Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,160.00 ft (353.57 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.40 mi (11.91 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Staunton State Park is a gateway to Colorado's rolling hills, pine forests, big walls, and even bigger views. The park has something for everyone, whether it's a short jaunt through the woods and lunch at one of the many picnic tables, overnight camping (by permit and reservation only), or a 12-mile all-day trek. In the summer months, the hikes are also handicapped accessible through the state's Track-Chair Program. This particular hike is of moderate intensity, a 7.5-mile out-and-back that takes you through everything the park has to offer.

To get there, take US-285 (southbound if coming from Denver) and turn off on Elk Creek Road. About a mile down and on your right will be a large sign indicating you've arrived. There is an $8 day-use fee per vehicle that you can pay with cash or credit card. From the gate, continue up the hill where you'll take a right into a large parking lot. There are toilets and picnic tables here to use before and after your day out.

Continue onto the northwest side of the parking lot, where there will be a large kiosk with a map and wilderness rules. Take the trail that goes left here, and for the next 1.8 miles you'll be on the Staunton Ranch Trail (SR). Quickly after you start, there's a spur trail leading to campsites that can be a little confusing. Take the right at this junction. This will wind you through the pine forest with glimpses of some of the park's big rock walls, Pike's Peak, and maybe wildlife (if you're lucky). If you want to tack on an extra 0.7 mile and get some lessons from the past, take the Historic Cabin Trail (HC) that loops around the south side of the Staunton Ranch Trail.

Moving on the SR trail, you'll pass thicker pine trees about 1.5 miles in. Shortly after, you'll cross a distinct wooden bridge that crosses a small stream. A few steps after that and you're at the first trail junction of the SR and the Old Mill Trail (OM) on your right. Take the Old Mill Trail for 0.9 mile. If you're out in the winter months, it's at this time that you'll likely need to don snowshoes for the remainder of the hike.

This part of the hike leads straight up the side of the hill, running parallel to the small stream you just crossed. Shortly in, you'll pass a climbing access trail on your left, but continue on until you reach the Mill. The Old Mill is an interesting part of Colorado's history that has remained nearly untouched for decades. After exploring the area a bit, you'll want to take a left (west) from the Old Mill Trail onto the Borderline Trail (BL).

The BL is a little less strenous than the OM. For about a mile, you'll switchback on some easy to moderate inclines as you gain some altitude and yet again find yourself nearly at the base of 500-foot cliffs.

Finally at the top of the hill, you'll spot a clearly marked sign on your left for the Staunton Rocks Overlook. From here it's a short 200-foot walk to the top of the cliffs. The edge faces south, so you'll have a large amount of sun throughout the year. Take note of Pike's Peak that stands about 50 miles to the south and still another 5,000 feet of vertical elevation above you. If you're feeling especially adventurous, wander around the cliffs for some unique views.

On the way back down, make sure to take the first right at the Staunton Rocks and Borderline Trail junction. In a hurry, this could be easy to miss. Otherwise, continue down the way you came, past the Old Mill, and over the bridge to find yourself back at your car after a great day of nature.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Great views. Easily accessible year round.

Cons

Hikes require a large amount of mileage and time.

Trailhead Elevation

8,250.00 ft (2,514.60 m)

Highest point

9,410.00 ft (2,868.17 m)

Features

ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Fishing
Family friendly
Big vistas
Big Game Watching
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback
Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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