Eldorado Canyon Trail

A gentle hike with moderate uphill through the canyon.
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A gentle hike with moderate uphill through the canyon.

Since this hike is located in the Eldorado Canyon State Park be sure to bring some cash for the parking. At the time of posting this, the cost was $8.

Once in the park, follow the road for about a mile and park at the visitors center. The trail starts on the hillside above the center. The trail is only partially shaded so be sure to lube up with sunscreen and bring a brimmed hat.

From there, the trail is easy to follow. There are a few little side trails, but they are well labeled. The basic vertical profile of the hike is an initial climb out from the start, then a gentle undulating traverse and once over the far ridge, back down to the river, South Boulder Creek.

Bring a lunch and water and enjoy!

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.9

Waypoints

EDC001

Location: 39.930945, -105.294008

The start of the trail is right above the visitors center.

EDC002

Location: 39.93095, -105.294017

The trailhead is well marked.

EDC003

Location: 39.932567, -105.294833

The trail splits giving rock climbers access to some bouldering rocks. Stay right for the Eldorado Canyon Trail.

EDC004

Location: 39.933032, -105.294538

The only bench on the trail. A great spot to enjoy the view!

EDC005

Location: 39.933182, -105.293677

The trail moves in and out of the shade. Bring a brim hat and sunscreen.

EDC006

Location: 39.932818, -105.293406

It doesn't take long to gain some elevation to get some great views. There are a few residences scattered in the canyon like this red house.

EDC007

Location: 39.934144, -105.292814

Another junction in the trail for rock climbers. Stay left for the Eldorado Canyon Trail.

EDC008

Location: 39.934649, -105.292873

Here is where you cross out of the Eldorado Canyon State Park.

EDC009

Location: 39.936535, -105.29466

A great lunch spot. Nearly at the top of the first climb, a nice log makes for a good place to sit and enjoy the view.

EDC010

Location: 39.936538, -105.294661

Looking back down the trail and across the river valley, the train line can be seen etched into the far hillside.

EDC011

Location: 39.938651, -105.29514

With a southern aspect and on a rounded ridge, the trees thin out and the trail is clear.

EDC012

Location: 39.942151, -105.298247

Entering the Habitat Conservation Area

EDC013

Location: 39.942169, -105.298265

Just north of here a Raptor Closeure area has been designated for the season. Don't worry, you're plenty far south.

EDC014

Location: 39.942185, -105.298282

Entering the Habitat Conservation Area - a close-up of the sign.

EDC015

Location: 39.941472, -105.303264

Lots of fallen and dry wood along the trail. Some make amazing shapes and colors.

EDC016

Location: 39.944216, -105.306588

Looking back we can see all the way down and out the canyon to the plains.

EDC017

Location: 39.943986, -105.308223

A last glimpse east before descending 700 feet back down to the river. Many folks turn around here to avoid the climb back. But the river is worth a visit!

EDC018

Location: 39.943207, -105.313095

Back in the shelter of the ravine, the trees start to come back and the trail is partly shaded.

EDC019

Location: 39.943183, -105.313424

The twisted trunk of a small pine tree makes you wonder if you might be in a Dr. Seuess book!

EDC020

Location: 39.943081, -105.313807

Departing the Habitat Conservation Area

EDC021

Location: 39.942211, -105.315138

Finally, rounding a bend in the trail you get your first glimpse of South Boulder Creek since starting the hike.

EDC022

Location: 39.942208, -105.315227

The junction with the Walker Ranch Loop trail. A whole new adventure!

EDC023

Location: 39.941615, -105.315338

South Boulder Creek

EDC024

Location: 39.941614, -105.31534

South Boulder Creek

EDC025

Location: 39.94161, -105.315347

South Boulder Creek

The Start

Location: 39.931361, -105.293839

The start of the trail is right above the visitors center.

Bouldering Junction

Location: 39.932897, -105.294628

Bench with a view

Location: 39.933031, -105.294536

Shady Trail

Location: 39.933181, -105.293675

Red House

Location: 39.932817, -105.293406

Visitors Center and River

Location: 39.932772, -105.292847

Climbers Junction

Location: 39.934142, -105.292811

Lunch View

Location: 39.936533, -105.294658

Across the Canyon

Location: 39.936536, -105.294661

Shadeless Trail

Location: 39.93865, -105.295139

Habitat Conservation Area

Location: 39.94215, -105.298247

Raptor Closure Area Sign

Location: 39.942167, -105.298264

Habitat Conservation Area - Detail

Location: 39.942183, -105.298281

Dried Wood

Location: 39.941469, -105.303264

Final Descent Trail

Location: 39.943206, -105.313094

Dr. Suess Tree

Location: 39.943181, -105.313422

River View

Location: 39.942208, -105.315136

Junction - Walker Ranch Sign

Location: 39.942206, -105.315225

South Boulder Creek - Sign

Location: 39.941614, -105.315336

South Boulder Creek

Location: 39.941611, -105.315339

South Boulder Creek

Location: 39.941608, -105.315344

Looking out of the canyon

Location: 39.944214, -105.306586