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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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
>> 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
1416 Platte St.
Red Rocks Grill
415 Bear Creek Ave.
Morrison, CO 80465
Beso De Arte
102 Market St.
Morrison, CO 80465
Mill Street Deli
401 Bear Creek Ave.
Morrison, CO 80465
- Distance: 9.6
Location: 39.646816, -105.19668
Head W on Castle Trail for easygoing climb on dirt path
Location: 39.646756, -105.198453
Turn L @ 3-way with Turkey Trot Trail, then drop into parched streambed
Location: 39.643677, -105.201859
Super views: Redrock monoliths and humpbacked ridge of Mt. Glennon
Location: 39.644264, -105.205093
Trail swings SW and climbs drainage
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
Location: 39.641369, -105.210098
Overlook: Massive redrock slabs jut from grassy hills. Denver skyline rises to NE; continue hiking SW
Location: 39.640163, -105.21299
Trail hugs grassy slopes as it climbs W
Location: 39.636742, -105.2164
Enter conifer forest. In .2 mi., pass open-sided stone shelter, picnic table
Location: 39.637084, -105.219315
Turn R @ 3-way onto Walkers Dream Trail; occasional views of snow-marbled Rockies
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
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.
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.
Location: 39.640157, -105.217907
Location: 39.644859, -105.197006
The road to Mt. Falcon Park. ©Kim Phillips
Mt. Falcon East Access
Location: 39.646137, -105.196594
Location: 39.64683, -105.196806
First Trail Junction
Location: 39.646764, -105.198399
Red Rock Views
Location: 39.645428, -105.209509
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
Summer White House
Location: 39.640426, -105.21847
Remnants of the never-completed Summer White House for President Woodrow Wilson. ©Kim Phillips