Roxborough State Park, a 3,339-acre park southwest of Denver, protects a series of rocky hogbacks (ridges) that stand in long rows along the plains approaching the Front Range mountains. The shallow valleys of the park are oases for animals and plants from both prairie and mountain environments, and nine distinct plant communities, including quaking aspen. Numerous trails explore the park’s red rock formations. The 2.5-mile Fountain Valley Trail is the most popular, and the four-mile Carpenter Peak Trail climbs to the park highpoint. Roxborough’s numerous archeological sites indicate ancient people lived here up to 4,000 years ago. Check out the Visitor Center for in depth geologic and historic information before exploring the park.
State Park Maps
“I first visited Roxborough State Park in 1987 when it officially opened for a book I was writing. The park was saved from a subdivision and golf course in the 1970s after the state of Colorado was able to purchase over 2,000 acres. Susan Trumble, the first park manager, told me, “If it had been bought years ago, Roxborough would have been developed. Roxborough is unique so we’re very protective of it.” This preservation attitude continues to keep the park a wild place with extraordinary natural diversity.”
- Bring your hiking boots. Roxborough has six hiking trails, mostly easy and intermediate in difficulty.
- Hiking is allowed only on designated trails to protect plant life. Climbing is prohibited.
- Keep an eye out for wildlife, including mule deer, red fox, bobcat, golden eagles, and over 145 bird species.
Recommended season(s): Summer and early fall (June through September).
—Stewart M. Green