Hiking Trails in Colorado | South Rim and Willow Creek Loop Trail

Trail Information

Trail Name: South Rim and Willow Creek Loop TrailHiking Trails in Colorado | South Rim and Willow Creek Loop Trail

Location: West of Sedalia, Colorado

Date: January 11, 2020

Time at the Trail Head: 8:00 am

Trail Length: 2.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 465 feet

Elev. at Trail Head: 6,190 feet

# of Hikers Passed: 7

# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0

# of Horses Passed: 0

Mosquitoes: 0

Trail Research

I was looking for a trail close to Denver that was in an area I hadn’t been in before and I came across the Roxborough State Park, southwest of Denver. I had heard several other people talking about how beautiful it was there so I decided to take a look for myself.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | South Rim and Willow Creek Loop Trail

I found a trail that was short enough to get me back to my family by 11 am but one that would take me through some pretty scenery in the park. I finally decided to take the South Rim and Willow Creek Loop Trail.

Drive to the Trail

My drive was beautiful on my drive from Castle Rock to the State Park as the sun was just coming up and there was a full moon above the Rocky Mountains.

Drive to the Trail

It’s nice because you get to see the incredible Rocky Mountains along the entire drive as you approach Roxborough.

Drive to the Trail

Oh, and the park was closed when I arrived so I was able to get a 10-minute nap in before I began the hike.

Roxborough Park Closed until 8 am

My Day on the Trail

I was the first one in the park on this chilly Saturday morning. The temperature was 20 degrees F but the skies were clear and it looked to be a promising day.

There are bathroom facilities at one of the parking lots and a visitor center at the other one but I am not sure of the visitor center hours or if it is open all year.

Roxborough State Park Trailhead

Roxborough State Park Trailhead

There is not a lot of elevation difference on the trail but taking the trail clockwise, gets you moving up the South Rim pretty quick, which is fine because this is where the best vantage points are on the trail, especially as the sun is rising.

South Rim and Willow Creek Loop Trail

There are some pretty open meadows along the hike and I found 4 or 5 deer grazing as the sun was rising.Roxborough State Park, Colorado

Roxborough State Park, Colorado

Roxborough State Park, Colorado

It didn’t take long for me to reach the high point on the south rim. I was able to see towards Denver, to the northeast, Castle Sedalia to the southeast, and along the Rocky Mountains to the southwest to the northwest.

Roxborough State Park

The park is especially pretty from this vantage point. There are incredible red rock formations that seem to be jetting out from the ground

Roxborough State Park

I also noticed that there are several trails that lead higher up into the Rocky Mountains, that I would like to come back and hike in the near future.

Roxborough State Park

The trail starts to head down after reaching the highest point on the south rim and this is where the trail became more dangerous for slips and falls. I would guess that 80% or more of the trail was iced over as it is in the shadow of the mountains in this area.

Icy Trail at the Roxborough State Park

Icy Trail at the Roxborough State Park

I thought I could tackle the trail here without pulling on my ICETrekkers, but I finally gave in and put them on. Hiking is much more safe and enjoyable when you can step with confidence.

ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (1 Pair), Medium (Men's 6.5-9/Women's 7.5-10), Black
  • 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 are just as much incredible scenery on the way down the west side of the trail as there was from the rim. Some of the rock formations have different colors and then you’ll see some formations standing alone that are asking for you to take a closer look.

Roxborough State Park Rock Formations

Roxborough State Park Rock Formations

Roxborough State Park Rock Formations

I took a little time to compare my SPOT X to my SPOT Gen 3 Satellite Messengers on another website of mine. These satellite messengers are important to keep your friends and family aware of your condition on the trail and to be able to call for a search and rescue team in a life-threatening situation.

You can find more information about them HERE.

SPOT X vs SPOT Gen 3

It looks like they discourage rock climbing in the park and I’m sure there are many people that would love to explore on these beautiful red rocks.

Rock Formations at the Roxborough State Park

Rock Formations at the Roxborough State Park





There are row after row of these rock formations and then some of them look to stand alone from the crowd.





