Deer Creek Canyon Park
Date Hiked: July 16, 2012
- Distance: 7.4 mi (RT)
- Elevation Gain: 2,000ft
- Elevation Min/Max: 5,704 to 7,261ft
- Managing Agency: Jefferson County Open Space
- Fee: None
Plymouth Mountain Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Denver take I-70 west to C470 east and exit at Deer Creek Canyon Road. Head west past the South Valley Park trailhead and make a right at the sign for the park onto Grizzly Drive and into the main parking area.
This is my favorite hike in Deer Creek Canyon Park. At 7.4 miles it is a great workout but not so strenuous that it would take you all day. Start off my hiking the Meadowlark Trail for 1.6 miles. When it connects with the Plymouth Creek Trail turn right and head uphill on the rocky and sometimes steep Plymouth Creek Trail (watch out for mountain bikers). Continue uphill for another .8 miles past the 1st junction with the Plymouth Mountain Trail and turn left at the second junction with the Plymouth Mountain Trail. By this point you've gained much of the elevation and the hiking gets easier.
After half a mile, turn left onto the Scenic View Trail for a short ways to a wonderful overlook and viewpoint. There are large boulders here but they are easy to scramble up for the best views. Return on the Scenic View Trail and turn left back onto the Plymouth Mountain Trail. Follow the trail as it skirts (mostly downhill) around Plymouth Mountain and connects back to the Plymouth Creek Trail. On the return you can either continue with the Plymouth Creek Trail or take the Meadowlark Trail back to the parking lot, I prefer the Meadowlark Trail as it is hiker only, but the Plymouth Creek trail is the quickest way back.