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Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby oldschoolczar » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:55 am

I've set a goal of 100,000 vertical feet by the end of September. Despite climbing several 14ers this summer I've still got about 1/3 of the way to go and only a few more 14ers/13ers scheduled before the summer season is over.

I'm looking for some good mountains in the foothills to hike... the closer to Denver the better. I'm sick of hiking up Mt Falcon! I'm also getting tired of driving all the way up to Boulder just to hike Bear Peak, Green Mountain and Sanitas. Although, it's allowed me to have plenty of KTs BBQ lately :-D

Can anyone recommend some good hikes a little closer to Denver? I think there's some stuff out in the foothills near Golden, but I'm having trouble finding info on it. Some Class 3-4 stuff would be nice, but I'm interested in Class 1-2 as well because I'm really just trying to rack up some vertical footage. I wasn't aiming for it originally but tallied up my climbs and realized I was at 60,000+ ft and I might be able to make it!

EDIT: Inspired by Homie!
"Tonight I'll shave the mountain
I'll cut the hearts from pharoahs"
-Tom Waits

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby jblyth » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:09 pm

Chimney Gulch trail in Golden - but watch out for bikers, it's a popular trail.

Mt. Morrison via the ridge at entrance 4 (I think) is my go to hike. 2k elevation and you can scramble around a bit on the top....

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby nkan02 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:17 pm

oldschoolczar wrote:I'm looking for some good mountains in the foothills to hike... the closer to Denver the better. I'm sick of hiking up Mt Falcon! I'm also getting tired of driving all the way up to Boulder just to hike Bear Peak, Green Mountain and Sanitas. Although, it's allowed me to have plenty of KTs BBQ lately :-D

Can anyone recommend some good hikes a little closer to Denver? I think there's some stuff out in the foothills near Golden, but I'm having trouble finding info on it. Some Class 3-4 stuff would be nice, but I'm interested in Class 1-2 as well because I'm really just trying to rack up some vertical footage. I wasn't aiming for it originally but tallied up my climbs and realized I was at 60,000+ ft and I might be able to make it!

From L to R:

Roxborough State Park (Carpenter peak)/Littleton
Deer Creek Canyon
Mt. Morrison (gate 4)
Matthews Winters Park
Dinosaur ridge (from Stegosaurus Lot - my favorite)
Denver's Green Mountain (2 approaches - Rooney Lot and Florida lot)
Apex park
Mt. Galbraith (Golden)
White Ranch (Golden)

There are a couple in Evergreen too - O'Fallon, Alderfer/Three Sisters, etc

EDIT: found the link to Jeffco open spaces:
http://jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R108.htm

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby madeinus » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:15 pm

Some good one's that I've done, that have good trails the whole way, or almost the whole way are :

Green Mountain in Lakewood
North and South Table Mountain near Golden (good combo to add with Green Mountain)
Mount Morrison
Dinosaur Ridge
Squaw/Chief/Papoose (Outside Evergreen)
Evergreen Mountain & Elephant Butte (One of my favorites, across the street from one another, 3 Sisters)
Centennial Cone (Golden Gate Canyon State Park)
Bergen Peak
Rabbit Mountain and Point 7602 (outside Lyons)
Legault & Berrian (Meyer Ranch Open Space)
South Boulder and Bear (Boulder)
Devils Head (Rampart Range Rd)
Falcon
Mount Lindo & Point 7965 (Tiny Town)

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby gb » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:39 pm

madeinus wrote:Centennial Cone (Golden Gate Canyon State Park)


Thought I'd mention that you can only hike Centennial cone on weekdays or odd-numbered weekend days. Even numbered weekend days are bikes only. FYI

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby oldschoolczar » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:50 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I need to check out Golden Gate Canyon state park as I thought there were some other good hikes over there too..
"Tonight I'll shave the mountain
I'll cut the hearts from pharoahs"
-Tom Waits

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby uwe » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:44 pm

Mt. Morrison is the closest Littleton gets to the Manitou incline: over 1,800 vertical feet in under two miles and a little scrambling if you want it.
Used this for every big mountain I have climbed in all seasons and all weather.
Mt. Morrison is my number one local training peak. 15 minutes from the house and I am moving up the trail.
Saw my first Colorado rattlesnake on the trail a few weeks back. He had the right of way, of course.

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby oldschoolczar » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:25 pm

uwe wrote:Saw my first Colorado rattlesnake on the trail a few weeks back. He had the right of way, of course.


Ha! Was it on the trail? Rattling? Maybe I'll steer clear of Morrison.. I ran across a huge snake on Mt Falcon today. It was a big sucker but it wasn't a rattler. Are there are other poisonous snakes in the foothills? I need to try to find some info on what other snakes inhabit the foothills because I've come across this spotted/mottled snake a couple times.

EDIT: Looks like I ran across a bullsnake. It had that mottled look and it was more brown mottled in the middle and darker mottled at the head and tail.
"Tonight I'll shave the mountain
I'll cut the hearts from pharoahs"
-Tom Waits

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby PaliKona » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:38 pm

What's the trail up Morrison from RR gate 4 like? Is it easy to follow?

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby sunny1 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:42 pm

oldschoolczar wrote: I ran across a huge snake on Mt Falcon today. It was a big sucker but it wasn't a rattler. Are there are other poisonous snakes in the foothills? I need to try to find some info on what other snakes inhabit the foothills because I've come across this spotted/mottled snake a couple times.


Probably a Bull Snake - they can get very big - I've seen them up to 6 ft long, but are not poisonous.

Does this guy look familiar?
Bull_snake.jpg
Bull_snake.jpg (315.33 KiB) Viewed 413 times



BTW, why not postpone your elevation goal until 12/31/12? Lots of good climbing to be enjoyed in the fall, more options available than just local stuff.

Palikona, pretty clear trail up Mt Morrison from Gate 4. No signage, but obvious. You'll see a pull out on the right side of the road where you can park, trail starts on the left hand side as you enter the Rd from Gate 4.

Edit: looks like you answered your question while I was downsizing my pic to fit upload requirements! :-D
The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby zoomie83 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:58 pm

What's the trail up Morrison from RR gate 4 like? Is it easy to follow?


Loose in a couple of spots right above the trailhead but not bad for the steep grade. Its easy to follow to the summit; like Uwe mentioned, some scrambling near the top. You can also hit ranked Point 7602 descending west from near the northernmost antennae. Its a fairly easy bushwhack and ONLY 700 feet back up to Mt Morrison but doing both makes the total vertical about 3,200.

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Re: Good hikes near Denver foothills!?

Postby boudreaux » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:41 am

Goat Mountain in Waterton Canyon, it's a very wild peak with 2300' of gain, a classic ridge run, you won't be disappointed, I guarantee you! The trail starts right at the overhead pipes, just beware of the poison ivy growing in the gulch below the pipes!

This is my favorite training hike, beats Morrison hands down IMHO!

If you want more elevation, you can do Warren to the north, or 7558 to the south, either way you will get some horrible scrub. Consider your future and choose wisely!
Ragin Cajun

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