Castle Trail

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 3.9 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6027 - 7746 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 6 hrs.
Trailhead: Lower Mount Falcon Park
Fee: none
Attractions: Forest hike\bike, scenic views




The Castle trail is located in Mount Falcon Park near Morrison, Colorado. Castle is the longest single trail in the park stretching from the lower, or east, trailhead for almost 4 miles to the upper, or west, trailhead. With restrooms and picnic tables available at both ends the multi-use trail is very popular with hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners.


To get to the trailhead from Morrison head south on Highway 8 for about 8 tenths of a mile from the roundabout and turn right onto Forest Avenue. After about 1,000 feet turn right again onto Vine Street and continue for about a quarter mile to the trailhead.


The trail starts out on a wide hard packed, wheelchair accessible, path until it gets past a picnic shelter. From there the trail transitions to a more primitive track of slightly rocky red dirt. There is a gate that might be locked if they deem it necessary to close the trail due to muddy conditions.


The trail bends around offering some nice views of Red Rocks Park and before it has gone 1,000 feet it passes its lower junction with the Turkey Trot trail that branches off on the right. The Turkey Trot trail is closed to mountain bikes


From there the climbing begins as the trail heads into the oakbrush and up the mountain. Logs buried across the trail that help to mitigate erosion present minor challenges to mountain bikers.


Switchbacks add a little length to the trail but make the climbing much easier.


As the trail passes the one mile point the climbing eases off a little.


Around the 1.5 mile point from the trailhead the upper end of the Turkey Trot trail connects on the right.


The trail continues along a ridge and then pops back out on the east side of the mountain where the climb continues with a more gentle slope.


After the 2 mile point there are some spots that get pretty rocky.


Just past the 2.5 mile point the trail passes a picnic shelter that would be a good spot to take refuge during a lightning storm. This is a popular to hike to near sunset to look out over Denver as it lights up the night.


From the shelter the trail passes the Walker's Dream trail that branches off on the right followed a short distance later by the Two Dog trail that branches off on the left. The path is much wider now as the Castle trail continues heading west across the high ridge.


The short trail to the Walker Home Ruins branches off on the right around the 3 mile point while the upper end of the Meadow trail connects across from it on the left. As the trail gets closer to the end it travels along the edge of the a large meadow and is once again connected to by the Meadow trail.


The Castle trail comes to an end just before the 4 mile point when it reaches the upper parking area and trailhead. While enjoying the Castle trail you might amuse yourself by imagining John Walker driving up the trail in his Stanley Steamer back in the early 1900's after he had bought the company. I'll bet you could have heard him chugging up the mountain for quite some distance. You can listen to one here. It sounds a little like a locomotive. The Castle trail gets a lot of use from hikers, bikers and runners. Many start at one end or the other and venture about as far as the shelter before turning around while others that are on foot might make a loop out of the Castle and Turkey Trot trails. However you decide to enjoy it if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.