Round-Trip Length: 7.00 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,509′ – 5,782′
Elevation Change: +273′ net elevation gain (+658′ total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Trailhead Location Follow Wadsworth Blvd (Highway 121) south of C470 past Chatfield Reservoir to the Kassler Center, where you will find public parking.
Whenever we’re looking for a hike close to home, we often will head to Waterton Canyon. This was the case a week ago Sunday. Even though close to home, you feel you are in a remote area away from the city.
Waterton Canyon is owned and operated by Denver Water. It offers a 6.5 mile hike to Strontia Springs Dam. The Colorado Trail continues above the lake approximately 10 miles to the confluence of the North Fork of the South Platte and the South Platte River. The Colorado Trail continues to Durango. Waterton also connects to the Roxborough State Park trail system.
The trail (actually a road) follows the South Platte River and is used by hikers and cyclists. There is fishing in the South Platte River and one is almost always sure to see bighorn sheep and mule deer in the canyon. Waterton also hosts more than 40 species of birds.
On this day we hiked 3.5 miles up the road before turning around and heading back.
We saw bighorn sheep but not up close this time. They were climbing up on the walls of the canyon but we did get a few shots.
As the sun was setting, we got some beautiful shots of the clouds.
We got back to the car at dusk. It’s always a good hike in Waterton Canyon!