Trail Name: Inner Canyon Loop Trail, Castlewood Caynon State Park
Location: Near Franktown, Colorado
Date: October 5, 2019
Time at the Trail Head: 7:30 am
Trail Length: 5.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 695 feet
Elev. at Trail Head: 6,608 feet
# of Hikers Passed: 19
# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 13
# of Horses Passed: 0
Drive from Denver to Inner Canyon Loop Trail
I started my drive from Lone Tree, Colorado and the drive only took approximately 30 minutes. It’s nice easy drive through Parker and then to Franktown.
It’s a pretty drive from Franktown to the Castlewood Canyon State Park and the ground starts to rise up in front of you to where the park sits. The park sits on top of a large bluff, but others might call it something else, and then you walk down into the canyon for a gorgeous hike.
My Day on the Trail
We arrived at the Castlewood Canyon State Park around 7:30 and there were not a lot of people there yet, and this is partly due to our hike being in October. The park is beautiful and well maintained by the Colorado Park staff.
There are nice facilities at the park if you need them. The park is approximately 20 miles from the Rocky Mountains but there are some beautiful view of the park looking out towards the Rockies in several locations.
I want to add a side note here before getting to the trail. I recommend always layering your clothes when hiking in Colorado and one thing that always goes in my pack is my North Face TKA Glacier Quarter-Zip pullover. It’s light, it keeps me warm and it drys out quickly. I actually wear these to work a lot when it starts to cool off. Having great gear and clothing really helps me to enjoy my time on the trail.
My friend and I were completely amazed at how beautiful the Castlewood Canyon State Park was. We were expecting it to be nice but we were both extremely impressed with what we saw.
We started out at the top of the bluff and hiked clockwise around the two loops. You are immediately greeted with a gorgeous view of the rocks and a beautiful farm as you look southwest towards the Rockies and Pike Peak.
I had heard from some friends that there was a dam in the area that had collapsed in the past and we found out that it was here. The dam broke and flooded the area to the north of the park into Franktown. The dam broke in 1933 and you can read about it in the Colorado Encyclopedia. It was called the Castlewood Dam.
Here are several pictures of the dam today and some chunks that were washed downstream.
Here’s a large chuck of the dam that was washed downstream. It looked to be at least 20 feet high and as wide as it was tall.
Let’s get back to the beautiful trail.
Downstream of the dam, the trail winds along a creek and in and out of beautiful trees.
There are so many interesting rocks and formations in the canyon.
Soon we came to the north side of the Castlewood Canyon State Park that opens up and looks north towards Franktown.We then started heading back up to the top of the canyon and started running into different stunning scenery.
The view from the top of the canyon, looking West and Southwest was gorgeous and we later came to find out that many people use this area for climbing.
The trail started winding it’s way back to the trailhead but not before we reached a steep part that took our breath away a little.
As always, pictures do not do the Castlewood Canyon State Park justice. This park is close to Denver and the hike is mostly easy so it’s a great place to bring your family and friends, especially if they are from out of town and not use to the elevation in Colorado.
You can enjoy a video of my hike Castlewood Canyon State Park by Clicking Here.
Please leave a Comment Below or Email me if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with this area.
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