Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon

Trail Information

Trail Name: Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount FalconCastle, Meadow, Olde Ute and Devils’s Elbow Trail Loop

Location: At Mount Falcon near Indian Hills, Colorado

Date: December 8, 2019

Time at the Trail Head: 7:45 am

Trail Length: 3.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 639 feet

Elev. at Trail Head: 7,776 feet

# of Hikers Passed: 30

# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0

# of Horses Passed: 0

Mosquitoes: 0

Trail Research

I heard about Mount Falcon having some great mountain views from a photographer while on the Chief Mountain Trail, near Idaho Springs, Colorado. I took a closer look at the trail on AllTrails and saw that it was an easy trail that is lightly traveled and decided to go on the hike as soon as the weather looked better.Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon

I have to disagree with the AllTrails review on this one. I hiked it in December 2019. We left the trailhead about 7:45 am and it was lightly traveled at that point but one the way back, we met two large groups with a tour guide which changed things significantly. Everyone was extremely nice but this was a heavily traveled trail.

In the summer this trail would be easy but I would rate it as hard in December when 98% of the trail was snow or ice packed. Don’t try this trail in the snow without ICETrekkers or Trekking poles.

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Drive to the Trail

The drive from Denver to the foothills of the Rockies never gets old for me. I always look forward to being in the mountains and seeing the pine tree forests and open ranch land.

Today we headed to Mount Falcon, which is near Indian Hills, Colorado. Once you turn off U.S. 285 onto Parmelee Gulch Road, you know you’re not in Denver anymore.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon

The speed is reduced to 30 and 35 mph on a winding mountain road and it is a beautiful drive, if you are willing to take your foot off the accelerator and enjoy the surrounding scenery.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon

My Day on the Trail

The trailhead was easy to reach and it was well paved and seemed large enough for at least 50 vehicles. It is a well maintained parking and trailhead area.

Mount Falcon Trailhead

There are several places with picnic tables right near the parking area.

Mount Falcon Picnic Areas

There were no facilities visible from the parking lot but after setting off on the hike, we found some bathroom facilities. I believe they put these farther of the trail to discourage people from sleeping in the parking lot because there is a bathroom right there. I may be wrong about that but this is not the first time I have seen the bathroom facilities placed farther away from the parking lot and seem to be meant for those who are using the trail to enjoy the outdoors.

Mount Falcon Bathroom Facilities

My Day on the Trail

We saw several deer immediately when starting off on the trail. They seemed pretty tame and did not run off as we walked by.

Mount Falcon White Tail DeerMount Falcon White Tail Buck

The section of the trail we chose was not a long hike but it became abundantly clear within the first 200 yards that we needed to pull on our ICETrekkers and get out the Trekking poles.

Mount Falcon Snow Packed Trail

My hiking buddy did not have either of these so I let him borrow my Leki Micro Carbon trekking poles while I pulled on the ICETrekkers.

The ICETrekkers were the best choice on the trail today as I never slipped, even once, while my buddy slipped over 20 or more times, however, he never fell, as he was able to keep himself up with the use of the trekking poles.

ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (1 Pair), X-Large (Men's 13)
  • 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

There’s nothing like being prepared when taking off on an outdoor excursion.

Within a half mile we came upon some ruins, called the Walker Ranch. John Brisben Walker was a self-made millionaire by 1905 and was an influential person in Morrison, Colorado.

John Brisben Walker | Mount FalconWalker Ranch near Mount Falcon

We headed off towards Mount Falcon but decided to take the Devil’s Elbo Loop first. It was overcast for most of the day so the pictures are not as stunning as a blue sky and sunshine would have provided.Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount FalconHiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon

We also noticed some 4-footed friend tracks in the area that we were not sure of. I think I am going to start researching tracks so I can know when to run. Just kidding on the running, but I am serious about the track research.


Mount Falcon Animal TracksMount Falcon Animal Tracks

Finally, we started up towards Mount Falcon and were rewarded with some great views looking at the Rockies to the west.Mount Falcon Looking WestMount Falcon Looking West

There are also some great scenic views towards the east and Denver.


