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Lots of trails to choose from and lots of sun. Had meant to do the Zorro trail on my off day for an easy run but stumbled upon these trails. Pleasant surprise. Will definitely be going back to venture some of the tracks I didn't cover. Lots of bikes but this me some time to rest on some of the steeper inclines. Great space

Did this hike back in March, when the waterfall was still frozen which was awesome! Was between 12-13 miles round-trip be we took the Service Road/Bugling Elk trails to the Falls and then the Marmot Passage/Scout Like trail back to the trailhead. Absolutely beautiful views on the way back! Highly recommend this hike, and don't let the distance stop you from doing this hike it really is moderate. Also, take the map it was very useful!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Worth the effort for the views, wildflowers in July and fun trail. It is rated difficult bike trail in some guides but is very do-able for an advanced intermediate rider in relatively good shape. I spend 4 to 5 hours a week at gym or on bike at 100 feet altitude and I did fine. I gave myself a couple of days of hiking to acclimate to the 10,000+ feet altitude then rode the uphill very slow not letting my heart rate get out of control. The downhill was ultra fun with just a few technical spots that I walked for a few feet. I did slide out once in a tight curve and there are places where you might fall on the steep hillside but if you are careful it's not gonna happen. I did the 8 mile loop starting a Rustler's Gulch, climbed the DUSTY road 3 gradual miles then right to trail at top. Climbed/pushed 1.5 more miles on trail to another top but the flowers and views were fabulous during the climb. Then whoopee downhill rest of the way (there is one difficult curve that is steep and washed out but can be walked). Back at Rustler's Gulch there is a very deep creek to cross but if you go upstream about 50 feet and cross by big tree it's only a few inches deep then a push up semi-steep short hill on other side to get back on road. This trail is very popular and narrow, please be kind to other bikers and hikers which may mean slowing down for hikers and letting faster people pass you.

Beautiful scenery. Long hike, but worth it. Took my 6 year old and she hiked all the way to the falls and back, which is amazing. We saw a hummingbird, a woodpecker, and a ton of spectacular views.

Great park where you can pick and choose trails, difficulty, and length. No shade coverage anywhere so very hot and exposed.

I believe this is also Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail. Do it!!!

Great leg workout mostly uphill. A lot of bikers but courteous on the path. Beware no shade, bring lots of water. No resting spots for breaks. Maps are poorly marked but we enjoyed the run!

Started the trail around 930am on a Wednesday. Very little traffic, maybe 10-15 people passed by on foot or bikes.

mountain biking
2 months ago

My most favorite MTB trail I have every done!!!! Views to die for, literally if you don't keep your eyes on the trail. One tricky spot where the trail kind of drops off and we had to carry and jump our bikes over. The end of the trail was flooded and had to carry our bikes through knee high water. Epic climb and Epic descent! Well worth the effort! A must do!

Another trail, no dogs??

Perfect! Trails can get super busy as the day goes by. Most using the trails are courteous but there are plenty of mountain bikers who whiz past you so be alert.

Trailhead is inside a state park that doesn’t open until 7 am. AllTrails map of this trail is not the best. Take the Chimney Rock Trail to connect up to the two overlooks of Elk Falls.

Seven dollars for all day pass, not bad. The hike was nothing great to Dave’s ponds,however you can fish if you have a permit. I saw maybe 10 deers all together near (CM) Chase Meadow trail. From there I took (HC) Historic Cabin trail nothing great burnt down cabins From there (SR) Staunton Ranch trail has awesome rock formations, climb if you have your gear with you! (MP) Marmot passage trail has really nice views. (EF) Elk falls pond was nice. I took (CR) Chimney Rock trail to elk falls definitely check out Elk Falls You won’t be disappointed. Elk Falls Overlook was nice. From there I took (WM) West meadow trail nothing great just a lot of small aspen trees other then that 2 more miles...

I got back to Elk Falls Pond, then took (BE) Bugling Elk Trail. Unfortunately I took (SR) instead of (BL) Border Line Trail. I was pretty tired at that point. So I made the decision to head back to the trail head. I stayed on (SR) Staunton Ranch trail all the way back to the parking lot. I started at Noon finished at 6.

If you plan on doing all the trails in one day. Make sure to give yourself ample amount of time. I’ll be back.

4/29/18 Review from a Carolina Girl on a first time Colorado hike:
This hike peaked my interest for the wealth of things it suggests you will see and the distance was around what I desired. However, Staunton State park is beautifully marked giving you tons of options once you get into it! The deeper you go the greater the reward!!!
My route: Staunton Ranch to Marmot Passage. Relax at elk falls pond. Take chimney rock out to elk falls and back. Finish chimney rock to Elk Falls Lookout but continue to the top on Lions Head and back to EF pond via Lions back. Take the easy route back to Staunton ranch via Bugling elk, pick up Staunton ranch then explore climbers access where it parallels and reach then pop back on Staunton Ranch to the parking lot.
SR > MP > EFP > CR > EF > CR > EFL > LH > LB > BE > SR > CA > SR = 15.5 miles in 6 hrs(moderate)

