Centennial Cone Trail

MODERATE 83 reviews

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

13.3 miles
2125 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



On weekends, you can only ride on even numbered days. During the week, it is multi-use and you can ride any of those days. There is a seasonal closure of the Elk Range trail, usually during late spring/early summer. Be sure to check and make sure this portion of the trail is open. Otherwise, you have to ride up Douglas Mountain Road to Camino Perdido Road to the north parking lot to rejoin the other end of the Travois Trail. 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. 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.

1 month ago

trail is open now, February 2018, northern Elk Range Trail closed for wildlife management until June 15 - but southern Travois and other trails are open and gorgeous.
Also note weekend activity restrictions

3 months ago


Amazing views the entire hike. Perfect for a fall hike when you want some sun

6 months ago

beware alternate schedule here. just showed up and no hiking allowed today. bikes only

7 months ago

This logged 10.8 miles for me. I went counterclockwise and it was a good mix of ups and downs. Saw about 10 people hiking/running/biking on a tuesday midday. Did this one solo and seemed safe. Never saw any animals or tracks. Id say its on the low side of moderate. I got caught in a thunderstorm though for about 2/3 of the hike so that was unfortunate. Will def do again on a sunnier day. Theres also 2 lots for parking. No fees. Just check the hike/bike days for the weekends. Otherwise weekdays are fair game! I posted the map too!

7 months ago

Our first hike/trail in Denver! Loved it. Very little shade. Wide trail. Gorgeous views. We saw a caribou! So quiet and peaceful. The buses out in the field threw us off, but we used them for a break from the sun. Saw about 10 people the whole time. Can't wait to come back!

8 months ago

awesome trail. beautiful wildflowers and cacti all along the trail. took travious trail, just under 5 miles in and out. will Def come back.

8 months ago

I had a little bit of a time limit, so I wasn't able to do the whole thing, but I walked out and back probably about 5 miles or so on the Travois trail. The wild flowers were poppin', and on the way back, I took the Evening Sun Loop and saw lots of blooming cacti, which I love. Some pretty good views, too, from what I saw. Not super strenuous, but there is very little shade, and since it was 98 degrees today, the sun was fairly intense at times. Bring LOTS of water, sunscreen, and a hat.

9 months ago

Got my first hike in this beautiful park this weekend. Amazing views and spirit inspiring challenge for new hikers. I only completed about 5 miles of its great loop. I suggest anyone looking for a low trafficed hike. Start with Cone Park, you will not forget it!

9 months ago

10 months ago

I rather liked this trail. Take the pass around called Evening Overlook. Yes, Elk Trail is currently closed for rutting. This trail had nice open areas and scenic overlooks. Close to Denver which is nice.

10 months ago

You currently cannot complete this loop. Elk Range Trail is closed until after June 15th. Also don't forget alternating weekend days for hikers and bikers. We wound up doing about 8.5 miles out and back on Travois Trail. Keep in mind most of Travois Trail is pretty exposed so plan ahead for the weather. Not much water for four legged friend. We only crossed a creek twice. Well kept trails with some decent views. Don't expect any AHA moments (maybe the views are better on Elk Ridge Trail). Steady up and down throughout the hike but nothing very strenuous. Saw lots of runners and the trails started to get a little crowded in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Elk Range Trail is closed until June 15, meaning this functions as an out and back. Check schedule for alternating hiking / biking days. Gradual elevation changes throughout.

trail running
Sunday, November 20, 2016

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!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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
Friday, July 15, 2016

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.

Monday, July 11, 2016

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.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

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.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

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

Friday, October 16, 2015

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.

Monday, September 21, 2015

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!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

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).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

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!

Friday, November 15, 2013

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!

Monday, July 29, 2013

I usually use this trail to get in shape. It works the legs mountain biking, but can be a bit long. 2 hours for the loop. I've been here many times before but it seems like part of the trail has been closed making me have to reverse the loop after riding 75% of it. There are only a few technical sections in this trail. Use it to practice for the hard stuff.

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