Mt. Falcon Park

Trail Length: 3.6 mile loop
Trailhead Elevation: 7,760’
Elevation Gain:  289’ net elevation gain
Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead Location:  From C-470, exit U.S Highway 285. Drive about 4 miles to Parmalee Gulch Road and turn right. Follow the windy road 2.7 miles to Picutis Road, then follow the signs another 2 miles to the west parking lots.

We wanted to go for a hike last Sunday but the weather didn’t seem to want to cooperate with rain continuing to threaten.  We had about given up but then the clouds appeared to be breaking up.  It was too late in the day to head out too far, but we did decide to head up to Mt. Falcon Park just outside of Morrison Colorado.  It had been over a year since we had hiked here.  We didn’t get to the trailhead parking until around 3:30pm but the afternoon weather turned out to be quite nice.

Arriving at the parking lot.

Mt Falcon Park-Sign

A sign at the beginning of the trail gives the history of John Brisben Walker who once owned over 4,000 acres of land in this area and built a castle for his residence and had plans for building a summer home for the Presidents of the United States here.

Mt Falcon Park-History Sign

As we headed down the Castle Trail, there were many wildflowers along the trail.

Mt Falcon Park-Wildflowers

Mt Falcon Park-Wildflowers

A short distance down the trail, the castle ruins came into view.

Mt Falcon Park-Castle Ruins

Just under a mile, we came to the castle ruins.  The castle was John Brisben Walker’s home in 1910.  The castle included a library, music room and observation deck.  In 1918, Walker’s mansion was hit by lighting and burned.  Pictures of the remaining stone walls of the castle.

Mt Falcon Park-Castle Ruins

Mt Falcon Park-Castle Ruins

Mt Falcon Park-Castle Ruins

Mt Falcon Park-Castle Ruins

Mt Falcon Park-Castle Ruins

We continued on down the Castle Trail to the site of the proposed Summer White House.  Along the way we had great views out towards Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Mt Falcon Park-Redrocks

Mt Falcon Park-Redrocks

More wildflowers along the trail.

Mt Falcon Park-Wildflowers

After about 1.6 miles, we came to the turnoff for the proposed Summer White House.

Mt Falcon Park-Trail Sign

Another 0.3 miles up this trail and we arrived at the site.  Walker had a big dream of building a summer home for the Presidents of the United States on a hill about a mile away from his castle. A foundation was laid, then a marble cornerstone. With America joining World War I, Walker’s dream ended and the Summer White House was never built.

A sign depicting Walker’s plans for the Summer White House.

Mt Falcon Park-Summer White House Sign

The marble cornerstone that was laid.

Mt Falcon Park-White House Cornerstone

A view from the planned site of the Presidents summer home.

Mt Falcon Park-

A view to the southeast looking down along the hogback.

Mt Falcon Park-Hogback

A view to the east of downtown Denver.

Mt Falcon Park-Downtown Denver

We headed back down to the Castle Trail.  More wildflowers along the trail.

Mt Falcon Park-Wildflowers

Mt Falcon Park-Wildflowers

Mt Falcon Park-Wildflowers

A view to the west as we continued back along the Castle Trail.

Mt Falcon Park

Near the castle ruins, we came to the junction with the Meadow Trail and decided to take this trail back to the parking lot.

Mt Falcon Park-Trail Sign

More wildflowers along the trail.

Mt Falcon Park-Wildflowers

We encountered some deer as we were heading back.

Mt Falcon Park-Deer

Mt Falcon Park-Deer

Mt Falcon Park-Deer

The early evening sun and clouds provided for some great views.

Mt Falcon Park

A few puddles along the trail from earlier rains provided for some nice reflection pictures.

Mt Falcon Park-Reflection

Mt Falcon Park-Reflection

Some more shots as we headed back.

Mt Falcon Park-Clouds

Mt Falcon Park-Dead Tree

Lisa heading down the trail.

Mt Falcon Park-Lisa Hiking

We arrived back at the car around 6:30pm just as a few drops of rain started to fall.  As we headed back down the road for home, we were treated to a beautiful rainbow – a great way to end the day.

Mt Falcon Park-Rainbow

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