Explore the most popular wildlife trails near Shaffers Crossing with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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!

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.

What an incredible park!! Elk Falls and its Overlook are quite the sights while Marmot Passage and Scout Line trails kept this Flatlander's pulse at Orange and camera clicking outstanding views with the last vestiges of Autumn yellows. The trail map tells me that there's a bunch more to tread. Hurray

Good trail with nice views. We loved the variety of the hike with stream, views, meadows and woods. Short 0.8mi section of Mason Creek Trl is closed at Bear Paw Trl lengthening the trail by a couple miles. We clocked length at 9.2mi, Steeper clockwise but more shady for the last couple miles. Really, really wish CO state parks would adopt Boulder Co Open Space off leash program.

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 hike close to Denver.

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

Cool hike. I’m in town from Jackson Hole for my kid’s hockey camp. Randomly picked this hike. Glad I did. Nice amount of shade. Doing this hike clockwise is the steeper way to go. Just what I was looking for.

Long but not difficult, full of really lovely wildflowers right now I've never seen anywhere else, Eagle Cliffs overlook is especially amazing. I started just before 8am on a Saturday and saw nobody on the way in but tons of people on the way back.

Great hike with good overlooks. Little rocky on old mill trail but manageable. Eagle cliff overview is a short challenging climb off the main path but worth the views! This is a horse and bike trail, so be on the lookout for other traffic.

Such a beautiful hike. Fantastic views at the first outlook, very forested, saw some deer, birds, butterflies and pretty Meadows with flowers. A part of the trail is closed, but it's clearly marked and you can just go around it so it doesn't affect your ability to hike. 7.00 day pass or a yearly option too. Can't wait to do the other trails sometime.

But you know what isn't great? People who hike with their dogs and leave their dog s**t bags on the trail. You're the worst kind of people. If you bring your dog, hike it's s**t back out with you too. That's what you signed up for by bringing them. Have some f**king respect for the nature we're out there to see and protect and appreciate. There was easily 10-15 bags of poop throughout the trail. There is a nicely maintained area at the park entrance with trash cans. Take some responsibility for yourselves.

hiking
1 month ago

My family of six hiked all the way to falls and back. My parents (58 and 45) finished the entire hike even though it was their first time hiking.

In terms of difficulty, the hike is only moderate because of the length of the hike, but there are very few areas where it is steep. The only portion I felt was slightly harder was the drop before the actual falls because it was slippery and steep.

The falls was pretty, but also quite small. It was a very scenic hike and we ran into deer here and there. We also saw a lot of mountain bikers and climbers while hiking.

Make sure to check the weather before going because we thought we would be able to beat the storm, but ended up getting caught in the rain. Our hike took a total of 4.5 hours. So for the hike back to the trailhead we were hiking in rain and completely drenched for 2 hours.

Beautiful trail. Nice and steady, pretty easy terrain. Great views all along the trail, and especially at a few lookout points. My dog enjoyed the creek that popped up throughout the hike as well.

Nice trail with a few great views. There's some good diversity with hiking along a creek, along the ridge, through the forest as well as some meadows and the trail is wide packed dirt with only a few areas of loose rocks. The elevation gain is pretty gradual with only a couple steep areas.

The lookout points are marked with signs (don't stop early for a break, the views from the marked areas are pretty great!). The old Mill is pretty well destroyed, but still very interesting to look at with some vehicle remains, a large saw mill and a still standing bunk house.

It was a bit long for my 10 year old, but my 15 year old didn't have any problems with the elevation gain and length. I tracked this particular route at 9 miles.

What a lovely find. I didn’t know this area, and this was really a beautiful hike. We did it counterclockwise, which meant that we were in the uncovered sunny traverse at the bottom in the hottest part of the day. I’d probably reverse that next time and try it clockwise for more shade in the final miles, at least if it is a warm day.

Some mountain bikers, but not as many as Jeffco open space, and also the trail is often wide enough that passage is easy.

I’d rate this moderate, not hard. Totally non-technical and straightforward to navigate, the hiking requires decent base fitness but no special skills.

Steady relatively easy long hike. Three very pretty lookout views at the end, part of the Loop is closed for restoration so if you want to see the viewpoints it makes the hike 9.8 miles instead of 7.9.

Nice and cool starting off early, it gets hot and towards the end there is not a lot of shade coverage.

Overall nice hike! $7 entrance fee for state park

Good hike to a gorgeous waterfall. The trail is fairly easy, just long

on Elk Falls Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail and great park. The beginning of the trail winds through the meadow for a while. We started early and saw quite a few deer at 8am. The trail down to the falls is steep but very manageable and wasn't as bad as I thought it would be coming back up. Our total hike was 10.21 miles RT.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike to Elk Falls in Staunton State Park. Waterfalls are worth the effort (moderately steep switchbacks on new Chimney Rock trail with an ez short chain handrail section). Weather was cooler than forecasted for Conifer. Rain clouds gathering around noon. Holiday bz with trail bikers and dogs on lease, all mostly courteous:) Lots of parking and along road. Best arrive early /or during week! Six of us 4h45min walking 11.5 mi plus brief lunch stop at falls.

Very easy trail. If you are looking for a nice long walk this is it. Not a very scenic trail although there are a few overlooks. Somewhat boring for my taste of trails.

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.

So many trees! The three overlooks are definitely worth it. Went on a Saturday afternoon and didn’t see too many people!

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!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Perfect weather today. However, note this tail leads you to the Elk Falls Overlook and not the actual falls. You can get to the falls by using the Chimney Rock trail, which can be found toward the end of where this trail map leads.

Fun Sunday hike

Great views. Easy hike. I wasn’t a fan of the second half being on a service road but overall not bad. I would go again but would hit the other trails in the park instead.

hiking
3 months ago

Grab a trail map (AllTrails app and park trails are not the same)
We hiked in with about 30 of us, oldest around 60 & youngest (that completed on his own) was 8. Nice hike to the pond, beautiful overlook, steep down & back to the waterfall. On the way out storms rolled in so we went back the way we came in. Recommend seeing waterfall when ice has melted!

Great trail. We took a few detours and ended up a little over 14 miles. But pure beauty! Not very busy and those that were out were very friendly.

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