Rock Formations at the Roxborough State Park



Here is another lone rock formation and if I were a little younger, or a lot younger, I would take my chances and climb some of them. That’s probably not the best idea though.

Here is one of the last rock formations I passed as I reached the trailhead.



Rock Formations at the Roxborough State Park

If you ever get a chance to visit the Roxborough State Park I would highly recommend it but try out some of the trails that head farther up into the mountains, and one last word of advice.

Make sure you get to the trail early as people in Colorado like to hike, even in the winter.

Parking at the Roxborough State Park

Trail Recommendations

The Roxborough State Park is a great place to hike close to Denver, any time of the year. There are trails here for any beginner or more experienced hikers who want to head up higher into the Rocky Mountains. This is a great place to bring people who aren’t use to hiking at altitude.

Check out this short video of the South Rim and Willow Creek Loop 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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South Rim and Willow Creek Loop Trail


Scenic Drive




Mountain Views


Lake or Stream Views


Well Maintained Trails



  • Easy Access
  • Grand Rock Views
  • Located in State Park
  • Well Maintained Trails
  • Many Trail Options


  • Can be Crowded
  • Park Does Not Open Until 8 am

14 thoughts on “Hiking Trails in Colorado | South Rim and Willow Creek Loop Trail”

  1. Zero Mosquitoes ?? I buy!

    Really, what a beautiful walk. What good photos. It is incredible to see the geological folds inclined to more than 45 degrees in those rocks. Excellent for a geological excursion (well, I work in the oil industry and I’ve been studying geology for many years: D, I can’t help it!)

    I do not do much hiking but I do a lot of cycling and I was wondering if it is possible to do this by mountain bike.


    • Hi Pablo, yes, almost all trails are open to mountain bikers and there are a lot of people here who love to do that.

      I was wondering if you were a geologist by the way you described the rocks. My daughter is a freshman in college in Gunnison, Colorado in the Geology program, plus she is on the Western Mountain Rescue team. She tends to talk about rocks like you do.

      It is a beautiful place to visit.


  2. I have so many places I want to travel to, but I couldn’t make up my mind to where I want to travel to because I didn’t know much about the area. Listening to the description you gave about the Roxborough State Park made me think I would like to visit there. The mountains you mentioned there are really interesting. Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful sights between us.

    • You are very welcome. There are so many beautiful areas around Colorado and the scenery changes from farm land to deserts to gorgeous mountains.

      Let me know when you plan on travelling and I can share many more trails with you.


  3. Wow. Thanks a lot for sharing with us such an amazing article. 

    I look at the pictures and I realize what beautiful views there are, you are really lucky. I am from Europe and this year I set out to reach Colorado. Roxborough State Park is an area where any admirer of this beautiful views and passionate about adventure must go. I just added your site to the favorites section and hope to post more articles like this one.

    Thanks again for this and wish you all the best! 

    • You will love it when you get here and there are many more trails I have written about and made short videos of. I would love to give you some great areas to check out.

      Let me know the trails you take when you do visit and the ones you enjoyed the most.


  4. I have no doubt you felt really good having discovered the south rim and willow creek loop trail. The images you took at the highest point of the south rim are pretty interesting. I love the images of the red rocks. Those are really wonderful sights to behold. 

    Thanks for sharing this post. It’s been fun going through it. 🙏🏾

    • There area a lot of red rocks like these jetting out from the ground that I have seen from near Lakewood and extending all the way down to Perry Park. They don’t run the entire distance but I have seen them in many locations, tucked right up against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. They are beautiful.

      There is also the Red Rock amphitheater near Morrison, Colorado.


  5. Thank you so much for sharing a beautiful article. I really liked your article. To be honest, I have no experience with this. But when I read your article, Then I learned a lot about Colorado hiking trails. I think Roxborough State Park is a great place to hike, any time of the year. Will it be safe to take the kids here? Thanks again.

    • A lot of families hike here and there are many easy trails if you have younger children. I have seen families with nearly newborn children on hikes farther out in the Rocky Mountains, and of course they have a child carrying backpack to make it easy for them.

      People love to get out to the mountains here in Colorado and they include the entire family.



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