While Colorado offers great opportunities to summit fourteeners, Mount Falcon is perfect for a scenic half-day adventure about 20 minutes from Denver. Located in Mount Falcon Park, it’s free to park your car and enter — great for budget travelers — with a 11 miles of trails and a number of options to choose from. The easiest is the Turkey Trot (1.7 miles), while the Castle Trail (3.8 miles) gains an elevation of 2,000 feet and is the toughest.
My companion and I, whom I met on an app called High There that’s very popular in Denver for making friends, opted for the Castle Trail and also veered off to complete the Walker’s Dream, as well. Together, these treks provided panoramic views of snowy peaks, the Denver cityscape, the vibrant Red Rocks Park, the Colorado Front Range and all the way out to Pikes Peak. We traversed switchbacks that wound around the mountain, which kept things interesting in terms of scenery and ambiance, changing quite a few times. While I wouldn’t call the trail easy, it’s certainly doable for anyone in reasonable shape.
There’s also a dose of history at the top of the Castle Trail, as you’ll find ruins. These are what’s left of the early 1900s craftsman-style chalet of family and businessman, John Brisben Walker. This self-made millionaire was obsessed with the idea of preserving large pieces of land, though he sadly experienced tragedy when Mrs. Walker died in 1916, and then again when lightning struck the home in 1918 forcing John to leave.
When I hiked this trail on a random weekday afternoon I saw other hikers, and the trails are really well labeled. I highly recommend this option for solo travelers and anyone wanting some scenic outdoor adventure.
Want more hiking inspiration? Check out DayHikesNearDenver.com.
Don’t have a car? Uber and Lyft are cheap options for getting to this nearby hike. If you’re a new user to either, I’ve also got some promo codes for you:
Uber: Use promo code “jessief7” for $15 off your first ride.
Lyft: Use promo code “JESSIE299142” for $20 off your first ride.