Castlewood Canyon is a place so beautiful, one trip just won't satisfy the hiking cravings. With more than 13 miles of trails to conquer and plenty of views and history to see, you may find yourself back to the entry gates a few times. Plus, there is a lot more than trails that captivate your attention. Here are five highlights.
1. Ruins of the Cherry Creek Dam, built in 1890, remain after a flood rushed through the canyon in the 1930's, tearing down the 600-foot structure. Walk along the dam trail for up close views of what's left of the rock-filled structure. Continue along the path towards the Creek Bottom trail to look inside a concrete tunnel that offers views deep inside the dam.
2. Discover remains of a homestead on the West side of the park. The Lucases began homesteading the land in 1894. Markers along the Homestead Trail point out different structures. You will see where the original wood home was, the structure of the updated concrete home as well as what's left of a cattle shelter and milk house. The Lucases were home the night a 50 feet wave of water rushed through the canyon towards their home. At the last minute the water spread thinner and naturally diverted itself.
3. Explore Caves after a short uphill hike on the Cave Trail. Take a look inside several grottos where you will find mosses, liverworts, and ferns still thriving since the last ice age.
4. A sun sparkling waterfall rushes along the Creek Bottom Trail. Along the trail you are treated to some shaded spots, flat and even terrain and views of the creek waters.
5. Hike In A Captivating Canyon on the Inner Canyon trail where you are smack dab in the middle of some of the best hiking in the Centennial State. From hopping across big time rocks and trekking across bridges, the trail will keep you guessing at what comes next.
2989 South Highway 83
Franktown, CO 80116
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.
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Daily Park Pass: $7, Annual pass: $70