Mount Falcon Park offers multiple trails and many beautiful views. While you can drive to the top area of Mount Falcon Park, it is also accessible via the Castle Trail in Morrison. On a brisk but not quite cold Sunday afternoon in January 2023, I set out for a four mile hike.

The Morrison Trailhead segways beautifully in to the upper reaches of Mount Falcon Park, offering sweeping mountain vistas and old architecture on the Castle Trail. However, due to a few factors: January’s early sunsets, the fact I had been up there before, and playoff NFL football coming on later on this particular Sunday, I didn’t venture all the way up, rather going two miles out and two miles back.

As mentioned, I’ve done that before, with a 9.65 mile November hike that covered a lot of ground and brought a lot of views (the hike is a lot flatter once you’re up there.) But with limited time and capacity to hike, I went two miles out and two miles back on this January solo hike.

Without reaching the plateau of the summit area, this was a straight up-and-down hike as well, with a steady, consistent incline up. I gained 1,058 feet in two miles, or 529 feet per mile, or an elevation grade of 10%.

Mount Falcon Morrison Trailhead-Castle Trail in Morrison, Colorado

Hiked On: January 14, 2023

Distance: 4.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,058 feet

Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes, 11 seconds

The entrance to Mount Falcon Park: Morrison Trailhead on a crisp, but not cold, January afternoon.
A view of Red Rocks Amphitheater, with the appropriately named rocks pointing towards the sky.
A closer-up shot of Red Rocks.
Entering the Castle Trail from the Morrison Trailhead of Mount Falcon Park, part of the Jefferson County Open Space system.
The Castle Trail offers ascent up to the rest of Mount Falcon Park, which is also accessible by car.
It was a mostly sunny January afternoon, but slightly slushy conditions remained from various periods of snowfall.
Some parts of the trail received much less sunlight, resulting in more solid snow to hike over.
And then other parts of the trail were just straight up muddy.
Sweeping, snowy landscapes in Morrison surrounded me to my left and right.
Finally, some more-or-less traditional trail conditions.
Looking North towards Red Rocks again, from a different vantage point.
Trail transitions back to solid snow as the trail becomes less zig-zaggy and more geared towards elevation gain.
The city of Denver in the distance.
About 1,400 feet higher than the city of Denver. I gained 1,058 feet of elevation on this hike and reached a maximum elevation of just over 7,000 feet.
The Castle Trail connects to the Turkey Trot Trail, which offers an alternate way up and down the mountain.
But I pushed on a but further on the snowy Castle Trail.
Looking South-East, more of the plains could be seen.
Looking North-West, the next layer of mountains could be seen in the distance.
A picture-esque wintery trail, with the color scheme fading to blue as the sun begins to set.
The remaining daylight kisses the rolling hills as the rest of the world fades to blue and white.
I didn’t get too much further than this. Not even another mile would have gotten me to the “summit level” of things more or less, but I was losing time and daylight.
Even without reaching the most sweeping views Mount Falcon Park has to offer, my 1,058 feet of elevation gain definitely paid off, earning me beautiful views.
My descent immediately offered continued views of the plains and Denver.
I’m not sure which mountain this is, but the sun hitting it made it ever so prominent as it poked through the trees.
This is where things got interesting. The rays of light coming from below the Horizon in the distance wouldn’t be that extraordinary if the Sun was setting in that direction. But this picture looks East, with the sun setting behind me in the West. Commonly called “God Rays” or “Buddha Rays,” this particular phenomenon is called anticrepuscular rays, or antisolar rays due to their placement opposite the sun.
The rays gradually increased in brightness, and it literally looked like they were spotlighting the city of Denver.
Behind me, the sky began to turn different shades of blue as sunset fell.
Four miles later, there’s the hike!

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