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New Meetup: Mt Falcon

A former member
Announcing a new Meetup for Weekend Hikers...Plus!

What: Mt Falcon
When: Saturday, May 14, 2011 9:30 AM

Where: Mt Falcon
hwy 285
Littleton, CO 80128

From the suggestion of one of my favorite hikers', let's head to Mt Falcon. Not sure which trail combination we will do but it will be around 5-6 miles RT. With the wacky weather be prepared for anything. Last week's hike was H O T.



As the summer hiking season is starting, there are a lot more hikers getting out and on the trails. So the allotted parking areas are crowded. We should be utilizing the park n ride option for a couple reasons. Gas is expensive and it's better for the environment to carpool. The parking lots at trailheads have limited parking and when you drive with other hikers, you can get to know your fellow hiker.



History
The story of Mount Falcon is largely the story of John Brisben Walker, who once owned over 4,000 acres of land in this area. During the early 1900's Walker lived in an elaborate stone house on Mount Falcon while planning the construction of a summer home for the Presidents of the United States, which was to have been located on a ridge to the east of his home. Walker's home burned in 1918, and all that remains of this once splendid edifice are the massive stone walls and numerous fireplaces of a unique mountain castle.

On this site the crumbling remnants of a broken dream and the views of the plains to the east and mountains to the west combine to create an inspirational setting. The construction of the Summer White House never proceeded beyond the laying of the foundation and cornerstone, though thousands of Colorado school children each donated 10 cents toward Walker's dream. American involvement in W.W. I, combined with a waning of Walker's good fortunes, brought an end to this project. From the site of the Summer White House one may look down on Red Rocks Park, one of Walker's dreams come true.

John Brisben Walker was a man of many visions. He made fortunes on land speculation in West Virginia and his purchase of Cosmopolitan Magazine, but other ventures were less successful. Walker's purchase of the Stanley Steamer Company was a losing bet against Henry Ford's internal combustion engine. Although he held vast fortunes at various times in his life, Walker died penniless in 1931 at the age of 83.

Trails
The present multi-use trails lead to historic sites and scenic vistas throughout the park.
These trails lead from the plains at the east end of the park, up the foothills on a narrow road which once carried Stanley Steamers, and through forests and meadows to the many points of interest at the top.


  • Eagle Eye Shelter, once the home of a more recent tenant, provides a panoramic view from Indian Hills, to Evergreen, and Mount Evans.
  • Atop Mount Falcon itself, a wooden tower rises to yield intriguing views of the ruins, Red Rocks Park, and the plains.
  • The west parking area provides an approach to these areas from above
  • From the east parking area (off Highway 8) south of the Town of Morrison, a trail loops across plains and gullies to an interesting outcrop of red sandstone.
  • Picnic tables and restrooms are provided at both parking areas.

Getting There
To access the park, take the Indian Hills turn-off from U.S. Highway 285, follow Parmalee Gulch Road for 5 miles to Picutis Road, then follow the signs to the west parking area. East access is available from Colorado Highway 8 south of Morrison. Turn west on Forest Avenue and north on Vine Avenue.






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