Trails in North Cheyenne Cañon & Stratton Open Space
NOTE: Mileage on all trails is one-way.
Length: About 4 miles from the Starsmore Discovery Center to the Upper Columbine trailhead.
Elevation: Lower Columbine trailhead 6250', Mid Columbine trailhead 6500', Upper Columbine trailhead 7300'
General Description: This trail makes its way up the Canon from behind the Starsmore Discovery Center to the Upper Columbine trailhead near Helen Hunt Falls. The Mid Columbine trailhead is about 1 mile up the road from the main park gate by the Starsmore Discovery Center. The Upper Columbine trailhead is about 350' east of Helen Hunt Falls. Hikers, cyclists and equestrians can use this trail.
Mt. Cutler Trail
Length: About 1.1 miles from the trailhead to the overlook just east of the top of Mt. Cutler.
Elevation: Trailhead 6785', highest point by the top of Mt. Cutler 7200', overlook 7050'
General Description: The trailhead is on the south side of the road, about 1.5 miles up the road from the main park gate by the Starsmore Discovery Center. Hikers only.
Silver Cascade Falls Trail
Length: About .3 miles from the Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center to the top of the Silver Cascade Falls.
Elevation: Trailhead 7225', top of Silver Cascade Falls 7400'
General Description: Park in front of the Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center, hike over Helen Hunt Falls and continue along the trail. For your safety, please DO NOT hike beyond the plaza area to the closed off portion of Gold Camp Rd.
St. Mary's Falls Trail (Pike National Forest)
Length: About 1.2 miles from parking area to trailhead, about 1.6 miles from trailhead to base of St. Marys Falls.
Elevation: Parking area 7500', trailhead at Tunnel #3 7700', base of St. Mary's Falls 8800'
General Description: Drive about 3.2 miles from the Starsmore Discovery Center to the parking area where North Cheyenne Canon Rd, High Dr. and Gold Camp Rd. intersect. Park here. Hike along the closed portion of Gold Camp Rd. to Tunnel #3. Follow the trail up and over the tunnel to St. Marys Falls.
Captain Jack's Trail (1.2 miles in park; 2.25 miles in Pike National Forest)
Length: About 2.55 miles from the trailhead to the top of High Drive, about .9 miles from the top of High Drive to a saddle behind Mt. Buckhorn.
Elevation: Trailhead 7200', top of High Dr 7900', saddle behind Mt. Buckhorn 8200'
General Description: The trailhead is directly east of Tunnel #1 at the multi-use trail sign. The Captain Jacks Trail system is a multi-use system that allows hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and motorcycles. For those who are up for a real challenge, the Captain Jacks Trail joins with the Jones Park Trail at the saddle behind Mt. Buckhorn, and the trail continues for another 2.4 miles to Jones Park.
Seven Bridges Trail (Pike National Forest)
Length: About 1.5 miles one way.
Elevation Gain: 1,000 ft.
General Description: The trailhead is directly off the closed portion of Gold Camp Rd. (on the west side). Park at the intersection of Gold Camp Rd, High Dr. and Cheyenne Cañon Rd. Hike past the gate, which is in the northwest corner of the parking area, and follow the closed portion of Gold Camp Rd .7 miles to the trailhead. The trail is unmarked, so you will need to watch for the creek that goes under the road, and the trailhead will be on your right. This is a moderate hike, which criss-crosses Cheyenne Creek over a series of seven bridges.
The Chutes Trail
Length: About 1.1 miles from the top of Gold Camp Rd. to the Chamberlain Ridgeway Spur between the reservoirs.
Elevation: Trailhead 6950', Chamberlain Ridgeway Spur between reservoirs 6500'
General Description: This trail can be accessed from Stratton Open Space at the Ridgeway trailhead or at the La Veta trailhead. You can also reach the Chutes trail off of Gold Camp Road. Go past the Section 16 trailhead parking area and most of the houses. Look for the large rock with the pine tree growing out of it on the left. Beginning at the parking area on Gold Camp Rd., the Chutes is a popular trail for cyclists because of it?s winding curves and fairly fast descent. Once at the reservoirs, there are several developed trails through the Stratton Open Space that can be accessed easily. Suggested bicycle use only; hikers refer to Gold Camp Path (Stratton Open Space Trails).
Stratton Open Space Trails
Current Trail Lengths: Chamberlain-Ridgeway Spur: 1.1 miles; Gold Camp Path: .8 miles; Ponderosa: .4 miles; South Suburban Lower Loop: .4 miles; South Suburban Upper Loop: .6 miles; Stratton Springs Path: .5 mile; Upper Meadows Loop: .7 miles; Wildflower Path: .7 miles.
General Description: There are three trailheads that service the Stratton Open Space: 1) La Veta Way off Cresta Rd; 2) Ridgeway off W. Cheyenne Blvd. and 3) trailhead on north side of road about .3 miles up the road from the main park gate by the Starsmore Discovery Center. Most of the trails within the Stratton Open Space are easy to moderate in difficulty and offer "loops" that allow users to enjoy the Open Space. Keep in mind that all trails designated as "paths" are for hiking only; equestrians and cyclists may use all of the other loops.
Important information to remember when hiking/biking/running in black bear & mountain lion country:
- Black bear and mountain lions are more active at dawn and dusk. Also, black bear can be active at all times of the day/night, searching for food prior to hibernation.
- A mountain lion's predatorial instinct can be activated by things that are going fast or are small and making high-pitched sounds (esp. during the times they're most active).
- Keep small children close to you and don't let them run ahead or lag behind on the trail.
- Use extra caution where hearing or visibility is limited: in brushy areas, near streams, where trails round a bend or on windy days.
- Reduce your chances of surprising a bear or mountain lion by talking, singing or wearing bells during the times they're more active.
- Always have your dog on a leash.
- Unless there's a bear-proof trash can around, take any garbage with you.
- Mountain lions cover their prey with dirt, leaves, etc. and return to feed until it spoils. If you encounter leftover prey while hiking, calmly leave the area immediately. You could be seen as a threat if the mountain lion should return. (Note: It's uncommon for mountain lion to leave prey by a trail, but it has happened.)
- Avoid berry patches in the fall.