Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and just a short drive from Denver, Colorado, Mount Falcon Park covers an expansive 2,252 acres of land. This stunning park boasts breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and even Denver’s skyline. Hikers of all skill levels can enjoy the diverse range of trails, which vary in difficulty from easy to strenuous. Along the trails, visitors will encounter a variety of flora and fauna, including wildflowers, birds, and small mammals.
Mount Falcon Park is also steeped in history and features several historical sites, including the ruins of John Brisben Walker’s stone castle, which was once one of the most magnificent homes in Colorado. To add to the experience, visitors can hike, bike, or horseback ride on the extensive trail system spanning 12.2 miles. If you’re seeking a peaceful retreat from the city or are an outdoor enthusiast, Mount Falcon Park is a must-visit destination for anyone in the Denver area.
Destination Guide Series: Mount Falcon PARK
Things to Do
Mount Falcon Park offers an extensive network of 12.2 miles of trails. Each trail offers unique features, from stunning views of the surrounding mountains to tranquil forests and open meadows. Below are some of the most popular:
- Castle Trail: This 3.6 mile trail is one of the most popular hikes in the park, offering views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Choose to start the trail at the east or west trailhead and wind through meadows and forests. In addition, a small branch trail takes you to the Walker Home Ruins.
- Meadow Trail: This .7 mile branch trail takes hikers through open meadows and offers views of the foothills. Best accessed via the west trailhead, the Meadow Trail is great for those looking for an easier hike. Combine a portion of the Castle Trail and the Meadow Trail, with a stopover at the Walker Home Ruins for a 1.4 mile loop.
- Tower Trail: This is a short .4 mile branch best accessed via the west trailhead, which takes hikers to the summit of 7,841ft. Mount Falcon. The trail climbs steeply through forests and open meadows to the summit. Most hikers make a loop with the Castle Trail, Tower Trail, and Parmalee Trail for a challenging 3.0 mile hike.
- Turkey Trot Trail: This hiker and equestrian only 1.7 mile trail follows through peaceful forests and meadows, with views of surrounding mountains. Indeed, this trail is a great option for those looking for a moderate hike with varied terrain.
- Parmalee Trail: This 2.3 mile trail offers a challenging hike through forests and open meadows, with views of surrounding mountains. The trail starts at the west parking lot; hikers can doubleback for a 4.6 mile hike or opt to make a 3.0 mile loop with the Tower Trail and Castle Trail.
The park offers a variety of trails for mountain biking, ranging from beginner to intermediate difficulty. The Parmalee Trail is a popular route for bikers, beginning at the west trailhead and winding through the park’s forests with glimpses of the surrounding mountains. The trails in Mount Falcon Park are well-maintained, but bikers should be aware of hikers and horseback riders on the trails.
Visitors can explore Mount Falcon Park on horseback, with several multi-use horseback riding trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. The Meadow Trail is a popular route for horseback riders, with a gentle ride through a meadow and forest that offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. In addition, the 1.7 mile Turkey Trot Trail is hiker and equestrian only, with some varied terrain.
Mount Falcon Park is a haven for wildlife, with a diverse range of species inhabiting the park’s varied terrain. Visitors can expect to see a variety of wildlife while exploring the park’s trails, including deer, elk, coyotes, red foxes, and small mammals like squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks.
The park is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatchers. Visitors can spot birds of prey like hawks, eagles, and falcons soaring through the skies, as well as smaller birds like woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches in the park’s forests. Spring and fall migration seasons bring a wealth of bird species passing through the area, including warblers, thrushes, and flycatchers.
Mount Falcon Park is located about 30 minutes from downtown Denver. From Denver, take US-285 West to Indian Hills, then turn right on Parmalee Gulch Road. The West Trailhead is reached via a few more small neighborhood roads that eventually turn onto Mount Falcon Road. There is a parking lot at the trailhead, but it can fill up quickly on weekends and holidays.
- Check the weather forecast before heading out on a hike, and be prepared for changes in weather conditions.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks, and dress in layers to be prepared for temperature changes.
- Stay on designated trails to protect the park’s delicate ecosystem and prevent erosion.
- Leave no trace: pack out all trash and waste, and respect wildlife and natural resources.
- Be aware of the potential for encounters with wildlife, and keep a safe distance.
- Respect other park visitors by keeping noise levels down and yielding the trail to others.
- Observe park rules and regulations, including leash laws for pets.
- Consider visiting during the weekday and/or during off-peak hours to avoid crowds.
While Mount Falcon Park is a pet-friendly destination, there are some important rules and regulations that visitors should be aware of before bringing their furry friends. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and visitors must clean up after their pets. Visitors should also be mindful of the park’s wildlife and keep their pets under control to prevent any disturbance to the natural environment.
Before embarking on a hike in Mount Falcon Park, it is important to check the weather conditions. Colorado’s weather can change rapidly and unexpectedly, and it’s not uncommon for snowstorms, thunderstorms, or high winds to occur even on a clear day. Hikers should always exercise caution and turn back if weather conditions become hazardous.
By investing in quality equipment and taking the time to prepare for an outdoors adventure, visitors to Mount Falcon Park can enjoy a safe and comfortable outdoor experience. Follow our recommendations for the Ten Essentials for your Colorado outdoors adventures. Additionally, below are a few other suggestions for equipment and specific products for you to consider taking along on your outing.
Good quality hiking boots provide support and stability on uneven terrain. REI Co-op Men’s and Women’s Flash Hiking Boots are a popular and affordable option.
A lightweight, comfortable daypack is essential for carrying water, snacks, and other essentials. The REI Co-op Flash 18 Daypack is a versatile and durable choice.
High-energy snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and fruit are great options for keeping fueled on the trail. Bearded Brothers makes some great, compact bars.
A wide-brimmed hat is a great way to protect against the sun’s rays. The Columbia Bora Bora Booney Hat offers UPF 50+ sun protection and is lightweight and breathable.
Nearby Dining Recommendations
There are several great dining options near Mount Falcon Park where you can enjoy a meal after your adventure. Below are a few of our favorites:
- The Fort Restaurant – The Fort is a historic restaurant that offers a menu featuring traditional western cuisine, including bison, elk, and quail. The restaurant is situated in a beautiful location and has a charming atmosphere.
- The Cow An Eatery – This casual restaurant in Morrison serves burgers, sandwiches, and salads made with locally sourced ingredients. They also have a great selection of craft beers and outdoor seating.
- Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Watering Hole – If you’re in the mood for pizza, Woody’s is a great option. About 20 minutes away in Golden, Woody’s offers a variety of wood-fired pizzas and salads, along with beer and wine. They also have a nice outdoor seating area.
There are many great books available that provide information about the history, ecology, and recreational opportunities of the Mount Falcon Park area. Below are some of our favorites:
- “Hiking Colorado’s Front Range” by Bob D’Antonio – This guidebook offers detailed descriptions of hiking trails in the Front Range area.
- “Wildflowers of Colorado Field Guide” by Don Mammoser – This field guide provides information on the wildflowers of Colorado, including those found in Mount Falcon Park.
- “Birds of Colorado Field Guide“ by Stan Tekiela – Mount Falcon is a great spot for birdwatching, and this guidebook features over 140 species of birds commonly found in Colorado, with detailed descriptions and photos.
“Best Wildflower Hikes Colorado” by Christine Kassar – A great book for those interested in hiking and seeing wildflowers in Colorado. It features 54 hikes across the state, including several in the Front Range.
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