We will hike in the newly-opened Staunton State Park.
This hike takes to an overlook from which we can see Elk Falls half a mile away and four hundred feet below us. The Park does not yet provide a trail to the Falls.
We will start our hike at the parking lot closest to the entrance station at the Park. There is a fee of $7 per car to enter the Park unless you have a Colorado State Park pass.
Carpooling is suggested. A possible location is near the Fort Restaurant right off US285 before you enter Turkey Creek canyon. I will meet carpoolers at the Mountain View PnR in Conifer (just east of Richmond Hill Rd exit) at 8:35 am.
To get to the Park drive southbound on US285 and pass Aspen Park and Conifer. Highway US285 becomes four lanes again as you approach Shaffers Crossing. Take the exit on the right at the bottom of the hill. There is a brown sign directing you toward Staunton State Park. You will be basically driving northwest for 1.5 miles to the Park entrance on your right.
We will start at the TH and take “SR” (Staunton Ranch) trail for 3.3 miles. Then we take trail “BE” (Bugling Elk) trail for another 1.1 miles and the “LB” (Lion’s Back) trail for the final 1 mile to the overlook. We return to the parking lot the way we came. There are other trails we can use to return but they are somewhat longer. We will select our return route on-site.
Starting elevation: 8114 ft (N39°29.675’ W105°23.048’)
Ending elevation: 9152 ft (N39°30.335’ W105°25.269’)
Gross elevation change: 1400 ft
Distance: 10+ miles round trip
Pace: moderate (about 2 miles per hour)
Time on the trail: 6 hours
Overall subjective rating: moderate because of distance
Dogs: not on this one
Bring water and lunch. You will probably want to take a lot of photos. Dress in layers.
You undertake this hike at your own risk.