Centennial Cone Trail

MODERATE 26 reviews

Centennial Cone Trail is a 13.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Golden, CO that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

13.3 miles 2665 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

This trail is a great mix of open meadows with rocky strenuous areas. There are only three creeks for water for dogs so bring lots of water for the fourleggeds. Next time I will do this trail in true Camino style, with a big lunch and bottle of wine. Centennial Cone Park is one of the largest parks in the Jefferson County Open Space system. The park offers visitors a vast, back country-type experience. When setting out to enjoy this expansive park, plan accordingly for your own health and safety. * Have adequate water -there is no drinking water available on the park * Be prepared for changing weather conditions; a cool, overcast morning could rapidly change into a beating sun and warm temperatures by mid-day. Afternoon thunderstorms are frequent from spring into fall, and there could even be snow in July. * Limited shade exists; wear a hat and use sunscreen. Many of the trails have little or no shade. This is good to melt snow and dry out trails in the late fall and early spring, but it can make your trail experience more intense. Another reason to have adequate water. * Travel with a friend. Because of the size of the park, it is recommended that you visit Centennial Cone Park with a trail buddy. Or at least let someone know when you are leaving and expect to return. * Carry a cell phone; always a good tip whenever you are enjoying a Jefferson County Open Space park, however realize that reception may not be available in all areas. * Understand what to do if you encounter a bear or mountain lion. Taking part in trail activities in a natural setting, you assume liability for all risks associated with visiting this Open Space area. Be aware that bears and mountain lions live in this area. Wildlife Encounter Information is provided by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Open Space.

trail running
13 days ago

Beautiful views! I'm not the biggest trail runner but did the 13.3 mile loop going counterclockwise as the app suggests. The last 3 miles were rough but other than that there are no significant inclines and the whole thing is definitely "run-able". Went mid November and there were some slush/snowy stretches but the majority of it was open to the sun and dry. Definitely be sure to check the alternating date schedule!!

2 months ago

I took the first four miles out and back from the first parking lot from Golden. I love that one weekend day is pedestrians only. It was nice not worrying about mountain bikes flying up behind me. The views were incredible and I only saw a handful of people. I wouldn't say this was an easy run. The plowed trail slopes in and wore on my feet after a while because I couldn't land flat. The trail was also quite rocky, which made it difficult as a new trail runner. There isn't a lot of shade either. All things considered this is a good trail.

mountain biking
4 months ago

I had a great time on this trail. There is some uphill but the downhill makes it all worth it. Watch out for super dry terrain, my bike slid out and I took a little tumble. Other than that the breeze is fantastic and the greenier makes it all the better.

4 months ago

It was challenging but do able for me.Took me 3 hrs, but I stopped quite a bit. Not crowded at all, even on a busy summer weekend everywhere else. There was only 3-4 cars in the parking lot. I'm a beginner - lower intermediate rider. I rode clockwise and I was able to complete all the ascents without walking my bike.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a fantastic hike. Throughout the 12 miles I probably only saw about 10 people, so it's very lightly trafficked.
This trail alternates every Saturday and Sunday between biking and hiking. I was lucky because I happened to drive out there and it was a hiking day.
This trail offered so many great views of the mountains but also beautiful meadows and rolling hills as well.

hiking
5 months ago

Fantastic hike that really fits if you're looking for a mild hike with great variety, plants and views. Going from the prarie filled foothills to the steep ledges of the rockies is a real treat.

hiking
6 months ago

We did traverse for about 5 miles then came back. Elk ridge was shut down unfortunately or else we would do the full loop. We will probably go back when that opens

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

I did this trail with my girlfriend the second week of October, on a weekday. We started off at the west entrance, i.e. Douglas Mtn Road, and did the Elk Range to Travois loop. My watch registered 12.4 miles total, with 1900 ft of elevation gain. It took us about 4.5 hours, which included a stop for lunch.

The trail was great and very quiet, we saw 4 people total. There were views of beautiful wide open meadows, steep canyons, and some creek crossings. I would definitely recommend this hike as a metro area day trip.

As far as difficulty goes, it was an easy 12.4 mile hike, not an easy hike. Realize that the distance is on the long side for a day hike, set aside 4+ hours, and take it easy and enjoy the solitude and views. The elevation gain was minimal and spread out, I enjoyed the gradual ups and downs. It was a hike I would take my ambitious sea level friends on.

