Trail Name: Castle Rock Trail
Location: In Castle Rock, Colorado
Date: December 17, 2019
Time at the Trail Head: 7:30 am
Trail Length: 1.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 328 feet
Elev. at Trail Head: 6,220 feet
# of Hikers Passed: 0
# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0
# of Horses Passed: 0
I live in Castle Rock, Colorado so this was some really easy research, even though I wasn’t considering hiking to the top of Castle Rock. I was actually writing a trail review for another trail close by when someone commented on the review and asked if people could hike to the top of Castle Rock.
I figured since I live here and the question was asked, it is the least I could do to answer the question. I wasn’t sure that one could actually make it to the top of the Rock as I was pretty sure it is closed off but what better way to find out then to take a hike.
Drive to the Trail
The drive to Castle Rock was extremely short for me but for those traveling from Denver or Colorado Springs, the drive on I-25, which isn’t the most fun, is still beautiful with all the bluffs, pine trees and with the Rocky Mountains sitting off to the west, just begging for everyone to come and enjoy the outdoors.
If you plan on hiking the Rock, take a few extra minutes to enjoy all the shops and local restaurants but more importantly, make sure you see the downtown of Castle Rock which is all lit up for Christmas.
Here is a picture at the Outlets at Castle Rock, Colorado, above.
Here is a photo of the star on Castle Rock from downtown Castle Rock, Colorado.
Downtown Castle Rock, Colorado in December.
It is a beautiful town and place to visit, any time of the year.
My Day on the Trail
I decided to hit the trail early, after our recent snow fall. It was only about 1 inch of snow but it still makes everything beautiful. The trailhead is paved and easily accessible, plus there are some incredible outdoor bathroom facilities there (jk).
I arrived at the trailhead at 7:30 am and was greeted by two friendly police officers. They were checking on the area and told me there have been several vehicle break-ins and to make sure nothing valuable was visible though the windows of my truck.
They were truly nice police officers and we talked for about 10 minutes. They shared some of their favorite hiking trails close by and then asked me if I was going to try to reach the top of Castle Rock. I told them I wasn’t sure if it was open and they told me it was but to be careful because it is difficult to reach, from the base of the rock, and it is much harder coming down then going up. They also told me there have been some serious injuries from people trying to get down off the rock.
I was thankful they warned me about the difficult climb and they were also happy to see that I had my ICETrekkers and Trekking poles with me, even though they said it would be better for me to make that climb with another hiker.
- Shoe grips designed to provide aggressive traction in winter walking conditions
- Made of case-hardened steel alloy and strung on steel aircraft cable
- Riveted to tough rubber sling that fits tennis shoes, boots and dress shoes
- Sling remains elastic even in subzero temperatures to keep grips secure
- Self-clearing design prevents snow and ice buildup
After pulling on my ICETrekkers, grabbing my Leki Trekking poles and hiding things in my truck, I headed up the trail. It was an extremely cold morning, at 14 degrees, Fahrenheit. The skies were clear and there was only a light wind, but I was wishing I had my face warmer and thicker gloves for this brisk morning hike.
The trail is only 1.3 miles out and back and it was a gradual incline with only a small amount of fresh snow so it was a pretty easy hike. The trail is well maintained and stairs have been built into a significant amount of the trail to make the hike easier.
I think the trail gets a lot of hikers in the warmer months, but as it is December here in Colorado, and was a balmy 14 degrees, I was the only hiker on the trail.
There are great views of the “Rock” along the entire hike plus there are sweeping views of the town of Castle Rock and the Rockies to the South, West and Northwest, if you take the trail along the west side of the Rock.
There is a lot of traffic noise along this trail as you are right in the City and I-25 can’t be more then 500 yards away. I normally stay away from trails in town, and especially right by an interstate but this is an iconic Rock here in Castle Rock and several people have asked me if I have hiked it and if you could reach the top of the Rock. More on reaching the top of Castle Rock later.
I finally reached the base of Castle Rock. There is a wide trail that encircles the Rock and several places to relax and enjoy the views. It does have some beautiful views, even down towards Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.
I made the loop around the Rock, looking for a trail up to the top. After making the loop without finding a trail, I doubled back to find the only location I believed was possible to reach the summit.
I found an area on the east side of the rock with a warning sign telling of the dangers, especially how much more difficult it is coming down then going up.
I looked for an obvious route up the rocks to the summit but I eventually decided against reaching the summit.
- I was hiking alone
- This is a technical climb that may require ropes
- There was fresh snow on the ground, that would make the climb more difficult
- And, I was warned at the trailhead that this area was difficult to descend from and there have been a lot of serious injuries here.
I have been know to be stupid, especially when I was younger, even though my kids and friends might disagree and think its just a common thing with me, but today, I decided to leave the Castle Rock summit for another warmer day when I have friends to go with me.
I took some time on the way down the Rock to enjoy the sunny morning views of the town of Castle Rock and the Rockies off in the distance.
It truly is a special place to live, here in Colorado. Whether you live in a city or in the mountains, there is always something special to wake up to and I don’t think you can ever run out of outdoor adventures to enjoy.
This trail is an easy trail, especially in warmer months, and there are two different ways to reach the base of Castle Rock. Even if you are an inexperienced hiker, not use to the altitude or a senior hiker, this trail is a great one for you.
The trailhead is easy to reach and the trail is pretty much a gradual incline the entire way.
If you’re adventurous, why not take the hike later in the day to watch the sunset over the Rockies and then stay a little longer to watch the town of Castle Rock come to life at night.
Just remember to bring some extra clothes to stay warm as the temperature drops and also bring along some flashlights. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water on the days leading up to the hike and then also drink water on the hike itself. You would be surprised at how often I am not hydrated enough and also get back from the trail and realize I only took a few sips of water for the last 5 hours.
It’s a great trail to take if you live in the area or are just visiting.
Here is a short video of the hike on YouTube.
I would love to here your thoughts on the trail or any other trail you love to visit. Leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
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