Sunday, May 6, 2012
Quarry Mesa Open Space, Rhyolite Regional Park
Quarry Mesa Open Space
Rhyolite Regional Park, Douglas County Open Space
Date Hiked: May 6, 2012
Distance: 4.4 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 450ft
Elevation Min/Max: 6,327 to 6,774
Managing Agency: Douglas County Open Space
Quarry Mesa Trail Map (Castle Rock)
Quarry Mesa OS Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Denver and Castle Rock take I-25 south to exit 182 (Wolfensberger/Wilcox). Take Wilcox east and when it turns into Frontage Road stay on it for 1.6 mi. Turn left on Crystal Valley Parkway for 2 miles. Turn left into Rhyolite Regional Park.
Quarry Mesa Open Space occupies the site of a former Quarry (hence the name...). The majority of the park is located on the top of the mesa and there are still remnants of the Quarry to be seen. The trail starts in Rhyolite Regional Park crossing the open plains. There are signs warning of Rattlesnakes, and for good reason as I encountered one myself. Follow the trail for .7 miles as it switchbacks up the mesa, entering Quarry Mesa Open Space.
Once on top of the mesa, follow the Madge Trail around the rim of the mesa and through the old Quarry fields. There are great views of the Front Range including Devil's Head and in the distance, on a clear day, you can make out Pike's Peak and Mt. Evans. Loop around the mesa and return to the trail heading down into Rhyolite Regional Park.