Crystal Valley Blog

Hiking Spots Near You!

POSTED July 18, 2017

Hiking is great exercise. Would you believe there are 13 walking and hiking trails near Castle Rock — some so close you can set out on a morning adventure practically from your front door in Crystal Valley? Pack a lunch and make a day of it on one of the harder, longer, more challenging trails!

The hiking maps from All Trails are printable and have overlays (some free, some for purchase) for elevation, nearby trails, and photos. Grab your water bottle and GORP and you can explore the wild flowers and wildlife right in your backyard! 

East Plum Creek Trail is a 10.9 out and back trail with moderate traffic. You’ll see a river, unique habitat along the way and lower Sellars Gulch is a great location for bird-watching. With stations along the way, hikers on this easy trail can learn about common and rare birds found in the area, as well as historical facts about your neighborhood and the environment. The multi-use trail – used for walking, trail running, birding and biking, is paved, eight feet wide, and while dogs are allowed, they must be on-leash.

hikingRock Park Loop Trail is a 1.9-mile, heavily trafficked hiking loop, accessible year-round and featuring beautiful wild flowers. It has been rated moderate difficulty and dogs are allowed on-leash. The main trailhead parking lot is located on Front Street, with on-street parking found on Canyon and Sunset Drives.

Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail is 2.9 miles, out and back, with mild traffic and is rated moderate difficulty. The trail is a great example of the ecology and geography of Castle Rock and offers much the same experience as nearby Castlewood Canyon, but without the crowds. The trail can be accessed from the “founders village” on Highway 86 on Wagonwheel Trail. Dogs must be leashed.

Chuck’s Loop is an easy, lightly trafficked 1.6-mile loop trail that features beautiful wildflowers. The hiking trail is good for all skill levels and loops around the north and east edge of the mesa. The trailhead is off of Highway 86 and connects to the Mitchell Creek Trail system.

Challenge Hill Blue Loop Trail is a 0.6 mile heavily trafficked loop and one of two trails in Philip S. Miller Park on Plum Creek Parkway. The trail features beautiful wildflowers and is rated moderate. Some say this isn’t a hiking challenge as much as a workout with the 200 vertical steps that takes you to the top of the hill. Some people use it as a warm-up for the second trail, and you can hike down from the top. It’s a great family activity, although dogs are not allowed on the steps.

Red and Green Loop Trail is the second of the two trails at Philip S. Miller Park. It is a 3.3-mile, moderately trafficked loop near the Challenge Hill. The wildflowers will give you something to ogle or photograph and there are a number of activity options along the way.

Ridgeline Open Space is one of 126 trails in Pike National Forest. The 9.3-mile, moderately trafficked loop is considered moderate difficulty and features gorgeous wild flowers. This is a nice trail to “get away” from it all, still close to town with great mountain views.

hikingGoat Mountain Trail is aptly named as a 6.9 difficult trail in Chatfield State Park. This is one of the most fun hikes in Southwest Denver and not well known, so you may not see anybody else on your hike – but you may see bighorn sheep. You’ll get great views of southwest Denver and a fun/challenging half-day hike. Dogs are not allowed on this trail to protect the bighorn sheep herds.

For more hiking trails to explore near Crystal Valley, check out Day Hikes Near Denver.

And if you’re packing snacks and want to know other hikers’ favorites, click on Things like tuna and goldfish crackers, beef jerky, frozen grapes and tomatoes and cheese will fuel your fun. Get packin’ and get crackin’!

Tunes for Trails

Don’t miss the Tunes for Trails concerts at the Philip S. Miller Park Amphitheater. There’s one this Saturday, July 20 featuring FACE, the all-vocal rock band. It’s free and any donations received will benefit the Castle Rock Parks and Trails Foundation.

Get Hiking to Crystal Valley!

Day hikes near the master-planned community of Crystal Valley in Castle Rock turn your home base into the best place to launch out for recreation and exercise! The beautiful selection of home designs from Richmond American Homes, are available in ranch or two-story models and priced from the high $300s. And – coming soon – new homes by D.R. Horton and Kauffman Homes!


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