Castle > Turkey Trot Loop
Mount Falcon Park
Date Hiked: April1 14, 2015
Distance: 3.1 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 850ft
Elevation Min/Max: 6,004 to 6,811ft
Managing Agency: Jefferson County Open Space
Mount Falcon Park Website
Directions: From Denver, take I-70 west to C-470 east. Exit at Morrison Road and head west through the Town of Morrison. Turn left at the light onto Route 8. Look for the park sign and turn right on Forest Ave, then left on Vine Street to the parking area and Trailhead.
The Castle & Turkey Trot trails provide a fantastic 3 mile hike. The route makes for a great training hike in the foothills as you gain about 850ft of elevation on the way up. The park is very popular with mountain bikers but the Turkey Trot trail is hiker only.
I prefer to start out on the Castle Trail hiking the loop in a counter-clockwise direction, the uphill is gentler this way. The Castle trail meanders up and down over some hilly country before starting the switchbacks up Mt. Falcon. The views of Red Rocks, Morrison Mountain, and the Hogback are wonderful as you ascend. At the top of the ridge, you'll hit a saddle and see the trail sign for the Turkey Trot Trail. Turn right onto the Turkey Trot, or continue uphill to reach the Walker's Dream Trail.
The descent down the back of the hill enters a dense forest with distant views west to James Peak. After the initial descent you'll start uphill again for just a short time, topping out with an amazing view down onto Red Rocks and Mt. Morrison. As you re-emerge on the eastern slopes, the trail gets rockier and steeper as you switchback your way down to the Trailhead.