Denver, CO: Mount Falcon Open Space Park, Summer White House

The views on this 5.9-miler are so grand that this parkland was once proposed as the summer grounds for a second presidential White House.
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The views on this 5.9-miler are so grand that this parkland was once proposed as the summer grounds for a second presidential White House.

Just half an hour from downtown Denver, Mount Falcon Open Space offers a quick getaway into the foothills that overlook Colorado’s eastern plains and the Rocky Mountains. This 6-mile dayhike gains about 1,600 feet of elevation on a 3-mile climb to the site of a proposed Summer White House.

From the trailhead, hike west on Castle Trail for an easygoing climb on dirt path. In 0.1 mile, turn left onto Turkey Trot Trail and descend into a parched streambed. Redrock monoliths and the humpbacked ridge of Mt. Glennon pop into view half a mile later. At mile 1.4, scan the hillside to the north for views of Red Rocks Amphitheater, then continue straight at the 3-way junction with Turkey Trot Trail.

Near mile 2, the route passes views of massive redrock slabs that jut up from the grassy hills before entering conifer forest. Roughly half a mile later, turn right at the 3-way junction onto Walkers Dream Trail, which offers occasional views of the snow-marbled Rockies and passes a log bench built for two.

Just before the top of the climb, turn right to visit a small overlook with views across Mt. Falcon Park to the distant city skyline to the east. Backtrack to the junction and turn right to reach the crumbling cornerstone marking the site of a proposed summer White House for Woodrow Wilson. Retrace your steps to the trailhead.

-Mapped by Kim Phillips and Maribeth Oscamou

PLAN IT

MAP:
>> Download a park map at the Mount Falcon Park website.
>> Order the USGS topo quads listed above at store.usgs.gov.
>> Order a custom map of this route by selecting the "Print MyTopo" option in the left-hand menu bar.

CONDITIONS: Check weather at Morrison, CO (80465) Weather

INFO: For more information, go to the Mount Falcon Park website.

CONTACT: Open Space, 700 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80401; (303) 271-5925

OTHER RESOURCES

GEAR
REI
1416 Platte St.
Denver, CO
(303) 756-310
rei.com

RESTAURANTS
Red Rocks Grill
415 Bear Creek Ave.
Morrison, CO 80465
(303) 697-9290 ‎
redrocksgrill.com

Beso De Arte
102 Market St.
Morrison, CO 80465
(303) 697-3377 ‎
besodearte.com

Mill Street Deli
401 Bear Creek Ave.
Morrison, CO 80465
(303) 697-1700 ‎

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 9.6

Waypoints

FAL001

Location: 39.646816, -105.19668

Head W on Castle Trail for easygoing climb on dirt path

FAL002

Location: 39.646756, -105.198453

Turn L @ 3-way with Turkey Trot Trail, then drop into parched streambed

FAL003

Location: 39.643677, -105.201859

Super views: Redrock monoliths and humpbacked ridge of Mt. Glennon

FAL004

Location: 39.644264, -105.205093

Trail swings SW and climbs drainage

FAL005

Location: 39.64542, -105.209606

Scan hillside to N for Red Rocks Amphitheater. In 150 ft., straight @ 3-way with Turkey Trot Trail; pine cones underfoot

FAL006

Location: 39.641369, -105.210098

Overlook: Massive redrock slabs jut from grassy hills. Denver skyline rises to NE; continue hiking SW

FAL007

Location: 39.640163, -105.21299

Trail hugs grassy slopes as it climbs W

FAL008

Location: 39.636742, -105.2164

Enter conifer forest. In .2 mi., pass open-sided stone shelter, picnic table

FAL009

Location: 39.637084, -105.219315

Turn R @ 3-way onto Walkers Dream Trail; occasional views of snow-marbled Rockies

FAL010

Location: 39.639124, -105.218446

Pass log bench built for two tucked under evergreen canopy on R. In 500 ft., pass spur trail on R leading to overlook

FAL011

Location: 39.640325, -105.218307

Turn right to visit an overlook (7,613 ft.) with views of Mt. Falcon Park below and distant city skylines to the E. Next: Retrace steps to this junction, and turn R to see the remains of the planned Summer White House.

FAL012

Location: 39.640417, -105.218509

This crumbling cornerstone marks the site of a proposed Summer White House for Woodrow Wilson (never completed). Retrace steps to the trailhead.

Scenic Overlook

Location: 39.640157, -105.217907

©Kim Phillips

Park Sign

Location: 39.644859, -105.197006

The road to Mt. Falcon Park. ©Kim Phillips

Mt. Falcon East Access

Location: 39.646137, -105.196594

©Kim Phillips

Castle Trail

Location: 39.64683, -105.196806

©Kim Phillips

First Trail Junction

Location: 39.646764, -105.198399

©Kim Phillips

Red Rock Views

Location: 39.645428, -105.209509

©Kim Phillips

Log Bench

Location: 39.639083, -105.218339

Views extend east across Mt. Falcon Park and the Mt. Glennon hogback. ©Kim Phillips

Log Bench Overlook

Location: 39.639158, -105.218318

©Kim Phillips

Summer White House

Location: 39.640426, -105.21847

Remnants of the never-completed Summer White House for President Woodrow Wilson. ©Kim Phillips