Lastly, I think this is a great trail for a runners to get in some long slow distance. I definitely will head back out to run it.

hiking
1 year ago

Did the first mile and a half of the loop today - the weather was perfect and the views were excellent. Amazing outcroppings of rock and foothills surround this winding, steady, easy trail. Definitely a fun one to take first-timers who want a good view of the foothills! We had fun!

hiking
1 year ago

I did the 12.4 mile loop today parking at the Douglas Mountain Rd. parking lot. I left at 8 am and started clockwise. The Elk Range trail which I started on was basically 3.5 miles of a dirt road, which I don't always love hiking on but the views were pretty. Once I reached Traver's trail I was very pleased. It was beautiful and I could not have picked a better day. The weather never got too hot. I would rate this trail as easy. I never had to climb very much but due to it being 12 miles I guess I didn't mind. I completed the loop by 12:15. All in all it was a rewarding hike and great for beginners looking to get in some miles

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

My husband and I did the Elk Range to Travois Trail loop on Sunday, July 19, for a total of 12.4 miles. It rained most of the day, especially since we got a late start (my husband is not a "morning person," to say the least), but it was a beautiful, very rewarding hike. The section of the Travois Trail overlooking Clear Creek Canyon is absolutely breathtaking, and the wildflowers were in full bloom! We saw many asters, daisies, succulents, paintbrushes, phlox, and thistles. For a very short drive (less than an hour) from Denver, we felt some distance from the city and encountered a pretty wide variety of ecosystems, from a deep pine forest to rolling plains brimming with flowers to a rocky incline. This hike was easy, but made more difficult by the mileage: 12 miles is not THAT easy a feat for non-marathoners!

We did encounter a prairie rattlesnake during the last 2 miles on the ridgeline overlooking the canyon as the sun came out. I imagine he was tired of the rain as well and just wanted to sun himself on a nice rock, but we stomped and threw things on the ground next to him until he slithered away. Poor little guy.

Overall, I'd give this hike a very unexpected 6.5-7/10. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was not crowded like so many other parks in Jeffco on a weekend, and offers a lot of beautiful scenery for minimal effort/drivetime.

hiking
1 year ago

My wife and I hiked the 12+ mile loop Travois Trail/Elk Range Trail. Aside from the length, the trail was relatively easy. It was also one of the most beautiful ones. The wildflowers were gorgeous and the views (Rte 6 notwithstanding) were spectacular. You need to be aware of the alternate use weekend deal, but we were there on a hiker only Sunday and it seemed as if we had the whole park to ourselves. I am anxious to go back and do the trail the opposite way. Truly, a great hike and a great day.

mountain biking
1 year ago

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Ugh. The trails at this location are closed all of December and January for hunting. (Also, be aware that on weekends odd days are for hikers and even days are for bikers).

hiking
2 years ago

The Mayhem Gulch trail is nice, but if you're looking for pure nature, may not be that impressive as you can see and/or hear Hwy.6 for most of it. The Juniper Trail, however, is a beautiful hike through trees with solid views across Clear Creek Canyon toward James Peak and Mt. Bancroft. It meets up with the Travois Trail in a beautiful, quiet meadow with commanding views of Centennial Cone.
The Elk Range Trail offers a great walk through a large meadow. Didn't complete the whole thing, as the entire loop (including the whole Travois Trail) is over 12 miles. But I thoroughly enjoyed the roughly 1/4th of the park I hiked. The Travois Trail itself is over 7 miles long.
Watch out for mountain bikers during the week coming up behind you. Or, to avoid them altogether, hike on an odd-numbered weekend day. I went on a Monday, and saw a handful of hikers and mountain bikers. It's a pretty good park for solitude, at least on a Monday.

2 years ago

One of the last hikes I did w/puppy Mya. We hiked till it got dark. beautiful sunset. We both love this hike. Only ones on this trail that late. I will so miss her!

3 years ago

This is great trail for running and strolling. Deceivingly challenging, because it appears to roll up and down. Good for endurance, but very little shade on the first part. Dang! It gets hot! Bring lots of water and sunscreen!