I took the hike slower than normal given all the super cool views and my fear that the elevation would eventually get to me. Elevation ended up not being a problem at all! The views were stunning! Such variety! Moderate traffic; enough to feel relatively safe but not annoyed. I had a love hate relationship with the wind. The howling was intimidating and a bit scary at the peaks but it didn't batter me. Outside of SR, the trail is very well blocked from the effects of the wind (besides the sound). Enjoy the 'hikers only routes'; this is where the fun terrain is! Otherwise the trails are made for mountain biking. Do not miss the Elk Falls or Lions Head! It's so cool to first see the bottom of a waterfall in all its misty wonder, look out at Lions head in amazement then get to actually climb that mountain and look back down and across at the falls!!!
Tips: take the map! Jot down your route. Wear sunscreen. Chapstick and good hand lotion are a plus. Take a towel in case u want to dip you toes in the water options. Be flexible and enjoy the options! Take something that makes noise just in case u end up on long stretches solo; this is an active wildlife zone.

hiking
3 months ago

Views were ok. Trail didn’t always feel like it was clearly marked. I’d recommend alt trails.

off road driving
3 months ago

Gorgeous views. If following this trail you will want high clearance going up. 33 in tires on Xterra was good enough with no lift. Ran into a couple shorter vehicles backing down the switchbacks to turn around.

A bit off the trail is a wall that is supposed to have Ute petroglyphs and has a lot of graffiti :(. One or two looked to be authentic but most was much newer.

Didn’t see any signs to quarry along this trail and didn’t take the time to explore much. Nice drive and will go back later with more exploration time.

I live on this mountain and enjoy hiking here. It is busy during the warmer months, and as others point out, many bikers don’t share the path or watch their speed which is annoying but hey, driving 6th Avenue has the same issue so you get used to it. Watch for rattle snakes!

I absolutely loved this trail! It's in great condition, very little muddy or snowy spots although I only did about 5 miles of it starting from South Platt area before turning aroud. The elevation gain is surprisingly easy, lots of switchbacks, you don't realize how high is you get until you hit the top! The views from up there are stunning and there are some great places to just sit and look at the view! There's a good sized dirt lot to park in that has a bathroom (not really upkept at the moment) and both times I've been out this way there's been plenty of parking but that could change with summer coming. Take a bit of caution though, a mountain biker told me there were some cougar tracks a bit farther down the trail!

Great trail! I took the Staunton Ranch Trail all the way to Bugling Elk Trail then to Chimney Rock Trail. It's about 10.2 miles out and back that path instead of the one shown on this trailmap. Even though it snowed a bit two days ago, the trail was clear. There wasn't any ice or snow I had to deal with. The waterfall had some snow/ice in the shade at the base of the falls. I pretty much had the falls all to myself. Beautiful hike! Even though it was pretty windy today, some of the trail was protected from the wind. There's a $7 state park entrance fee if you don't already have a state park pass. Overall great hike and definitely coming back!

Easy, enjoyable hike. Great for a newbie to the area getting used to a little elevation (like me!) and still wanting some nice views without traveling too far. Saw some cool birds and a coyote.

beautiful views! for my first hike it was well worth it!

This trail was a lot of fun to run. The only suggestion I have is to be familiar with the trails before you head up the mountain. The kiosk at the trailhead has a trail map, but it isn't very specific and doesn't show distances per trail. Being a first-time on the mountain, I ended up talking to several friendly trail runners who gladly helped me out. Super nice weather!

shows signs of a lot of people. too much bike activity with riders thinking mud is fun with no respect for the trail damage.

Good for a close, early hills hike.

Hard to find the trailhead, but worth it when you do. Park at the final parking area before the road turns into a ranch private road. Then when you see the fire ring, turn left and walk through the grass until you see a small trailhead. It is near the Rifle Water sign. You’ll cross a covered log over the creek and the trail is easy from there. One of my favorite hikes. It has great variation, isn’t too challenging, and it has AMAZING views. In the summer, the wildflowers are amazing. You feel like you’re on top of the world.

Many bikers- great for a workout especially if you start the trail to the left.

trail running
7 months ago

Awesome for trail running. Good elevation gain and totally runnable. We started at the east entrance near Morrison. We did a loop of about 18km and it took us at a moderate pace like 2h15min. You can run this trail in the Winter, bit it all depends. We did it in January and we only found a couple of patches covered with snow.

More of a mountain biking trail. Not great for hiking.

This is a very nice trail extremely close to downtown Denver. My girlfriend and I hiked the largest loop possible starting from the lot west of C470. We started off going up the step incline to the left by the large rock outcropping... this may have been out first mistake. This path is nice and wide but a straight incline for well over a mile. We really liked all the different trail options and for being just an open space with no trees it was actually very pretty. Our only complaints about the trail is the different trail options aren't defined very well, gender the reason we took the largest loop, evening ending up on Alameda at ones point. The other HUGE complaint is this trail is an excellent mountain biking trail. We must have yielded to no less than 150 bikes in our 2:45 of hiking, and in some sections they are flying well over 20/30 mph.

Beautiful hike and has an amazing view of denver when you make it up! Wonderful for our dog as well

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