Reynolds Park is a rugged, 2,050-acre-sized example of Jefferson County’s commitment to conservation in the evergreen hills south of Denver.
It shares the U.S. 285 corridor with a trio of other parks, including Meyer Ranch, that are reached first on the way from the city — and lovers of Reynolds hope those, indeed, catch drivers first. We were pleasantly surprised on this late-morning Saturday, finding a few parking spots still available at the trailhead in Conifer.
The Eagle’s View loop is most popular and a great way to experience the natural variety here. It’s a great way to work up a sweat, too.
Starting out on Foxtrot Trail, we opted to trek the well-marked loop by going right on Elkhorn, which steeply climbs from a meadow into higher woods. We stayed straight on Raven’s Roost. Take a breather before the steady path switchbacks upward hundreds of more feet to meet the Eagle’s View Trail, where we stayed straight.
In less than a mile, the trip takes on a genuine backcountry feel. From the openness overlooking mountains, the path weaves between tall trees and mossy slopes. After another mile or so, it returns to the open again for the great reward of the journey: views of the aptly-named Cathedral Spires, like jagged ships floating in the rolling valley beyond.
On the way back down through the forest, we veered right for Oxen Draw Trail. Rocks and roots riddle the descent through a cool, stream-fed passage — a technical challenge for
We turned left on Owl Prowl Trail and shortly thereafter took a right back to the trailhead.
Trip log: 4.37 round trip (loop), 1,021 feet elevation gain, 8,282 feet max
Getting there: Trailhead at 13649 S. Foxton Road in Conifer
FYI: Hiking and horse riding only. Bikes on 10-mile North Fork Trail also reached from 15541 W. Platte River Road, or park’s Songbird access point (13939 S. Foxton road) or campground (14008 S. Foxton Road). Park open daily one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset. Designated camping by permit only. Dogs on leash. Trails icy in winter; have traction.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE