roxborough state park

Roxborough State Park’s Best Hike: Fountain Valley Trail

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Roxborough State Park in Colorado is located only 25 miles south of Denver. It takes less than an hour to arrive here from downtown which makes this an easy nature preserve area to explore when you are looking for a quick hike from the city. Plus, there are many easy hiking trails in this park but Fountain Valley Loop Trail is one you cannot miss.

HIKE TO: Fountain Valley Overlook & Lyons Overlook
TRAIL: Fountain Valley Loop Trail
DISTANCE: 2.2 miles
TIME: 1 hour
DATE I WENT: 3/11/24
ELEVATION: 6,234 ft
PERMIT: park entry fee required
LOCATION: Denver, Colorado

Colorado State Park Fees

It is one of the 42 Colorado State Parks which means there is an entrance fee to visit the park. The fee is $10 for a day pass per vehicle of $4 per human if you walk in. Colorado residents can get a $29 Keep Colorado Wild (KCW) Pass which is a CO state park annual pass, but you can only get this when registering your vehicle at the DMV.

roxborough state park hikes

Getting to Roxborough State Park Visitor Center

There is only one entrance road to the park which passes the Aurora Rampart Reservoir and has two small parking lots by the visitor center so if you plan to visit on a weekend and during nice weather, I’d recommend coming early to snag a parking space!

You will pass a kiosk at the entrance as well as a self-pay station if the kiosk is unmanned to purchase your entry pass.

The Visitor’s Center sits at an elevation of 6,200 ft and has clean restrooms that are open even when the center is closed (which is closed on Mondays). There are also a lot of picnic tables outside and a shoe cleaner off to the side if you get mud on your boots. 

This is a great spot for a picnic if you simply want to see views of the dramatic red rock formations without hiking.

Fountain Valley Loop Trail

This is the best hike in Roxborough State Park and is suitable for visitors of all hiking levels. It is only 2.2 miles long and fairly flat with 293 ft of elevation gain which makes it an easy hike overall.

There are two overlooks along this trail: Fountain Valley Overlook and Lyons Overlook. 

The Fountain Valley Loop Trail starts north of the Visitor’s Center. We chose to hike the trail counter-clockwise but you can hike in either direction. The entire trail is a wide, open, paved dirt trail that is straightforward to follow.

Right off the bat, we came to the Fountain Valley Overlook in just 0.13 miles. The overlook is just a few feet off of the main trail and has a couple of benches to sit and enjoy the views. The overlook provides expansive views.

The trail then continues another for another 0.25 miles before you reach the junction for the Lyons Overlook Trail. This trail is about a 0.3 mile detour and one that you should not skip. The overlook has a wooden deck built for you to enjoy the views. You can see across at the impressive red rocks and down at the second half of the loop trail.

Once you’re done here and reconnect to the trail, be sure to keep an eye out to your left and you’ll get glimpses of downtown Denver peeping out to your right side in the distance.

0.44 miles further at the north end of the trail before it loops back south is Persse Place. This restored, historic home made of stone belonged to Henry S. Persse who helped develop Roxborough.

Continuing south on the loop, the views of the dramatic red rocks become larger in sight as you hike between them. The way back is 0.91 miles. If you look up the left, you’ll see some vegetation while the right side has a lot of red rock slabs.

FAQ: Roxborough State Park

Is Roxborough State Park worth it?

Roxborough State Park will take your breath away with the hues of the red rocks and boulders jutting out of the ground. This Colorado state park is sometimes known as Denver’s Garden of the Gods which is an amazing area to explore in Manitou Springs (1.5 hours from Denver). Do not skip this sight as you will regret it.

Do you have to pay for Roxborough State Park? 

Yes, there is an entrance fee of $10 per vehicle day pass.

Does Roxborough State Park allow dogs? 

Dogs are not allowed in Colorado State Parks.

Can you hike at Roxborough State Park? 

Yes, there are plenty of trails at Boxborough State Park and there’s even a sign outside the visitor center that tells you which trails have the best conditions for a hike so you don’t end up on muddy trails!

roxborough state park

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