• Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    3.7 Miles

Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Scenic

An easy but scenic hike, where you can enjoy fall leaves and expansive views in solitude. The main loop that I described is 3.7 miles.

Just a short drive from Denver up US-285 sits Mount Falcon Park, a 2,248 acre open space park managed by Jefferson County. With over 12 miles of hiking trails and stunning views of Denver and the Front Range, this park is perfect for getting in a quick adventure when you don’t feel like driving too far from the city. The park is open to hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, so there are plenty opportunities as to how to enjoy the area.

One of the more popular routes in the park is the loop formed by the Castle, Meadow, and Tower Trails. On this adventure you’ll pass by historic structures including an abandoned castle and a fire watch tower.

From the west parking lot, head down the main path and take the Castle Trail to the left. Immediately you’ll be treated to great views to the southwest where you can see US-285 stretch off in the distance. Continue on this wide path for about 0.4 miles until you come to an intersection with the Tower Trail, head to the right to start a short incline up to the old watch tower. Soon you’ll pass the Eagle Eye Shelter that has great views of the mountains to the west including Mount Evans. Continue on the Tower Trail until you reach the fire tower, here you can stop to explore the area and enjoy commanding views of Denver, Red Rocks, and the Front Range.

After leaving the lookout the trail will begin to descend as you pass through pine stands. Eventually you will hike through to open meadows until you come to an intersection with the Meadow Trail. Bear left at the intersection and continue hiking. After about 0.3 miles the trail will end at an intersection with the Castle Trail. Take a left here and the trail will lead you back to the parking lot in just under a mile. However, on your way back don’t forget to stop off at the Walker Home. The ruins of John Brisben Walker’s home still remain and interpretive signs will educate the visitor to his rags-to-riches story. Great views of Mount Evans and the western range can also be had from the castle ruins.

Bonus Extended Hike Option

If you’re looking for a little more adventure, or just wanting to extend your hike, then add on a trip to the Summer White House. This option will add an additional 1.6 miles round trip to your hike. From the intersection of the Meadow and Castle trails, take a right to follow the Castle Trail to the east. Continue on the Castle trail for 0.5 miles as you enjoy great views both ahead and behind you. Just before reaching a picnic shelter, take a left onto Walker’s Dream Trail. This short trail (0.3 miles, 185 ft gain) will take you to a proposed site for a Summer White House. John Walker’s dream of building a magnificent summer retreat for the Commander-In-Chief never materialized, but the cornerstone remains as a reminder of his grand vision. In my opinion, some of the best views in Mount Falcon Park can be had by taking this short detour from the main loop and I highly recommend adding it to your list.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Sun protection
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Beautiful views, easy hike. I imagine being at the top for sunrise or sunset would give it another star. Definitely worth hiking at least once. Big mountain biking trail. Also dog friendly.

2 months ago
2 months ago

Running from the lower lot is great training and has nice views on the way up. Mountain bikers can be moving pretty fast on the way down so keep an eye out.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Took my 2.5 year old on this hike and he loved it. It was a fun drive to the trail head with lots of picnic tables and places to relax. The castle is really cool, and the views of downtown Denver are great.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

I think that some people might not know that you can see Red Rocks and downtown Denver on this trail. This particular description starts you in Indian Hills, but if you want, you can begin in Morrison as well. Afterwards, I enjoy stopping at Sit N Bull Saloon to people watch and grab grub.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Johnathan Valdez Explorer

I'm a Colorado native that's passionate about photography, exploring nature, live music, and craft beer. On my free days you'll most likely find me on the trail and behind my camera. Life is short, get out there and explore! Follow my adventures here on The Outbound and on Instagram @capulinflicker.

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