South Rim Trail
March 12, 2017
South Rim Trail
Trailhead: Willow Creek Loop
Distance: 3.0 (easy)
Great news, friends: I have now hiked all of the official trails that are entirely inside Roxborough State Park. There are a few trails that go outside of its boundaries, but this was the last one that is located entirely inside the park. I am just so obsessed with this park and everything it offers.
This was one of those "crap I need to get outside and do something" hikes. I was supposed to hike with Logan on Saturday, but it was cold and rainy so we just got breakfast and went home. Then Sunday I was supposed to go snowshoeing with Claire but she got sick. After almost 5 weeks of working every weekend, I was desperate for some outdoor activity... Logan and I grabbed some breakfast and headed out for an afternoon in the sun.
I would recommend starting the hike from the lower parking lot, not at the visitor's center. The uphill is much more gradual and you get some pretty spectacular views on the way back down. I wanted to get a spot at the upper parking lot so that we'd have less pavement-walking after the hike; with the weather in the 60s and it being a weekend, the park was the most full I had seen it in a long time (perks of typically going on a weekday morning, I guess). We lucked out with a perfect parking spot and got on our way.
We quickly got too warm for the pullovers we had brought, so we shed layers and took a moment to admire our surroundings. The first part of this hike is following switchbacks up to the rim of the valley. Part of the reason I recommend going this way is because this side is much less steep - it's a lot easier to go up this side and come down the other.
If you do go this route, make sure you check behind you for beautiful views. This park boasts great views no matter what direction you look, but one of my favorite sights is Denver off in the distance, so looking North will be a good idea.