When my friend came down with the flu on Sunday, I debated whether I wanted to venture on a hike to Mount Falcon Open Space Park by myself. The weather was cooler than anticipated and my husband wasn’t all that eager to get out his bike, so I drafted him to join me. Mount Falcon Open Space Park is one of our favorites. It is about a 30-minute drive from central Denver, going west on Highway 285 toward Morrison. Once you take the Colorado 8 exit, it is a circuitous, but well-marked 1.7 mile route to the park. Try to get there early on the weekends, as the two small parking lots fill quickly, and the park is better appreciated when there aren’t so many folks around. During the week you are very likely to see deer grazing casually along your trail.
All of us, who enjoy hiking in the foothills, owe a big thanks to John Brisben Walker and his quest for a home outside Denver. He bought up more than 4000 acres in the area including the Mount Falcon Open Space Park. He learned the hard way not to build on the highest point and his 10-bedroom mansion was burned down by a lightening strike in 1918. The brick foundation survives, along with a site for another even bigger mansion that he wanted to build as a Presidential palace. Walker is also responsible for developing Riverfront Park in downtown Denver. I’ve included a view from the mansion.
The trails are wide and most meander in and out of the trees. There are also many picnic tables and benches to sit on for a meal or a snack. Since I had worn some loose shoes on a Saturday walk around Washington Park, my feet were somewhat blistered. So, we didn’t make it out to the fire lookout this time, but I’m sure we will be back. It is always pleasant there.