visitor's Center further in the Canyon. There will be parking all about in this area, as well as picnic spots.
The official trail start is marked, just NW of the Visitor Center. A few social paths from the parking lot all lead onto the same trail.
Please see Eldorado Canyon State Park's website for current info and conditions
If able to handle the elevation change and distance, this is a solid trail for kids. There aren't many rocky dangers as you'd find on other trails in the area. There is also plenty of places to take breaks in the shade as needed. I'd say 5 out of 10 due to the elevation change.
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