Trail Length: 5.2-mile loop (South Rim Loop – 3 miles/Fountain Valley Loop – 2.2 miles)
Trailhead Location: Take Wadsworth south past Chatfield State Park. Turn left on Waterton Road (just before the entrance to Lockheed Martin.) Continue on Waterton Road—crossing the South Platte River, until it ends at North Rampart Range Road (1.6 miles) Turn right (south) on North Rampart Range Road. Continue south past Roxborough Village and the Foothills Water Treatment Plant. (2.3 miles) At the intersection of North Rampart Range Road and Roxborough Park Road (just before the entrance to Arrowhead golf course), turn left onto Roxborough Park Road. Take the next right on East Roxborough Drive(about 50 yards away) to enter the park.
Looking for a trail we hadn’t hiked in a while, we decided to head over to Roxborough State Park on Sunday. The weather was warm – around 60 degrees so it was another good day to get out.
Roxborough State Park is known for its dramatic red sandstone formations that tilt at a 60 degree angle. The park contains 3,339 acres. In 1902 Henry S. Persse along with business partners formed a land development company to develop the park area into a resort. It was to have a hotel, golf course and guest cottages. After a visit by Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer, the mayor felt the place was far too scenic to be in private hands and suggested it become part of Denver’s park system.
Persse constructed his stone house in 1903 from locally quarried stone with red mud used as mortar. He never lived in the house year round but used it for guests to promote his vision of a Roxborough Park resort. In 1975, the Colorado Division of State Parks purchased 500 acres of Persse’s land to form the Roxborough State Park and since then has brought the total up to over 3,000 acres.
We headed over to the park and headed up the South Rim Trail around 12:45pm. Some deer we saw right near the parking lot before heading up the trail.
A close up view of the red rocks.
We soon reached the top of the rim, headed to the west across the end of the valley, and then started heading back north along the other side of the valley. A look back to the east across the valley to the trail we had come up on.
The trail was quite slushy here. Here you can really how red the water is in the puddles were sloshing through.
We continued along the trail as it brought us closer to many unique rock formations.
Looking northwest along the trail.
So many stunning views of the red rock formations.
We hiked back down to the bottom of the valley and came to the intersection with the Carpenter Peak Trail about 2:30pm.
We continued back to the Visitor Center and then headed out onto the Fountain Valley Loop Trail about 2:50pm.
Views along the Fountain Valley Loop Trail.
At the very north end of the loop we came to the Henry S. Persse house which was constructed in 1903. Persse planned to make this scenic location into a resort and used the house to entertain guests.
The deer were still hanging out near the visitor center when we got back there around 4:00pm
As we headed back to the car, we noticed this yucca tree. We have seen many yucca plants when hiking but never a yucca tree.
Even though our feet were cold and soaking wet from all of the snow, slush, and water on the trail, we were still happy that we got out and enjoyed the afternoon in the park!