Staunton SP

Staunton SP

Friday, February 13, 2015

Walker's Dream via West Trailhead, Mt. Falcon Park

Walker's Dream via West Trailhead
Mt. Falcon Park

Date Hiked:  Feb. 13, 2015

Distance: 3.4 mi (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 586ft
Elevation MIn/Max: 7,498 to 7,805ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39º 38' 10" N, 105º 14' 21" W
Managing Agency: Jefferson County Open Space
Fee: None

Directions:  From Denver take I-70 west to C470 East (south).   Exit onto 285 South and turn right onto Parmalee Gulch Road.  Once on Parmalee Gulch, look to the right for Picutis Street and the sign to Mt. Falcon Park.  Follow the road as it winds up the mountain, turning left onto Comanchee, left onto Oh-Kay, and left onto Picutus, the whole time following signs to the Park.  Picutis becomes Mt. Falcon Road which leads to the upper and lower parking areas.  This hike starts from the upper parking area.

Walker's Dream Trail is outstanding.  The 360 degree views cannot be beat on the Front Range foothills.  The trail can be accessed either from the East, see that hike here, or from the western parking area.  The trail from the west is far easier than starting down at the eastern trailhead and it is better suited to a short relaxing hike through the woods.

Start on the Castle Trail and follow it as it looks down Parmalee Gulch to the foothills and Mt. Evans beyond.  Bear left at the junction with the Meadow Trail and start heading down-hill.  Enjoy the views to the east as the skirt the northern edge of Mt. Falcon's central meadow.  To the east you'll see the Walker Castle Ruins, go check it out, but otherwise stay straight entering through a small gate.  Continue heading down passing the junction to the Two Dogs Trail until you see the picnic shelter where the Walker's Dream Trail intersects the Castle Trail.

Turn left and follow the Walker's Dream Trail up to the top of the ridge. This is the best part of the hike.  There are numerous viewpoints along the way to both the east and the west. Keep going until the see the ruins of the Summer White House foundation.  There is an interesting historical sign and you'll see the corner stone of the foundation.  The view west from here is breathtaking.  You can see the Mt. Evans Massif, James Peak along the Continental Divide and if you look closely you can just see the flat summit of Long's Peak in the distance.
After you enjoy this view, the trail curves around to a viewpoint looking east.  Here you are looking down on Mt. Morrison and Red Rocks, as well as Green Mountain, the Hogback, Denver and as far as the eye can see to the east and south to Douglas County.   Circle back to the Walker's Dream Trail and head back the way you came.

This hike is very popular on the weekends, but it is a real gem of a hike.  It is perfect for kids and adults alike and contains terrific views with a minimum of strenuous hiking.

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