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Littleton, Colorado

Winter Hiking and Wildlife in Waterton Canyon

12.4 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Ryan Mckinney

Bighorn Sheep! Wild Turkey. Great Place to Hike, Run or Bike. Up to 12.4 miles roundtrip hiking.

Waterton Canyon is the beginning of the Colorado Trail which stretches 500 miles from Denver to Durango. Camping is allowed on the Colorado Trail but is not allowed in the first 6 miles section of Waterton Canyon, which is managed by Denver Water. The gravel road is great for running, biking, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Because the Waterton Canyon Trail is primarily flat, it is an easy trail that would be good for the whole family. You can hike the entire 6.2 miles out on the trail, but the further you go, the more challenging the hike becomes.

Bighorn sheep are impressive animals. They can weigh up to 300lbs and their horns can weigh 30lbs. Despite their size, bighorn sheep are extremely agile. There was never a dull moment watching them, even after a few hours. During the rut(November-December) Rams can be seen fighting to establish dominance. There is nothing that compares to the loud crack of to large rams colliding!

Near the beginning of the hike keep an eye out for wild turkey! If you don't see them on the ground, look up in the trees! Mule deer also frequent this trail. Dogs are not allowed on this trail to protect the bighorn sheep.

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Tags

Fitness
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Hiking for all!

I grew up near Waterton and I've spent almost every weekend here. The trail is wide and smooth enough for it to be easily accessible for anyone! Even though it's so close to Denver, I love the mountains and wildlife. It does get pretty busy on weekends so come early!

Easy Walk Sheep Viewing

There were lots of easy viewing spots for sheep, not dangerous. Easy walk, on an unpaved road.

Good workout! Nice trail

This trail is very well maintained, and has a little uphill incline, giving you a great workout. It was a little more crowded than I was expecting but not overwhelming. No big horned sheep or turkey were out with crowds of people walking through. Late December but very warm with little to no wind in the canyon. Perfect for biking also, would be a great bike ride or trail ride on horseback. A little less wooded and out in the open than I would prefer, but overall beautiful hike with scenic rock views and a winding river next to the trail. Nice periods of shade and sun, and benches and bathrooms along the trail. Perfect afternoon hike if you aren't trying to drive far

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Pine, Colorado

Meadows Group Campground

28707 Redskin Creek Road

Buffalo Campground

Sedalia, Colorado

Lone Rock Campground (Co)

Nearby Adventures

Hike or Bike Hildebrand Ranch

5.1 Miles Round Trip - 324 ft gain

Hike the Fountain Valley Trail at Roxborough State Park

2.3 Miles Round Trip - 100 ft gain

Hike to Carpenter Peak

6.2 Miles Round Trip - 1171 ft gain

Walk the Willow Creek Loop

1.4 Miles Round Trip

Tours

Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

"I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town.  The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Arts & culture enthusiasts will be just as fulfilled as the adventure junkie during summer in Aspen.  The events calendar abounds with activities for everyone, from cultural events to athletic pursuits.

Experiencing all Aspen has to offer is as easy as opening the front door. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

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