Trail Name: Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail
Location: East side of Castle Rock, Colorado
Date: January 29, 2020
Time at the Trail Head: 7:00 am
Trail Length: 2.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 223 feet
Elev. at Trail Head: 6,648 feet
# of Hikers Passed: 2
# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0
# of Horses Passed: 0
I needed to test out the navigation features more thoroughly on my new Garmin inReach Mini, so I hit a trail close to home, on the east side of Castle Rock, Colorado.
I looked for a nice beautiful day during the week and I have been fortunate to find a sunny 44 degree day, which is perfect here in Colorado.
Drive to the Trail
The drive is a little boring for me, as I am driving through Castle Rock, but for those of you who are driving from farther away, the drive to the trail will be saturated with views of bluffs, pine trees and the Rocky Mountains. That should make your drive a little nicer.
My Day on the Trail
It was a gorgeous crisp January morning as I started off on the Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail. The temperature was about 25 degrees when I started but ended up at a balmy 35 degrees when I returned to the truck.
The trailhead is paved and will hold 10 or more vehicles, depending on how people park. There are no facilities here.
The sun was starting to rise over the hills near the Castlewood Canyon State Park and it made for some beautiful photos and videos early in the hike.
The trail starts at a high point and then heads down into the Mitchell Creek Canyon. There are a lot of pine trees and incredible rock formations.
There are even some waterfalls that were ice falls at this time of the year.
I went to this trail to test out my new Garmin inReach Mini and didn’t think the views would be that impressive, but I was wrong again.
The trail started to lead up out of the canyon after about a mile and then was on top of the rock bluffs for about another 1/2 mile.
The views were astounding here, looking back up the canyon to the west and then looking out over the ranch land and to Franktown to the east.
The hike was really easy as much of it is over smooth rocks and trails that are more dry, so I don’t think this area gets to muddy.
I found myself wishing I had family and friends with me on this hike as a lot of them would really enjoy scrambling over the rocks.
You have to be a little careful as there area a lot of vertical drops around the rock bluffs.
This would be a great trail to bring people who don’t want to hike long distances or up a steep mountain, plus there are awesome places to relax and enjoy the views or have a picnic.
You can even see Pikes Peak in the distance in some areas.
The Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail is better for people who are okay with scrambling up and over some rocks. If you don’t like that, there is a shorter loop trail at the top of the rock bluff called Chuck’s Loop Trail. The trail is only 1.6 miles long and you can shorten it up a little if you do an out and back instead of making the loop.
I didn’t need my ICETrekkers or Trekking poles on this hike but some good cold weather gear was important. Some good gloves, stocking cap and coat would be a great place to start.
- Built for winter in the alpine, this waterproof, insulated jacket combines the unrestricted mobility of stretch construction in both the shell and lining, together with critical sub-zero warmth and complete weather protection
- The guide tested and approved feature set inludes an adjustable, insulated hood; external chest pockets; high hand pockets for pack compatibility; an internal chest pocket; and a drawcord hem for adjusting the fit and sealing out cold
- NOTE: Temperature ratings are based on a controlled laboratory test, using low and moderate activity levels
- Also consider: your sensitivity to cold and wind-chill; time of exposure; activity level; and use of layering
I have started to realize that I do judge trails before hiking them, as I don’t think many of them will be pretty, when they actually turn out to be spectacular.
It’s best to do as much research as you can, and I use AllTrails primarily, then hit the trail and enjoy what the great outdoors gives you.
Check out this short video of the Mitchell Creek Canyon trail on YouTube.
I would love to know if you have had any experience on this trail or have other trails you love to hike. Leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
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