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Castlewood Canyon

Where Denver’s Cherry Creek Ran Wild
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 6 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  The headwaters of Cherry Creek lie in the low hill country about 35 miles south of Denver. The creek is an important source of water... more »

Tips:  1. Keep situationally aware so you take the right trails. You can stop at the info center on the way in for a small trail map if you... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

Follow the signs for Lake Gulch Trail. You’ll go past a picnic area and an amphitheater. Besides the old lake bed, now a pasture, you can see Pike’s Peak forty miles to the south. When you come to the creek, turn left toward Dam Trail.

2. Old Dam

The remains of the dam which burst in 1933 are on the west (left) side of the creek. At this point you’ll cross the creek and climb up Rimrock Trail so you can walk along the top of the east side of the canyon. On the way up, if you’ll look back over your shoulder, you’ll see more and better views of the dam.

3. Canyon Overlook

Rimrock Trail follows the curve of the canyon north. At times, because of the rock over which the trail runs, it might be difficult to see exactly where it is. Look for rock cairns along the way. Also know that if you just follow the rim, you’ll eventually pick up the trail again before it drops down to the creek. Lots of places along here to... More

4. Creek Bottom Trail

Having roamed along the canyon lip, you will return along the canyon’s bed. Try to imagine yourself standing here as a 30 foot tall wall of water rushes down the canyon toward Denver. Remember that the flood did not form this canyon, the canyon formed the flood. At the end of the Creek Bottom Trail, go past the dam (on your right this time) and... More

5. Inner Canyon Trail

Inner Canyon Trail will take you up Cherry Creek almost to it inception. Along the way are numerous waterfalls and rockfalls with water running through them. I saw lots of people out on the rocks both sitting and enjoying the sounds and climbing over the boulders. Be careful if you choose to do either; loose rock is always dangerous. At the end of... More