Sunday, September 13, 2015

Roxborough State Park


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.

Click to enlarge

I enjoyed looking at all the interesting interpretive placards about the geologic formations in the park...

click to enlarge

...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....


....and small.


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.


Another view....


...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.


The Friends of Roxborough non profit organization was formed in 1996 by volunteers to support nature education and stewardship of Roxborough State Park, and to protect its boundaries.  They hold fundraiser events throughout the year such as moonlight hikes and concerts.  They also have a scholarship fund that provides transportation funds that allows income disadvantaged school children to come to Roxborough for naturalist guided educational experiences.

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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43 comments:

ladyfi said...

Those rock formations are just amazing!

Lorrie said...

Those rock formations are wonderful. I love the way they look like they are all leaning the same way. And how great to find some wildflowers still blooming.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, looks like a great park to visit and hike the trails. The rock formations are wonderful and the wildflowers are pretty. Looks like a lovely day for a walk. Great collection of photos, thanks for sharing your visit.
Have a happy day and new week ahead!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

I've always loved rocks--especially rocks of color. I brought back home a small red one when we came to CO. Thanks for sharing.

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

Lea said...

Magnificent!

The Furry Gnome said...

Those are really u usual rocks, and beautiful weather for your visit!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What unusual rock formations, wow. I've never seen anything like it. Looks like a perfect day for a visit. How lucky you are to live so close to so many interesting sites Pat.

Hope you have a great week ahead.
Sam

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful photos of nature that is so gorgeous ~ Glad you are seeing the state and having fun!


Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Jutta.K said...

Stunning and alien landscape!
Impressive photos!
This is my contribution
Greetings from Germany

Hilde said...

Woooow, amazing views! I like those rocks and their red colour. Beautiful!!!
Visiting from "Through My Lens", Hilde
http://stapjesonderweg.blogspot.be/2015/09/white-city-in-alpujarra.html

Karen said...

How gorgeous! Thanks for sharing these beautiful views!

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots. This park is really interesting with lot to see.

happywonderer.com said...

I don't think you will ever run out of beautiful things to show us in your new state, Pat. Great photos!

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

What an amazing place! I didn't know about this park in Colorado. I never get tired of admiring red rocks.

NC Sue said...

Great photos - that looks like a wonderful place to visit!
Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/nighttime-paddle-on-jordan-lake.html

Willow said...

OK, this park has to go on my bucket list. Fifteen miles of trails!!
Thanks for sharing it!

Joyful said...

Simply beautiful! I love all those rock formations and the scenery is spectacular too! Have a great week ahead.

Margaret Adamson said...

The views are fantastic adn the rock formation amazing. You got a lovely sunny day for the hike up there.

Rena McDaniel said...

Absolutely beautiful! Colorado remains one of our favorite states and we can't wait to visit again. Pinned this to my Pinterest board. Stopping by from the Grand Socal.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Another lovely spot in Colorado! We just touched the 'tip of the iceberg' when we were there...there is so much more to be seen. Next time!

Fun60 said...

Wow what amazing rock formations.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

The scenic spots in Colorado seem endless, aren't you glad you moved there Pat? I so want to visit this state and see some of these places you've featured.
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

Barb said...

We are so lucky to have so much accessible wilderness and protected park areas in our state, Pat. Your photos show the rugged landscape well. I also love your Denver cityscape shot.

Al said...

That looks awesome - I'm going to add it to my list of places to hike.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

What's the word for "far greater than amazing"? That's the word to describe the rock formations for me. When I see sights like the ones you're sharing, I imagine how it could've formed, squeezing out of the ground super-superhot and then seeming to freeze instantly (but not really) in the air. Now, I want to go to the mountains.
Take 25 to Hollister

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, those rocks seem surreal. They are just phenomenal Pat, and you captured beautiful photos of them.

Donna said...

I love rocks and rock formations...these are stunning. Much like some I have seen while living in and exploring AZ years ago.

LV said...

Of all the different locations, Colorado is hard to beat on beauty. Been to a lot of areas, but never saw this awesome place.

Natasha Hill said...

Oh wow, this is amazing! I'm a complete geology nerd and love reading about different sites. If I ever get to the US I am definitely going here! I love the different colours and shapes in the rocks, you captured them beautifully! - Tasha

Ida said...

Wow the rock formations are stunning. I've been to Arches National Park in Utah but not this park. It would be one I'd like to visit for sure. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos of this gorgeous place.

Roz Corieri Paige said...

wow, I've never seen rock formations like that, Pat! If and when we ever get back west, I'll put this on our wish list to visit! Thank you for the tip!

Jacqueline said...

I haven't been there, but we need to go next time we are in Colorado.
What fabulous rock formations! I love the creativity of God!!

Light and Voices said...

You are so lucky to live so close to a National Park and yet experience city life. Neato photos. Like the explanations of what we are looking at.
JM, IL

diane b said...

What amazing rock formations and it looks a wonderful place for hiking. It is great to be able to visit these places through your blog.

Rue said...

It's a beautiful place, Pat. I'm shocked to see it so close to the city. It looked like it was in the middle of nowhere!

xo,
rue

Klara said...

I enjoyed just going through all those wonderful photos. I can imagine how enjoyable is hiking there.

Gracie said...

It seems you have changed your view from high skyscrapers to high peaks...lol...

Captured By Jade said...

The formations are amazing. I also caught myself glancing at the sky a lot in these pictures - so fluffy and white against the blue sky, they almost don't look real!

Sharing snapshots at Captured By Jade

Cathy Keller said...

I've been out of town and just got to your post and as always it's very picturesque. Thank you for this and all your post! Have a wonderful weekend!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great photos! What a beautiful place!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, I am stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

Threeundertwo said...

Beautiful pictures on what looks like a really beautiful day! This post made me want to go visit.

You may not have seen wildlife - but I bet some wildlife saw you.

bettyl-NZ said...

These are some wonderful scenes! I would take lots of photos of those formations, too :) The wildflowers are an added bonus!