Centennial Cone Park Loop

A day after hiking to the summit of Mount Sniktau and probably sleeping about twelve hours, I decided to do a much longer hike the following day since I felt so well rested. Although I woke up too late to hike a larger peak, I figured I’d stay closer to Denver and check out Centennial Cone Park. I must admit that this might be one of my favorite parks in the Jefferson County Open Space system.

Nonetheless, here’s some more info about my hike:

  • Date Hiked: July 2nd, 2019
  • Miles Hiked: 12.5 Miles
  • Trails Hiked: Elk Range and Travois Trails

Getting There

Centennial Cone Park has several trailheads to pick from as you can see on the park map. I chose to park at the Ralph Schell trailhead where I found only two other cars that day.

The Journey

From the trailhead, I started down the Elk Range trail. It felt really pleasant to hike through the meadow and only encounter several mountain bikers as well as the occasional family every now or then. After a short time, the trail comes to the top of a nice ridge which offers some views of the surrounding mountains and valley below.

Looking back to the east while on the Elk Ridge Trail.
Continuing west on the Elk Range Trail.

Pretty soon, I found myself leaving the meadow and entering into a more wooded part of the hike. Right before reaching the west trailhead, I took the Travois trail where the Elk Range trail meets it and continued on with the hike despite the clouds starting to build to the west.

Right before going onto the Travois trail.
A regular afternoon storm building out to the west.

After a couple more miles, some pretty remarkable views of Clear Creek Canyon opened up right in front of me. At this point, it was starting to get pretty hot and the fact that their was no shade around didn’t help. But that’s how it is sometimes.

The trail with Clear Creek Canyon on the right.
A nice view of the foothills with Clear Creek Canyon down below.

I should also mention that their is a pretty significant change in elevation throughout the duration of the hike. I definitely felt it on the way back. With the thunder growing steadily louder, it seemed like the perfect time to pick up the pace before all hell broke loose.

One last nice view.
The storm closing in.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty enjoyable hike. Wouldn’t mind doing it again at some point!

Author: David Higham

Spending time in nature calms my soul.

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