While geocaching off Plum Creek with the family we stopped for an impromptu hike at the well-known Castle Rock. We came in the W side, off Sunset Dr. and started N with a quick but steep walk up Paul Hill Trail. We stopped, explored, took pictures, and climbed Castle Rock while absorbing the panoramic views of the heavily populated Castle Rock town and beyond. We headed down W then S by way of John Emerson Summit Trail. Although sometimes narrow, steep and moderately trafficked by 10:30 a.m., it was quick descent. Our 14 and 8 year olds son's and 9 year old dog whipped through this trail with adventurous spirit and an appropriate amount of concern. They keep the trails well groomed and pretty secure but beware straying too far off the beaten path for the sandstone is always questionable. There was a bit of traffic but everyone respected hiking etiquette so the passing was quick and pleasant. Great warm-up or quick family hike. If you're passing through and have a few hours to spare, be sure to stop!
Great hike in Castle Rock, completed several times. Pretty quick and easy to get to the top. Then my mother and I climbed the actual rock to the top on the east side, it was not difficult. Many people do this. Gets busy on the weekends. Great for kids.