In my last post I talked about how great the Fountain Valley Loop Trail was. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out by clicking here. The Fountain Valley Loop is ADA accessible and has stunning views of the north side of the park. If you want to see the south side of the park and get in a little bit more of a hike, you’re gonna want to check out the South Rim Trail.
The South Rim trail does exactly as advertised… It’s a trail along the south rim of Roxborough State Park (RxSP), and gives you views of the beautiful red sandstone formations down in the valley. Like Fountain Valley Loop Trail, South Rim Trail also starts near the visitors center. Click here for the trail map.
SOUTH RIM TRAIL
DISTANCE: 3 mile loop
STARTING ELEVATION: 6,100′
HIGHEST ELEVATION: 6,420′
The first mile or so of the trail is very easy, but isn’t a flat, wide, gravel oasis like its sister, Fountain Valley Loop. That being said, it’s not difficult by any means.
With many turn offs for overlooks, this trail is a must-do for scenic photographers. I can’t tell you how many times I stopped to take panoramas of the sweeping vistas.
South Rim Trail boasts several sets of well maintained steps, and it’s a piece of cake to follow. After you wind your way around the valley for about a mile, you’ll start heading uphill, to the top of the Dakota Hogback, (the easternmost ridge of the Rocky Mountains.) From the top of the Dakota Hogback you can see alllll the way East to the horizon, and west to… Roxborough State Park.
No, it’s not tall enough for you to see into the heart of the Rockies, but man oh man, are the views of RxSP amazing.
Did you know the bright white words are links to hilarious comedy?
Here are some photos that don’t do it justice:
We easily did both Fountain Valley Loop and South Rim Trail in one day, and we were able to see pretty much the whole park from just these two trails.
There are a few other trails which cut through the park, but if you hit up at least these two you won’t be missing much.
And check out this 10 second video timelapse from the top:
The last mile of trail heads down toward the auxiliary parking lot, which is only a few hundred yards from the main lot of the visitors center and the trailhead you began at.
No dogs, horses, or bikes allowed. As with all Colorado State Parks, you’ll need a $7 entrance fee or a $70 annual pass to get in. There is a beautiful, centrally located visitors center, which borders on being a mini-museum. The visitor center has bathrooms, water fountains, maps, photography, educational activities for the wee ones, and a friendly neighborhood volunteer. Parking is available, but limited, so be sure to get there early for a spot.
If you are in the Denver area this is an awesome State Park you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget the camera!
– C. Egli
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