Carpenter Peak Trail

MODERATE 274 reviews
#1 of 7 trails in

Carpenter Peak Trail is a 6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Littleton, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,013 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Directions from Castle Rock: Travel northwest on Highway 85 toward Sedalia. Continue approximately 6 miles past Sedalia to Titan Road. (Before the left turn on to Titan Road is a sign for Roxborough State Park.) Follow Titan Road as it turns into Rampart Range Road and leads you to Roxborough Road and the park entrance.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is in good shape. There is some snow on ice on the trail but easy to manage. The visitor center suggested that spikes may be necessary. I thought I would give it a shot, and that I could always turn around. I made it to the peak with no problem and was awarded with spectacular views. The trial is labeled as strenuous, but I felt it was moderate. I am a flat lander and found the hike as moderate.

hiking
1 month ago

Started about 9am. The woman at the entrance said it was a "little icy" on the trail. It was very icy for most of the way. It was doable without traction but we had to slow down a lot. It was rated as strenuous but was a gentle incline, it would be a good challenge for someone out of state but pretty easy for someone in good shape. Good mix of forest and views of the park below. It was windy at the top but clear views of the mountains and the rock formations. On the way down the ice had started to melt so there were patches of ice and deep mud. Definitely bring waterproof shoes and traction just in case!

2 months ago

Started early about 8am. Trail was very muddy in sections but was frozen on the hike up from cold overnight temps, but was starting to thaw on the hike down. By mid-day will be very messy. Several sections of ice but we did not put on our spikes as the sections were not too long or steep. Freeze-thaw conditions in sections, but dirt and clear trails for most of the hike.

3 months ago

Beautiful trails. One of my favorite place in Littleton.

hiking
3 months ago

This was one of my favorite trails. It’s close to town and has a little of everything from, wide open trails, red rock formations, foothill/mountain view’s, full city views, forest covered trail, trees with leaves changing covered trail, small overgrown trail, and a good workout...it has it all. Like others said, don’t be fooled by the strenuous sign it’s accurately a “moderate” trail. Went on a cooler Saturday so didn’t see too many other hikers but suspect it’s much busier on a better weather day. I lucked into a mostly quiet and peaceful hike though. $7 to get into the park or free with your CO parks pass. Plenty of parking and nice to have indoor plumbing bathrooms at the visitor center trailhead. I will definitely be doing this hike again sometime.

3 months ago

beautiful trail. i came accross a mother dear and her fawn, heard the mice/critters in the bushes most of the way up and even heard elk in the distance at the top. wonderful trail. this park really enforces the leave no trace guidelines and it shows.
also, the signs say it is strenuous, but if you are comfortable with hiking its fine, if you hike often its a breeze. i didn't see any snakes.

trail running
4 months ago

Great little beginner-intermediate trail running or hiking. The views from the top are pretty good for being so close to the city and the red rock formations are really cool too. Definitely a busy-ish trail — I ran into about 20 people on a Monday afternoon. Overall a nice little hike for after work or if you’re trying to stay within an hour of Denver. Note that the park opens at 8am and closes at 7pm. Four stars from me because you have to pay $7 to get into the park.

4 months ago

Fun hike, great view at top.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail! Watch out for mountain lions, rattle snakes, and bears. We saw two piles of bear poop. After 1.8 miles the trail get narrow and over grown brushes. Trail was pretty quiet. Saw only 4 hikers. Loose rock wear proper shoes. Trail mostly in full sun. No dogs allowed on trails. Too dangerous with all the rattle snakes

hiking
4 months ago

The view at the summit is just spectacular! Don’t let the strenuous sign steer you away, it’s really not a difficult trail. There is a small section of switchbacks but the straight path toward the end is hardly elevated and serves as a nice stroll through the shade. I had the summit to myself at 9am on a Saturday. Plenty of people were coming up after me though. Overall, this is the perfect trail to get your heart rate up a bit with the reward of a gorgeous 360 view. Climb the rocks and get a good look!

hiking
4 months ago

Despite the elevation gain, this truly is a moderate hike. Stunning panoramic views from the top.

5 months ago

Very beautiful scenery

hiking
5 months ago

We chose the 3.1 mile trail up to Carpenter Peak. The park lists it as being a strenuous trail. I would say it is more of a moderately difficult trail with a couple of areas being more on the strenuous side. The main drawback is large portions of the trail have no tree coverage, so it can get hot. Also, there is no way to refill water bottles once you leave the visitor's center, so make sure you bring adequate amounts with you.

Once we made it to the Peak, we were met with 360 degrees of amazing views. You can even see downtown Denver out in the distance.

Roxborough was a great place to spend the day out in nature. There is enough challenge to really get a great workout, but the elevation (7160 ft) isn't so punishing for those who are still working up to higher elevations and longer distances.

hiking
5 months ago

I took my kids in this hike and while the view at the top was pretty the view the rest of the hike is the same. Also, this is a 3.5 mile uphill hike. Paths are well maintained. Several people told us to take the power line trail to do a circle instead of an out and back. Wow. More uphill and not a lot to see. I recommend that you take the same way down that you took up. The red rocks are pretty but I would not do this again. Our total round trip hike was 9 miles. We did see quite a few deer.

hiking
5 months ago

This was a fun trail! Was a little nervous that it was marked strenuous but it wasn’t too bad at all. We went on a really HOT day so when we weren’t in shade, it was a bit uncomfortable. But other than that; the views were great. Not too crowded either.

hiking
6 months ago

Perfect amount of incline and distance for a beautiful Sunday. Park calls is difficult but it’s definitely moderate with just over 6 miles round trip. Start early on these hot days!

