Explore the most popular birding trails in Staunton State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was my second trip out to Staunton. I had been planning and building up to do the long 11+ mile hike to the waterfall all summer. This again was a spectacular start to finish hike. The fall colors are starting to peak on the aspens.

The cliff faces are the stars of this hike and it seems every new bend and corner either offers a new view of the Staunton cliffs or the mountains in the distance. The overlook before the pond is spectacular with amazing views of lions head and the mane which is full of red and yellow aspens.

Fellow hikers and park staff are always polite and helpful. I’ve never had a bad encounter in this park. I plan on doing one more blowout hike there before the leaves are gone.

5 stars / Highest possible recommendation

walking
5 days ago

I wanted a medium length trail to hike at Staunton to kill time but unfortunately for me, basically all of them are pretty lengthy. I’ll just have to go back! This loop was prettier than I expected especially after passing the ponds. It was nice to get up and moving for a bit if you’re looking for something short & easy.

hiking
13 days ago

Had to make this hike a quick one because the sun was going down. Finished in 2.5 hours with short stops at Catamount Overlook, Pikes Peak Overlook, and Eagle Cliffs. I’d say this is probably a 3-4 your hike if you’re moving at an average walking pace. Solid views and nice trails throughout. A little rocky or slippery in some spots so watch your footing. There were a few rock climbing spots that seemed to be just off the trail toward the beginning.

hiking
19 days ago

We have hiked at Staunton many times, but this was our first time going to Elk Falls. The trail was amazing. It is a little steep going down to the base of the falls, but totally worth it. The beginning of the trail was a bit crowded, but once you got to the BE trail we only saw a few groups of people. The pond has some brook trout and my husband wished he would have brought his fly pole. We will definitely do this trail again!

Great hike! Would highly recommended

hiking
26 days ago

I love close by to Staunton which makes this the perfect loop to take my dog too when looking for a quick hike! I would rate it on the easy side! Quickest trail at beautiful Staunton!

A very nice day. Unfortunately there were many large groups of mountain bikers, all mostly very courteous but one group who actually said we hikers should step off the trail for them. Moving to the side wasn’t good enough. I wish these kids didn’t get so many trophies along the way. They need to be taught some respect. Many parts of the trail become narrow and easy to slide off when dodging bikes. Especially when you can’t hear them until they slide behind you screaming LEFT. By the way bikers, hikers have the right of way in such (seldom) situations. IMBA offers great guidelines to share the trail. Other than that it was worth the time out.

I brought my golden retriever and had a fantastic time. A gorgeous setting lots of little animals here and there. The ponds were more man made than I thought they’d be. But it was a nice place to sit and watch the water for a few. I’m not sure how stroller friendly it was but people were making it work.

hiking
1 month ago

I did the Davis Pond Trail and added a couple side trials to make it around 4 miles. It’s a fun little trail, not drastically difficult if you’ve hiked harder trails, and the mountains act as a nice backdrop.

Seven dollars to park. Well kept. Very peaceful. I saw one person leaving as I was entering, and a couple people as I was leaving. Very quiet. Very peaceful.

on Davis Ponds Trail

hiking
1 month ago

This was more of a stroll than a hike. Still, the scenery was relaxing and the ponds were pleasant. The interpretive signs along the way would make for a great educational enrichment opportunity with youngsters and nature lovers. I would highly recommend this trail to moms who want to break-in their kids' hiking shoes/boots and begin nurturing a love of the outdoors.

This was such a beautiful hike! The park rangers were all so friendly and very helpful especially at the beginning when you get to the trailhead. You get a map of the park when you pull in and pay $7 for a day pass. We took the SR trail to the BE trail then went up the LB trail to get to the overlook of Elk Falls, that view alone is incredible!! Then we came back down LB to the CR trail, kind of a difficult switchback but the view of Chimney Rock is stunning! Halfway down the CR you can walk down to Elk Falls. That trail is difficult but once you get to the Falls, every step is worth it! We were super ambitious yesterday (8/11/18) so when we came back up from the falls we continued on CR then got onto the MP trail until we got to the SL trail (a little difficult towards the end of this 1.5 mile trail) then got back onto SR to get to our car. We covered about half of the state park & can’t wait to go back and explore the other half!

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. Nice trot for the family.

on Davis Ponds Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice easy hike.

Hiked this trail two days ago and had to take about a 2 mile detour due to trail closures. Still a good hike with decent views and not too many people.

hiking
1 month ago

Took the dogs for a late early morning hike the views were beautiful only encountered a few other hikers parking lot was rather empty for a weekday would do again and go further next time beautiful.

Nice trail. Popular area so get there early if you want to avoid crowds.

Extended this hike to about 9 miles. Went SR>SL>MP>BE>SR. The beginning of Scoutline is all up and hiker only. I only passed 3 other hikers while I was on the Scoutline portion of the trail - it was almost eerie since I was hiking alone. But also peaceful.

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!

Staunton State Park is beautifully maintained and trails are well marked. Park fees are $7. It’s a great spot close to the city and there are a lot of trail options for every level of hiker (or biker, climber, horseback rider!).

We hiked Staunton Ranch trail to Elk Pond to Elk Falls Overlook (Lion’s Head Trail is currently closed). We did the trail on a Tuesday and saw only a handful of hikers and bikers (intermittent rain showers I think helped with the traffic as well). Overall time was about 4.5 hours and 10 miles - I think moderate is a fair rating for the trail with moderate inclines on Elk Pond trail and a tougher climb on the Elk Falls Overlook trail.

Keep an eye out for wildlife - we spotted marmots, deer, and other critters on the trails!

Loved the hike. Easy enough for most people. Some sunny spots but a lot of in/out of trees. Pretty scenery towards the end and before the falls. Lots of mountain bikers hit this trail because of its so maintained by Parks services.

This is a great getaway from Denver, this loop is nice and one should connect to the waterfall trailhead. Bikers were more in numbers than hikers.

This trail was very beautiful and fun to hike except for the fact every few min I had to move myself and dog to the side for the bikers coming through. It was kind of a hassle. Would have enjoyed the hike more if it wasn’t for that.

Awesome trail before we finally gave in to the storm following us and turned around at the Pikes Peak overlook. Gorgeous views there and all the way up to it

This was a good hike for my friends from out of town.

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.

Skip Bugling Elk! You are in a service road the majority of the time. Stick to Staunton Ranch and treat it is an out and back. It is in a state park, $7 for parking, so it is understandably crowded definitely should be listed is “moderately” trafficked. But once you get to the lake and take the switchbacks in to the wilderness you get some elevation and beautiful views of Lionshead (I think?) But what am I bitching about?? It’s a pretty sweet 10 mike hike within 45 minutes of the city. Get there early and you can have some alone time, enjoy!

Great hike close to Denver.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike if you’re on a short time frame. It’s also kid friendly.

Lovely trail with light traffic. The overlooks are a great payoff.

Not too shabby. It was a beautiful trail great for trail running. Wasn’t insanely busy and it was 4th of July.

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