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Mount Falcon State Park, Indian Hills

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Trail Ride:  Mount Falcon State Park

Near:  Evergreen, Indian Hills, Morrison

Website:  Parking, map and more – http://jeffco.us/parks/parks-and-trails/mount-falcon-park/

Notes:  For our first planned ride this season we met at Hilltop Stable in Indian Hills and rode the 10 minutes up to Mount Falcon. The footing is very good for most of the trail and the views of the front range, red rocks and everything else you can see from this vantage point were AMAZING! A few bikes, but mostly hikers. The horses were excellent ambassadors. Restrooms along the way. There are several loop combinations you could do here.


Staunton State Park, Pine

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Trail Ride:  Staunton State Park

Near:  Pine, Conifer, not far off of Hwy 285


Notes:  Riding in the new Staunton State Park. We took the Staunton Ranch Trail to Bugling Elk to Lions Back. Once you get to the Elk Falls Overlook, you need to tie your horse and hike the last 250 feet to see the falls, which are a ways off, but very beautiful. Just over 10 miles round trip. It is not a loop. The footing is excellent for the most part and the trails are 2-3 horse wide. The horse trailer parking is just by the overflow parking. The flowers here were amazing and it seems to be a fairly lush area for our climate.


Old Cow Town Colorado in Saguache

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We took the horses for a long weekend to Old Cow Town Colorado in Saguache, Colorado. We had 3 friends that shared a cabin, we stayed in the hotel and 4 stayed in campers. They have several options for the horses from indoor stalls and outdoor pens to large outdoor paddocks. The outdoor arena had nice footing as well. This place is ~340 acres and surrounded by National Forest so you can ride about anywhere for as long as you like. The views are expansive and beautiful. Footing on the trails varies with the trail.

Cell reception is not good, but the wifi at the hotel works well. The town of Saguache is about a 15-20 minute drive if you need to make some business calls.

The original owner put 6-8 million into the place in the early-mid 2000’s so it is fairly new. He also put a lot of nice detail into it like copper ceilings, detailed trim, a boardwalk, woodwork and more. There is a great carriage museum, a dance hall, livery stable, barn, social club/hotel, outdoor amphitheatre, saloon/restaurant and general store, just like an old west town. They offer putt putt golf, Stagecoach or pony wagon rides and have a few horses you can rent out. The owners, Dave and his wife Joanne are some of the hardest working people you have seen and keep the place looking great. They can accommodate weddings, as well as small or large parties.

The social club/hotel is great for a group with all of the rooms surrounding a general area with a TV and pool table. They offer continental breakfast and have a coffee maker and refrigerator in the rooms.

We ate at the saloon every night, which was pretty good considering it is hard to run a restaurant when you never know who will be there. They also had a great local band on Saturday night.

We had an amazing time riding trails during the day, messing around in the arena at night, meeting great new people and sitting around the fire looking at the stars. We met other riders that travel the northern parts during the summer to escape the southern heat. It is 3.5-4 hours from our area.   I would recommend getting topo maps and getting a sense of where you might want to go ride.  We could not find the trails using the map provided by the facility, but we still enjoyed wandering around and being surrounded by the gorgeous scenery.  Highly recommended horsey destination!!!

Bear Creek Lake Park

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Trail Ride:  Bear Creek Lake Park

Near:  Downtown Morrison.  Enter park at the southeast corner of Morrison Road and c-470 (Hwy 74 coming down from Evergreen through Kittredge and Ideldale) – considered to be in Lakewood.

Website:  www.lakewood.org/bclp/

Address & Map Link:  15600 W. Morrison Rd.  Lakewood, CO 80465

Notes:  A lot of flat area to ride, some hills if you choose, many options for loops and routes, some water crossings if you choose, but alternative routes to avoid.


Flying J Ranch

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Trail Ride:  Flying J Ranch Jefferson County Open Space Park

Near:  Between downtown Evergreen and Conifer on the east side off of Hwy 73.

Website:  jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R13.htm

Address & Map Link:  9509 County Highway 73, Evergreen, CO 80439

Notes:  Very nice smaller loop, varied terrain, some bikes, gentle up and down hill with some water crossings.



Mount Evans State Wildlife Area

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Trail Ride:  Mount Evans State Wildlife Area.  Sometimes this is called “Elk Management” by locals.

Near:  End of Upper Creek Road, which originates at Evergreen Lake.

Website:  wildlife.state.co.us/Landwater/statewildlifeareas/Pages/swa.aspx – select “Mount Evans SWA” in the drop down menu in the blue box.

Directions & Map Link:  From Evergreen Lake; turn right on Upper Bear Creek Rd. Go 6.5 miles to CR480 go right on CR480 for 3 miles. Interactive Map

Notes:  This is an absolutely beautiful area with a ton of wildlife. Vehicles are not allowed here unless they are DOW vehicles, but are rarely seen. Go with someone who has been the first time or study your topo map. Some roads lead to locked gates and some go on forever. You can make a loop if you study your maps. Pack in camping is allowed in certain areas. Use caution during hunting season. Animals causing problems in neighborhoods are sometimes relocated here.


Pine Valley Ranch

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Trail Ride:  Pine Valley Ranch

Near:  Turn onto CR 126 at Pine Junction to get to Pine Valley Ranch near Pine Grove.

Website:  jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R17.htm

Address & Map Link:  30400 Crystal Lake Rd., Pine
From U.S. Highway 28, turn south on Pine Valley Road (County Road 126) to Crystal Lake Road. Turn right 1 mile into the park.

Notes:  This area can take you onto the Colorado Trail as well as link you into many different park areas. The possibilities for loops and length of rides is nearly endless! Hills, flat areas, rock formations.  This area also includes some of the Buffalo Creek Fire area.


Alderfer Three Sisters Park

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Trail Ride:  Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park.

Near:  Head out Buffalo Creek Road across from the Evergreen Library.

Website:  jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R5.htm

Address & Map Link:  30299 Buffalo Park Rd., Evergreen  Turn west on Buffalo Park Road from County Highway 93, just south of downtown Evergreen, and travel approximately 1.5 miles. Pass first parking lot at one mile for horse trailer parking at the North Trailhead.

Notes:  Varied terrain, rock formations, meadows, hills, gently sloping, some bikes and hikers, old ranch homestead buildings can be found around the park.


Beaver Brook Watershed

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Trail Ride:  Beaver Brook Watershed.

Near:  Head up Hwy 103 toward Mount Evans from Bergen Park, near Buchanan Recreation Center.

Website:  Frosberg Park – for directions to the trail head for Beaver Brook Watershed – http://www.co.clear-creek.co.us/index.aspx?nid=192 

Map Link to Frosberg Park

Notes:  You will park immediately at the second entrance to Old Squaw Pass Road (parking is along Old Squaw Pass Road).  There is a small park (relatively unknown that it is actually here) that you enter the area through called.   There is white vinyl fencing at the trail head you can see easily from Hwy 103.  Find the split through the vinyl fencing for the horse entrance.  Beautiful area, but not really any loop options. Mostly gently sloping, some water crossings. Seefor map and more information.


Butterfield Ranch

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Private Ranch Trail Ride at the beautiful Butterfield Ranch near Pine, Colorado.  Breeders of lovely classic Morgans raised to be hearty mountain horses!