Mount Falcon Looking East

There are some great lookouts that have built in the area to help improve the vantage points along the trail. Mount Falcon LookoutsMount Falcon Lookouts

There were so many great locations to take pictures and I can see why it is a favorite for many photographers.Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount FalconHiking Trails in Colorado | Mount FalconHiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon

We started heading back toward the traihead and met many friendly hikers along the way. There were several hiking tours out on this day but that did not distract from the beauty on Mount Falcon.

Trail Recommendations

There are so many incredible trails to hike in the Conifer and Evergreen area in the Rocky Mountains. I’m not sure why it is so beautiful but it is probably the foothills of the Rockies with the 14ers in the background, combined with some open areas and ranch land in the area.

It truly is spectacular and is a trail I would highly recommend to anyone, even inexperienced hikers that are not use to hiking or the altitude.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon | Be Prepared

Note: Make sure you check the local forecasts and be prepared for the trail conditions. Hiking in the winter can be a lot of fun or a complete nightmare if you don’t have the right gear.

ICETrekkers at Amazon

You can watch a short video of my Mount Falcon hike here.

Please let me know if you have ever hiked this trail or have other great trails that you love.

Leave a Comment below or send me an Email.

 

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Mount Falcon Trail

7

Scenic Drive

8.0/10

Accessibility

10.0/10

Mountain Views

7.0/10

Lake or Stream Views

0.0/10

Well Maintained Trails

10.0/10

Pros

  • Easy Access
  • Beautiful Drive
  • John Walker Mansion Ruins
  • Views of Denver
  • Well Maintained Trails

Cons

  • Heavily Traveled Trail

6 thoughts on “Hiking Trails in Colorado | Mount Falcon”

  1. Hi and thanks so much for this great article! 

    Im from Australia and I’m taking my kids to Colerado next year. We are avid hikers here in Australia so we are hoping to hike in colarado also! 

    As many people know, Australia is renouned for its abundance of dangerous flora and fauna but really, as long as you don’t go poking at snakes or digging in forest areas, you’re unlikely to meet with I’ll fate. 

    My concern with hiking overseas is dangerous animals that will actually hunt me – bears wolves etc. I saw your picture of the footprints and I am guessing these belong to a wolf. What safety measures should we take and how can we avoid being eaten or attacked while hiking? 

    1. I have hiked in New Mexico and Colorado many times in the last 20 years and I have hiked every week since about 5 months ago. I have only seen one dangerous animal in all that time and it was a black bear but it was bothering some campers who had a lot of food stashed around outside their tent.

      You will see tracks from time to time and it’s always good to be alert and prepared. I would consider buying some bear spray and pick up a camping knife, such as a utility knife, after arriving in Colorado. 

      I would also strongly recommend that everyone have a emergency satellite messenger when venturing out on the trail. You can read about some of the best satellite messengers in another article I have researched at:
      https://hikingemergencybeacon.com/emergency-radio-reviews/

      Other then that, let family and friends know where you will be venturing off to and go out and enjoy the great outdoors.

      Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have.

      Rick

  2. Thanks so much for this post on the hiking trail in Colorado, I do travel to Colorado to see my friends there but , but I do get bored most of the times because I love going for hiking, but I don’t know where to go , but seeing this post right now will help me when next I go there thanks,

    1. You are very welcome. There are thousands of trails near Denver so just plan ahead a little and use apps, such as AllTrails to help you find some great trails, or you can look at all of the articles of trails I have found near Denver. 

      There’s no reason to get bored in Colorado. You just need to research trails and make plans to get out and enjoy the Rocky Mountains.

      Rick

  3. Yekeiseaya Fugerson

    I am a Southern girl through and through. Therefore, I have never hiked in conditions where ice was present. If I do I will make sure I purchase the gear your recommended. I used to hike often, but I got married and had children.

     My children are small now, so I have to wait until they are a little older before I take them on a hike. I love how I felt like I was on the trip with you. That was a delightful experience. I may very well check out Mount Falcon. And even if I have to get a sitter, I will do my best to get out more.

    1. I started taking my children hiking with me when they were around 10 years old but I have seen parents out with kids younger then that. 

      There are so many incredible trails all across the world and we all know our kids love to get out and play in the streams, mud, etc.

      Let me know when you get out for a hike and how it goes.

      Rick

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