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A long, tough climb rewarded by great views and easier, flatter trails up high.


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Map Key

9.2

Miles

14.8

KM

Lollipop

7,694' 2,345 m

High

6,010' 1,832 m

Low

1,886' 575 m

Up

1,893' 577 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

For those looking for a solid workout combined with great trails and views, this is it!

Description

If you want an easier hike, start at the upper lot as for Mount Falcon West Loop. There is NO easy way to start hiking here, as both trails (Turkey Trot and Castle Trail) are very steep and climb 1700 vertical feet with no break.

From the parking lot, start up Castle Trail. It's hot, exposed, and can be crowded. Consider using Turkey Trot if there is a lot of bike traffic (it's cooler and less crowded). About halfway up, a hard left turn (with just a touch of tree shade) offers a brief respite before the climbing kicks in again. Then it's more grinding to the top!

Once on top of the ridge, enjoy much easier hiking on wide, easy trail. There are many optional side-trips (all worthwhile), but for this loop, look for Meadow Trail to the left. This smooth and easy trail takes you to the Ute Loop. Going left is a little harder and more interesting, but either way will take you to Devil's Elbow.

There's a good amount of shade and the trail is fairly level, so this makes a nice place to add some miles to your hike. Once you're on the loop (after the lollipop section), there is a short climb and then some nice opportunities for scenic views of the mountains.

Head back the way you came, and use Turkey Trot on the final descent so mountain bikers don't come up behind you too fast.

Overall, this is a great all-around outing, with great views and hard work!

History & Background

John Walker purchased 4,000 acres in this area in 1903 and built a house near the summit of Mount Falcon in 1909 (you can visit the ruins). Eight fireplaces, a music room, library, and 10 bedrooms made quite a grand house, but lightning struck and burned it to the ground in 1918.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 57 votes

#215

Overall
  4.1 from 57 votes
5 Star
26%
4 Star
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3 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#52

in Colorado

#215

Overall
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20,308 Since Mar 29, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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Photos

Near the Top of Castle Trail after climbing up the technical singletrack.
Jul 28, 2015 near Indian…, CO
Good picnic spot with views towards Denver
Mar 28, 2015 near Indian…, CO
The Walker, built in 1909, was destroyed by fire in 1918 from a lightning strike.
Mar 28, 2015 near Indian…, CO
Turkey Trot Trail in the distance, and Red Rock Park
Mar 28, 2015 near Morrison, CO
High peaks views from this easy stretch of Castle Trail
Mar 28, 2015 near Indian…, CO
Running down Castle Trail
Mar 28, 2015 near Morrison, CO
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