7 months ago

I wouldnt say this is a strenuous trail but it is a good amount for an enjoyable and challenging hike. Amazing views and a bit of a history lesson with all of the different Layers or rock. The best views are seen while going up and down and when you get to the top it’s a chill spot with trees and a bench! Not too crowded on a Thursday!

7 months ago

Good light trail. Busy after 10a.

hiking
7 months ago

I hiked Carpenters Peak Trail on Saturday, June 9th and thoroughly enjoyed it. Let me preface by saying in case you don't know, Roxborough State Park does not open until 7 a.m.so I had to wait 55 minutes until they opened. As hot as it is I would think they would open earlier because this is not a hike to do in the afternoon when it's in the 90's as there is very little protection (sporadically) from the sun.

I did the lollipop over to Powerline Trail into Pike National Forest down to Elk Valley Trail and back over to Carpenters Peak Trail.

Views on the way up (3.1 miles) are excellent and the view from the top of the peak is outstanding.

A couple trail notes follow the trail toward Waterton Canyon (signs) as you are leaving the Peak. It's about a half mile or so and Waterton Canyon breaks to the right (signs) but interestingly there is no sign that says Powerline goes to the left but indeed it does.
Take plenty of water and sunscreen but I am definitely coming back with my wife. Carpenters Peak is 3.1 UP and 3.1 DOWN and the sign says it is strenuous but it really is not that difficult at all.

7 months ago

Good trail, well maintained, the trail is definitely not strenuous. great views and plenty of good stopping spots.

hiking
7 months ago

You do have to pay $7 for an all-day park pass, which would’ve been nice to know before going but if you don’t mind the fee, it’s worth it. The trail is described as strenuous but it’s not bad at all and the views are terrific.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike on well-maintained trails. Not crowded on a Monday. Also the pay station was self-service so only cash accepted. I did the lollipop loop version of this hike and almost regretted the decision at the aptly named Powerline Trail but the portion in sight and sound of them was only half a mile. The rest of it was quite lovely and varied.

hiking
8 months ago

The views are phenomenal, the hike is strenuous. Work hard for more unique views.

hiking
8 months ago

I arrived around 8 am on a Saturday morning, and did not have wait to get in to the park. The cost is $7, cash or card both accepted. I hiked the Carpenter Peak/Powerline/Elk Valley Loop. Originally, I intended to just hike the Carpenter Peak trail, however I ran into one of the park rangers and he convinced me to take on the loop by saying it was his favorite hike in the park. After completing it, I agree!

There were not many people on the loop once you cross over on to Powerline. In fact, Powerline runs out of Roxborough and into Pike National Forest, which is an added bonus.

I would bring water, sunscreen, and layers if you are hiking in the morning to peel off as the day heats up.

It took me around 3 hours to complete the 8 mile loop. When I left around 11:15, the top lot was full (where I was able to park with ease around 8), and there was a line of cars about 15-20 deep waiting to enter. Hope this helps!

hiking
8 months ago

Bit of a wait in line to get into the lot on a busy morning, but well worth it. Great 6 mile out and back, with awesome views of cool rock formations along the way. Cool rocks to climb on at the summit. Nice changes in landscape along the way, with nice shady spots to take a rest. Not too strenuous on the way up for an experienced hiker, and the grade is easy on the knees on the way down. I’ll definitely hit this trail again.

8 months ago

Beautiful, especially in the morning sun. As the snow thaws, you'll see some mud on the trail. But otherwise fun and scenic with views of the red rocks, Denver, and mountains to the west.

trail running
9 months ago

Awesome trail! Hiked early Sunday morning, hardly any traffic at all. Recommend good hiking shoes, there was a section of the hike where it was muddy so be careful around the edge. Recommend a hat and sunscreen, hardly any shade. Amazing views throughout the hike.

9 months ago

Great hike, great facilities....only bummer is no dogs in this state park!

Great hike. 7$ fee to enter the park

hiking
9 months ago

The $7 park fee was definitely worth the price of admission!

I set out on my trek around 10 am and completed the 8 mile loop in just under 2 and 1/2 hours. There were only about 7 or 8 cars in the parking lot when I first began, but the lot was completely full upon my arrival back at the car (it's a small lot, so be sure to get there early).

It was a beautifully sunny day (70 degrees-plus) and I only saw two other hikers on my way up to the summit. There were incredible views of the red rocks on the uphill climb to Carpenter Peak, and I often turned back to gaze upon it's beauty and photograph the contrasting red and orange against the bright blue sky.

It was slightly windy at the top of Carpenter Peak, but I only stayed for a few minutes before continuing my journey to the Powerline Trail, which I followed until reaching the Elk Valley Loop to complete my circular trek. I didn't see a single hiker until I was back on the Carpenter Peak Trail, which added to the tranquility of my solo-hike.

There were many signs stating to be aware of rattlesnakes and mountain lions on the trail, but I saw no indication of dangerous wildlife on my journey. The trail was somewhat muddy/snowy in certain parts, but sturdy hiking boots were more than sufficient to complete the trek.

This is a beautiful spring hike through Roxborough that I will definitely be visiting again!

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