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Roxborough state park’s most exciting hikes

The summit of Lyons Overlook trail includes a picnicking area.
Photo: Marianna Caicedo · The Sentry

Memorable red rock routes

Tucked away deep in the back of the sleepy suburban town, Roxborough State Park is a distinct escape to a scenic and historic side of the great state of Colorado. With Red Rocks-like formations and plenty of trails of all difficulty levels, the locale is a cozy and comfortable visit for nature-goers of all sorts and will certainly impress even the most skeptical of visitors. 

Easily the least challenging and most immediately rewarding of the trails is Lyons Overlook. The trail is only 1.3 miles long yet features an impeccable view of the aforementioned formations that are found along the Fountain Valley trail. The Valley trail is a decent hike in its own regard, but it’s much more difficult to see all the features of that side of the park from the path, whereas only the Overlook grants a full, breathtaking panorama of the park. 

At the summit is a prime picnicking area, with plenty of funny-shaped rocks jutting out of the ground to sit on and a patio-like structure that offers the main sight of the stunning view. There’s not too much to see on the way up but a few ridges and a look over the open space beyond the park. But for a quick hour or so long hike, its conclusion is worth the full trek. 

The South Rim Trail is quite a bit longer, with no summit but offering a wide spread of valleys and ranges that create a memorable experience for the hike’s entire three-mile duration. It starts at the base with a brush-covered path with occasional clearings or benches to stop and gaze at mountainous landscapes carpeted with a coniferous tree cover. 

Along the higher section of the trail is where the grandest views are located; one can see far into the park along with layered rock structures that illustrate a visual chronology of the geological history that the park has undergone over a millennia. 

What’s more is that since it is a loop, hikers can go up either side, so each trip means a higher chance of finding something new to love about South Rim for veteran visitors. 

The crowning jewel of Roxborough State Park is easily the daunting Carpenter Peak. It’s the longest trail in the park at an impressive 6.4 miles round trip. With plenty of steep inclines and rocky terrain, it’s certainly the most challenging hike, but the view at the top makes the struggles of getting there absolutely worth it. 

One side looks toward the town of Roxborough, a glistening dot far beyond the red-tinted ridges and fields, while the other side is a choice look straight into the Rocky Mountains in all their great majesty. Anyone who can make it all the way up and down the peak surely won’t want to miss one of Colorado’s most revered and acclaimed hiking locations. 

Roxborough State Park is a must visit for hikers and nature lovers of all kinds, with enough variety to provide an engaging hike for any visitor.

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