Roxborough State Park is a 3,339 acre Colorado Sate Park located in Douglas County. Known for its dramatic red sandstone formations, in 1980 it was recognized as a National Natural Landmark because of its ecological systems and geological formations, as well as a State historic Site and National Cultural District, because of the number of archaeological sites on its grounds. (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)
After parking our car at the entrance there is a short walk to the visitor's center.
We were already amazed by the giant rock formations we passed along the path.
This welcome sign on the path describes it well!
The Roxborough Visitor Center has a book store, interpretive displays, rest rooms, and an auditorium where you can see an introductory DVD called "Footprints of Past and Present," which explains the trails, flora and fauna of the park. The auditorium can also be rented for meetings and small events.
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...and also the fascinating past history of the area.
There are 15 miles of trails in the park that take hikers to some incredible views of giant hogbacks and red rock formations, red sandstone ridges and spires. The trails range from an easy half mile on the Fountain Overlook Trail to a challenging 6.4 mile trek up 7,160 feet Carpenter Peak, where you can see the surrounding countryside for miles and catch a glimpse of downtown Denver, 25 miles away. Hours vary each month, but generally the trails are open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in summer, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter. No pets, bicycles or horses are allowed on the trails.
We headed out on the Fountain Valley Trail loop that winds through the Fountain and Lyons rock formations at an elevation of around 6,100 feet.
The trail winds through picturesque areas...
...and has overlook areas with spectacular views!
A few close ups of the magnificent rock formations.
We continued on, enjoying the views both large....
We passed gentle criss-cross slopes of the hogbacks.
We then climbed up the steps towards the Lyons Overlook Trail. There we walked on a sandy path surrounded by scrub oak, sunflowers and wildflowers. I was amazed to see pine trees growing out of the rocks.
At the top of the trail is a platform to stand on to view the Lyons Formations.
You can see the beautiful and unusual rocks and the trail as it continues to loop around.
...and a close up.
We continued back on the Fountain Trail...
..passing the formations again from ground level....
...until we returned back to the visitors center.
Mountain Lion exhibit in the visitor center.
We did not see any mountain lions, black bears, mule deer, red fox, eagles, hawks or rattle snakes the time we visited the park, but they are frequently sighted in the natural areas
A view of the Dakota Hogback on the way back to our car.
As we drove out of the park, back towards our community, we could see the buildings of Denver in the eastern distance. It is nice to think that Roxborough, and many other wonderful Colorado state parks, are an accessible drive west from this city, and even closer to where I live. We are very fortunate to have so much natural beauty nearby.
Roxborough State Park is located at 4751 Roxborough Drive, Littleton, Colorado. Map and directions can be found on this link. Add it to your list of places you will want to see if you are in the Denver area one day--it's well worth a visit!
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