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Roxborough State Park, Colorado, United States

South Rim Trail at Roxborough State Park

A gentle hike with spectacular red rock views

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.5 miles / 4.0 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly
Overview: Roxborough State Park is a true natural gem, conveniently located in Southwest Denver. The park is one of the best places near Denver to encounter wildlife. The highlight of this hike will be the dramatic views of the red rock formations angling skyward. This trail offers some of the best views in the park, and is less crowded than the fountain valley trail.

This is a state park so you will need to purchase a day pass for $6, or an annual pass for around $60.

In order to protect the wildlife and the natural state of the park there are some restrictions here.Restrictions
• Pets are not permitted in the park.
• Visitors must remain on park trails.
• Trails are closed to horses and bicycles.
• Rock climbing is prohibited.
• The park is open to day use only

Tips: Bring plenty of water and sunscreen this hike has little shade.

This hike is best early morning on a weekday. You will have the scenery all to yourself.

Be aware of poison ivy and rattle snakes, as both make their home here.

Don't forget your camera the geology and wildlife in the park provide great photo opportunities.

The grill at roxborough golf course offers a nice place to continue enjoying the views while eating lunch.

Bring along some headphones so you can listen to the audio portion of this guide which explains the geology of the area.

Points of Interest


Trail Head

This hike starts at a small parking lot on the left hand side of Roxborough Dr. There is a larger parking lot just a little further up. The larger parking area offers a restroom, and access to the visitors center. There is an alternate trail-head near this larger parking lot as well.

Leave the trailhead and hike down toward the bridge that crosses willow creek. Be on the look out for the signs warning about the poison ivy that grows at the beginning of this trail.
Please install flash to listen to the audio
Introduction To Hike

Stay Left to South Rim Trail

At about 0.2 miles the Willow Creek trail branches off to your right. You will stay left here and continue to climb up towards the ridge.

You will rejoin the trail at this point on your return trip

Beautiful Red Rock Views

As you climb up the rim take a break and look behind you for spectacular views of the Red Sandstone "Fountain Formation" that make this a special place.

You will also be able to see Denver over the other side of the hogback.
Please install flash to listen to the audio
Roxborough Geology


Just over 1 mile in you will hit the highpoint of the trail at approximately 6500ft. The trail enters the scrub oak as it levels out and then begins a gradual decent.

Hike Through The Rocks

As you descend you will hike up close to some of the red fountain formation, and get a look at the lyons sandstone on the hogback you just hiked.

Carpenter Peak Trail Junction

Continue straight at this junction. The carpenter peak trail heads off back and to your left (south). You will be approaching the sign from the rear.

Which way to go?

If you parked at the small parking lot by the bridge, you will want to take a sharp right and follow the "Willow Creek Trail" back to your car.

If you parked at the larger parking area, or you would like to stop by the visitors center you can continue straight and to your left. This option will end at the visitors center.

Rejoin Trail

You will take a left at this junction and follow the trail 0.2 miles back to your car.


Still up for some more fun? Why not find a quick geocache in the park

Visitors Center

If this is your first visit to the park. Why not stop by the visitors center to learn more about the area.

Pictures in this guide taken by: colokeith, Serdnago

South Rim Trail at Roxborough State Park Trail Map

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About the Author

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I am a Colorado native and outdoor enthusiast. I enjoy most outdoor activities. Follow me on twitter...

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