A stunning trail that showcases the best that Castlewood Canyon has to offer.

The West Side of Castlewood Canyon is the more "rugged" side of the park, it has a dirt road, gravel parking lots, and only vault toilets. Luckily, this also means this is a less popular side of the park, making for less crowded trails and easier parking! 

Park at the first trailhead, for the Homestead Trail. You follow the Homestead Trail (J) until you meet up with the Rim Rock Trail (M) and Creek Bottom Trail (G) trail junction. This is a loop, so you can choose whatever direction you want, but I prefer to start with Rim Rock Trail so that I'm in the shade on the way back. 

You'll start out by crossing a small footbridge and then begin working your way up to the rim of the canyon. It gets a little steep at times, but for the most part it's gradual switchbacks taking you upwards. Once you reach the top, take a moment and take in the incredible views. Start working your way south along the rim, following the cairns when the trail becomes hard to follow. 

After another mile, you'll reach the Dam Trail (H). Follow the Dam Trail until you reach the Creek Bottom Trail (G). You have the choice to go uphill and check out the Historic Dam, and since that path connects back to the Creek Bottom Trail, it's definitely worth your time. This dam was built in 1890 and collapsed in 1933. The collapse released over a billion gallons of water that travelled over 40 miles of surrounding wilderness before eventually flooding Denver. 

Follow the Creek Bottom Trail for another 1.7 miles until you meet back up with the Homestead Trail. Pay attention to your right side, you'll pass a waterfall and some pretty stunning views along your way. 

The Rim Rock Trail doesn't have any shade, so make sure you take sunscreen.

Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash! 

Pack List

  • Castlewood Canyon State Park entrance fee ($7)
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
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RT Distance 4.54 Miles
Activities Running, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Creek Bottom Trail

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Hike the Rim Rock Trail

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Hike the Lake Gulch / Inner Canyon Loop Trail

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