Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown

#48 of 252 in Nature in Colorado
Castlewood Canyon State Park is a Colorado state park near Franktown, Colorado. The park retains a unique part of Colorado's history, the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam. Visitors can still see the remnants and damage from that dam which burst in 1933. The event sent a 15ft wave of water all the way to downtown Denver resulting in a flood. Also contained within the park is the historic Cherry Creek Bridge.
This park hosts a multitude of hiking/running trails, handicapped access trails and rock climbing opportunities, as well as a nature preservation area on the eastern side that is home to wildlife and interesting geological features. Located within the northernmost extension of the Black Forest, Castle Wood Canyon encompasses 2136acre with elevations ranging from 6,200 to 6600ft. Many urban dwellers come for the picnic opportunity away from the city (group picnic facilities can be reserved), others visit the park because of the unusual geology, particularly the caprock features.
Among the many species living in the park are coyote, cottontail rabbit, red fox, black bear, prairie rattlesnake, mountain lion, meadow jumping mouse, turkey vulture, golden eagle, prairie falcon, virile crayfish, Woodhouse's toad and the northern leopard frog.
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Castlewood Canyon State Park Reviews
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186 reviews
  • We are from Albuquerque NM we visited our daughter in Denver we took a hike in this beautiful place was so amazed with big rock in middle path and some of them look like faces We really enjoyed been h...  more »
  • Falls spur trail head is on the backside of Castlewood Canyon, off a backroad, not main entry off 83. You still need to pay but there is not a manned entrance so you have to pay $8 at the machine with...  more »
  • I go here quite often to climb and hike. It's a great place. Many of their trails are paved or very well developed. The conservation area and trail are one of the best places in the park. It's a harder trail, probably around medium difficulty. When I was there I enjoyed trying to figure out all the animals and insects I saw in the streams. It's a great place to go. And it's only $7 to get in if k remember correctly.
  • The canyon descends into a Jurassic Park of smooth conglomerate rocks and colorful crawdads swimming in Cherry Creek. The lush green foliage contrast with reddish Rocky cliffs with gallant birds singing in the breeze. Nice benches and picnic tables can be found in the canyon. On the rim is clean bathrooms, fresh water and a great place for picnics. A visitor center at the entrance talks about the Great Cherry Creek Dam exploding under pressure that would send a 120 foot wall of water toward Denver almost 100 years ago! A word of caution, the rock formations are extremely smooth. With or without water they are very slippery.
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Duration: 2​h 30​min
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