Griffin Memorial is a 3.7 mile out and back trail located near Silver Plume, CO that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.
I made it all the way to the falls and did not keep going towards up to the memorial, the hike totalled round trip 4.4 miles.
Hike was a bit challenging at the beginning but beautiful. Parking lot for the trail is non existent.
The beginning of this hike will definitely kick your butt if you are not used to the altitude. It starts off with a steep incline on the first couple of switchbacks, but then gets a bit easier. Be sure to take plenty of breaks in the beginning, as you end up climbing over 1000ft so you'll want to save your breath. There was a good number of old buildings and remnants of the mining structures. These were really cool to explore and take pictures of. We came across a couple old mine shafts that were unfortunately (yet understandably) sealed shut. They would have been fun to explore, but also would have been very dangerous. Once you get to the top and are a couple hundred feet from the memorial (it will be to your left) you can go right and explore more towards the waterfall you can see from the memorial. This led us to more old mining equipment and another sealed mine (it is visible from the memorial and looks like a cave). The views the whole way are great, we loved getting higher and higher and seeing Silver Plume get smaller and smaller. The aspens are starting to turn, which offered some very colorful sights.
Great hike, rich history, wonderful scenic views of the almost ghost town of Silver Plume. This was a great hike for kids 6 and over.
Steep incline at the beginning of the hike brings the hiker high above the town. 5 switch-backs wind to the monument. The trail is very well maintained (in fact, actively being maintained as we were using the trail) with only a couple steeper spots that were easily navigable.
It's a very good trail for an short hike near Denver. Park on the Main Street in town, do not pull right up to the trailhead. There is no parking there and it's pretty rough on a smaller car. First mile is fairly steep and a good workout. Things level out a little before another steep maybe 2/10 mile section at the top. You really get a feel for the history of the place when as you see old mine equipment and buildings a few times throughout the trail. Definitely read up on Clifford Griffon before you go.
You can pass the memorial and keep going for about a half mile on good trail. You will cross a creek in a sketchy little area but other than it's very tame.
I would have given this a higher rating but for the noise of the interstate. You hear it the whole time except for when very close to the stream.
Great hike. Will definitely be doing it again. Spectacular views and cool story/lore surrounding the trail.
Worth doing with a great story from Wikipedia pasted as follows:
According to legend, Mr. Griffin came from the state of New York, where he was raised. Griffin became engaged in New York, but his fiance tragically, and mysteriously, died the night before their wedding. Her death was contributed to unnameable "natural causes", and to escape the painful memories of his beloved, he moved to Colorado with his brother, who eventually became the owner of the 7:30 Mine (so named because their day shift started a generous hour later than the other mines, who started at 6:30 AM). Clifford became the manager of the 7:30, and was much loved by his miners for his kindness. According to local legend, every Christmas he bought all his miners a goose for their families, and every Fourth of July, he paid off every bar between Silver Plume and current-day Bakerville 4 miles (6 km) to the west, so his miners could enjoy their holiday without spending their family's money. Not only did he take care of his miners, every evening he provided him with entertainment as well. Since he could not bear the daily sight of his men with their wives and families after his tragedy, he spent a great deal of time near the entrance to the 7:30, which sits about 1,500 feet (460 m) above the town of Silver Plume. Every evening he would sit near the edge of a nearby cliff and play his violin. Due to the incredible acoustics of the valley, the entire town could step outside and listen to his concerts. According to local legend, one evening, after a particularly beautiful recital, the residents heard a gunshot. Assuming the worst, the miners of the 7:30 raced up the trail to the entrance, and there they found Clifford Griffin, shot through the heart, in a grave he'd dug himself. A note in the nearby Manager's Office told the tale. It asked the residents of Silver Plume to leave him where he lay, because that's where he'd experienced the most happiness since his wife died. Not only did they follow his request, the town erected a 10-foot-tall Gunnison Granite monument in his honor, directly on top of his grave site. The monument can still be seen today, on the cliffs directly in front of the 7:30 Mine.
This was a great trail! I had done it years ago, and wanted to try it again. It was just as I remember it being. The trail is a little steeper at the beginning, but flattens out for a while. It does get steeper toward the top. The trail at the top is very loose shale from mine tailings and rock slides, so tread lightly as the trail is washed out and very narrow in spots. Along the way, you'll pass many abandoned mines, so there is a lot of history to observe. There are wild strawberries and raspberries in abundance too! Once at the monument, it's a great spot to have a picnic/sandwich and observe the scenery. If you go past the monument, there is old mining equipment to see, as well as the river. I did not go much past this since the storm clouds were rolling in.
This is a great hike for someone who wants something fun to do for a short outing . It took me about 3 hours up and back, but I did stop to enjoy the scenery. It was enjoyable to listen to the sound of the steam whistle from the Georgetown loop.
Nice trail, lots of old mining equipment. I would of gave it 5 stars if it weren't next to I-70.
This is a great history/adventure hike (not so impressive as a nature hike). The trail is an old mining road - littered with old equipment and buildings. Note: most of the mine access points are gated shut, but beware, you can still find a few open caves. The trail itself is in pretty good condition, some areas near the peak have eroded away into thin ribbons. The monument itself is just epic - take a map or you'll miss it. The one con about this hike: I70. You can see (and thus hear) I70 for the entirety of the hike.
Also: there is no 'trail head' for this hike. Just park on Main Street and walk up the dirt road to the "7:30 Mine Road." You will see signs for the recreational trail.