West Ridge Loop
Date Hiked: April 1, 2012
- Distance: 3.1 mi (RT)
- Elevation Gain: 500ft
- Elevation Min/Max: 7,145 to 7,499ft
- Managing Agency: Denver Mountain Parks
- Fee: None
O'Fallon Park Trail Map (Denver Mt Parks)
West Ridge Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Morrison, follow Morrison Road west through Bear Creek Canyon. Pass through the town of Ideldale and pass by the main parking areas for Corwina Park and O'Fallon Parks. Just before you reach Kittredge, turn left (south) onto Parmalee Gulch Road. Look to the left of the road and you'll soon see a trail meet the road. There is a pull off here big enough for a few cars but if it is full you can park at the large parking area for Pence Park, just across the street.
The West Ridge Loop is a terrific hike exploring the west side of O'Fallon Park. The trail passes through pine and aspen forest with meadows offering nice views of the surrounding foothills. From Parmalee Gulch Road follow the Bear Creek Trail as it parallels the road for about .5 mile before it reaches the intersection with the West Ridge Loop. The loop is well signed and just make sure that you don't mistakenly detour onto the Bear Creek Trail, although you could do worse... Make sure you do however, follow the short detour to a rock outcropping with a great view of Mt. Evans. The detour is not signed but you can't miss it. Continue along the loop until you arrive back at the junction with the Bear Creek Trail and the way back to Parmalee Gulch Road.
This is a wonderful and peaceful loop close to Denver. While the BCT is very popular with mountain bikers, the West Ridge Loop offers a more relaxing hike without the need to keep your eyes peeled around corners.