Hey everyone! This is a series I am starting where I talk about things I am doing in and around Denver. For my first ‘Denver thing’ I am talking about a hike.
The trailhead (“Mt. Falcon West Parking Lot”) was about a 40 minute drive from my apartment so from anywhere in the Denver area I would say you should plan for anywhere from 30-50 minutes of driving time one way. I included a Google Map below for reference! (p.s. there were two sections to the parking lot. The trailhead is connected to the main parking lot, NOT the oversized lot)
I was hiking by myself…well not really. I had my Boston Terrier, Zuzu, with me! However, I chose to go hiking on a Saturday afternoon when it would be more populated and there would be plenty of sunlight. I urge you to do the same if you ever decide to hike by yourself.
I packed a lunch and ended up eating before my hike as there were plenty of picnic tables with scenic views surrounding the parking lot. However, if you want to save your lunch for later in the hike there are a couple of other places to stop and eat along the hike.
Just some notes about the trails on Mt. Falcon: dogs are allowed as long as they are on leashes, bikes are allowed, and horseback riding is allowed! So there are plenty of ways to enjoy this short hike I am sharing today.
I ended up making a loop to hit all the main spots I wanted to see: Eagle Eyes Shelter, the fire tower, and the Walker House ruins. So in order to do that I decided to start on the Castle trail, then get on the Tower trail, switch over to the Meadow trail, and then get back on the Castle trail back to the parking lot which ends up being right at 2 miles.
When you start out on the trail, you’ll come to a big map with some pamphlets that have maps. I would take one just in case. Past this you’ll come to some bathrooms and two trails on either side of the path you’re on. You keep straight until you come to the Eagle Eye Shelter. Before you get to the Eagle Eye Shelter, there is another trail split but just keep straight. To be honest, the trail map is a little confusing and I found myself doubting which way I should go. It looks like you are getting on the Meadow trail before the Tower Trail but if you keep straight you will find yourself on the Tower trail. Once you get to the Eagle Eye shelter, you’ll know you are on the right path! The shelter would be a great place to stop for lunch. The view is beautiful and there is a covered deck to eat on.
The trail continues away from the shelter to the left towards the fire tower.
There is a split in the trail and you should take the trail on the right. There is some rocky, uphill trail here and I had to pick up Zuzu at one point. However, for humans it wasn’t a big deal. The tower also had lovely views and a bench so if it’s not too crowded it might also work for a quick bite to eat. The signage on the trails up near the fire tower isn’t ideal but if you are facing the staircase on the tower there is a trail on your right continuing away from the fire tower that you should take. It seems like it’s the horse trail but it’s the one I took and it worked out for me. There are several trails that meet up at the end of the Tower trail. I didn’t get a picture of this intersection but basically, you are going to continue straight onto Meadow trail and then you will come to another fork where you will hang a left to continue on Meadow trail. Meadow trail is relatively flat and its covered in gravel. You also get some lovely views while you walk towards the Walker House.
The Walker House was really neat to see! They call it a ‘castle’ but really it was just a big house built by a millionaire named John Brisben Walker. John owned around 4000 acres of land in this area. The house was struck by lightning and burned in 1918 so John abandoned his home and whats left today is just ruins of the ‘castle’ that it used to be.
After the Walker house, it is pretty much just a scenic walk back to the parking lot. The trail is to the right if you are facing away from the ruins. It’s not a super long or strenuous hike but it was perfect for a sunny afternoon when I was dying to get out of the house and spend some time with my puppy!
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you want more hike suggestions or prefer different posts about things to do in Denver let me know!