Inner Canyon Loop Trail

EASY 171 reviews

Inner Canyon Loop Trail is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Franktown, Colorado that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.8 miles
695 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

nature trips

trail running






wild flowers


Where Denver's Cherry Creek Ran Wild The headwaters of Cherry Creek lie in the low hill country about 35 miles south of Denver. The creek is an important source of water for the farms and ranches between Castlerock and Denver, and eventually flows into the Cherry Creek Reservoir on Denver's east side. One hundred twenty years ago, in 1890, local farmers arranged to have a dam built across the creek for irrigation purposes. On 3 August 1933, the dam broke, sending a 15 ft high wall of water into downtown Denver. Thanks to Elsie Henderson's quick action many lives were saved, as people responded to her telephone call and pulled their families out of the torrent's path. Today Castlewood Canyon State Park contains the ruins of that old dam and offers you the opportunity to hike along the banks of the river. The main park entrance is off of Hwy 83 about 30 miles north of Colorado Springs. You can also reach it by driving south from Denver on the same highway, or east from Castlerock on Plum Creek Pkwy, connecting with South Lake Gulch Rd, then north on Hwy 85. The park is open from 0800 - 1700 daily; entrance fee is $6/car. While there are about 12 miles of hiking trails in the park, I've loaded a 6 mile long hike that takes you from the Lake Gulch trailhead in a figure eight loop track. The track begins by dropping down to the shore of what was formerly the lake created by the dam. Then it crosses Cherry Creek just south of the dam and follows the Rimrock Trail up the east side of the canyon. At the north end of the canyon, the trail drops down to the creek bed and returns south along Creek Bottom Trail. After the trail crosses the creek again, you'll return to the trailhead via Inner Canyon Trail along the north side of the creek. Dogs are allowed in this part of the park on a leash. The trail is great for kids with lots of opportunities to climb around on the rocks in the upper part of the creek (Inner Canyon Trail).

6 days ago

Lovely trail - fabulous for any time of year. Did this in the winter. Great views of the entire park. Quite manageable and well-maintained trail. Would definitely do again.

1 month ago

Cool hike, saw 5 Rattlesnakes on the trail and one guy got bit. The park ranger said one person gets bit a year so we should be good. The snakes were on a very narrow trail so it was tricky getting by but they let us through. Tons of people going in both directions

2 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful views, peaceful, fun rocks to climb. We did this with me using an infant carrier and with our three year old. He rocked this trail. Definitely would do this again. We went on a Wednesday so not very crowded maybe saw a dozen people.

2 months ago

This is a great hike. Easy, clearly marked trails. Would be great for kiddos. I took a ton of pictures. I really like to hike by water so this was great for me.

2 months ago

Sections of the trail today were really MUDDY! Overall, though, great hike and Rim Rock views are beautiful! I love that this is so close to the metro area! We have such a treasure in this park!

2 months ago

$7 for a day pass but there are miles and miles of trails ! We did a 6.5 mile loop (many trails connect and loop to each other). Pretty creek in the canyon . Trails along the creek at the canyon bottom and rim trail along the edge of the canyon . Old dam you can hike to as well! Many nice lookouts . Enjoyable hike . Playground for kids near parking area. Some restroom. Dog friendly and rock climbing areas too.

4 months ago

always a lovely hike!

4 months ago

Very nice hike. Some snow pack this time of year.

5 months ago

A good trail for a quick hike. Can get a bit crowded after lunch. The river water is clean and wind is minimal.

6 months ago

Fantastic hike when you are looking to get out during the winter months!

10 months ago

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10 months ago

Nice little afternoon hike. However, it was too crowded. If I hike this again it won't be on a weekend.

11 months ago

First real hike me and my husband did in CO. Great scenery. Loved it.

11 months ago

11 months ago

love this hike. great scenics. pretty flat unless hiking up to rim. pretty populated. and dogs, lots of dogs.

Monday, June 12, 2017

One of my favorite local spots, beautiful year around. Watch out for rattle snakes and you will be fine. Pretty ease and downhill for the most part of the trial. Amazing views, not many people after 5 pm. Must do if you are near by.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Perfect trail for beginners and families. Go early as the trail gets very hot. Nice views of the canyon and the little creek running through it.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

This trail was a delightful surprise. Didn't know what I'd find at CW but took a chance and was as I said, delighted and surprised! A solid hike but with beautiful views and magical glens and pools. Going back soon....

Monday, May 15, 2017

I would say moderate trails as there was so much climbing on rocks... but overall a great hike. We started in L then G. Came back on G joined K and ended in Canyon point parking lot. It was 6 miles. Took my 10 year old.

We went on a 75 degree day. Definitely not fir a summer hike. No shade. Take lots of water. There is a creek that you walk by.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Start any of several trailheads on the north end of the park. This loop follows the creek, past the ruined dam (dam that's big) and along the cliff edge. I would suggest going north to south on the cliff trail - that way you have pretty much constant views of Pikes Peak.

This trail would be VERY hot in the summer months - and not a lot of shade. Better as a spring or fall trip.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Great winter hike. Didn't have to be worried about rattlesnakes they don't come until April. This is the trail you have to take to complete the Lake Gulch Loop.

Friday, December 30, 2016

This is an awesome hike--a family favorite when we want a hike that is close to home. This park is so beautiful and different in each season so it is worth coming back! Winter is my favorite.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Great place to beat the heat in the summer. However, you will not be the only one to have that idea.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Beautiful views, awesome scenery, really great hike. Trail can be a bit hard to follow at times. Will definitely do this one again.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Great trail, easy to get to is you live east

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Beautiful little trail with lots of great scenery. Just be careful of rattlesnakes! We have run into them more than once.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Loved it. Very beautiful walk with some climbing, some flat, some water. Will definitely do it again.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Easy hike with some fun spots to dip in under the small falls.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A lot of downhill but a great trail

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