Your heart rate will slow down after the trek to the top of Rim Rock Trail, but then again, the view is so stunning that your pulse may keep racing.
Less than 20 minutes from Parker and about an hour from Denver, you will find trails fit for any hiker inside Castlewood Canyon State Park. My hiking pal and I decided on this spot for the variety of trail options, pull-out-the camera views and of course it’s a breezy drive from Denver. We were in the market for anything between five and eight miles and Castlewood Canyon had just that! Trails range from mild to moderate with trail distances varying between .5 to 4 miles. We rounded out the day with nearly 6 miles of hiking behind us, complete with wildlife sightings, panoramic views and terrain that kept us on our toes.
We started out on the Inner Canyon Trail (1.16 mi) that took us through a captivating canyon, making us feel like we found the hiking gold-mine! From hopping across big time rocks and trekking across bridges, the trail kept us guessing at what terrain would follow next. Inner Canyon connects to Lake Gulch (.8 mi) making a loop that leads you back to the parking lot you started at. With the trail being relatively flat, we were ready to wake up our calves and quads—leading to a steepher option.
The route along the Inner Canyon Trail is meandering, making it ideal for a causal hike.
Rim Rim Rock Trail (2.14 mi) climbs to take-your-breath away mountain vistas. The first half is a muscle-awakening trek that evens out toward the end. The trail connects with the Creek Bottom Trail (1.7 miles) which lines up next to a creek and eventually a stunning view of a waterfall. Make sure to save some energy to explore the original Castlewood dam ruins, which burst in 1933 sending a 15-foot-high wave of water in Denver. Remnants of the historic dam remain and are fascinating!
Exploring Historic Dams at Castlewood Canyon State Park
Castlewood Canyon State Park
2989 South Highway 83
Franktown, CO 80116
To get to Castlewood Canyon State Park, take 1-25 to Castle Rock. Take the Founders Parkway exit on Hwy 86 into Franktown. At the stoplight turn south to Hwy 83 and drive five miles to the park entrance. There are two entrances to Castlewood Canyon State Park. The main (or east) entrance is off of Hwy 83, five miles south of Franktown. The west entrance is accessed from Castlewood Canyon Road off of Hwy 86.
Castlewood Canyon open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Park Passes aily Park Pass – $7, Annual pass: $70