Denver Mountain Parks Hiking

View on top of Independence peak in Pence Park, near Evergreen Colorado.

O’Fallon, Corwina and Pence parks are part of the Denver Mountain parks system that along with Lair O’ The Bear park make up a network of trails that are all connected by Bear Creek Trail. The parks offers great views of the mountains and a general feeling of being much further in the woods than you are. Having the Bear Creek Trail form the backbone of several of the trails in the parks presents the opportunity to create several great loop hikes for a full day adventure in the area. The best part is there is a lot of parking. That being said in the midst of summer on the weekends it can at times be difficult to find a parking spot around these parks. As is the case with all the other parks I reviewed there are no entrance fees.

14.1 Miles of trails

Denver Mountain Parks Detail

  • Weapons are not allowed 
  • Camping is prohibited
  • Hiking is permitted
  • Mountain biking on certain trails
  • Pets are allowed but must be leashed
  • Fires are allowed in designated grills only.
  • Wood gathering is prohibited
  • Alcoholic drinks and drug use is prohibited
  • Area opens one hour before sunrise and closes one hour after sunset
  • No Entrance fees

If you are looking to reserve a picnic table call (720) 913-0700

Emergency contacts:

Denver Mountain parks (720) 865-0900

Park Rangers (720) 913-1311

Jefferson County Sheriff’s office @ (303) 277-0211

Denver Mountain Parks Map

Independence Peak Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)8 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)10
Distance1.1 miles
Time NeededAbout 40 Minutes

Independence Peak Trail Details:

  • Connecting Trail: Bear Creek trail is at the parking lot
  • Hiker only trail
  • Steady climb the whole way
  • Both the South and North loops at the parking lot lead to Main trail junction
  • Steep elevation gain/loss
  • Mostly treed
  • Closest parking area: Pence Park lot

Trailhead directions: Take either the North or South loop


INDEPENDENCE PEAK Trail Highlights:

  • Fantastic views of the surrounding mountains
  • Lots of wildlife on the trail
  • OneSunChasers favorite trail in this park


INDEPENDENCE PEAK Trail Review:

Beginning the ascent of Independence Peak, you can either take Independence Peak North or South to access the main portion of the trail. Both options are 0.4 miles long with Independence trail being another 0.7 miles in length one way. This is a great trail, and definitely my favorites for this area. The trail has a lot of tree cover and a constant steady climb to the summit. The rock precipice at the top has little tree cover, and opens onto vast views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Since this trail is less traveled than some of the other trails in the area, there seems to be more wildlife off the trail. The only downside is you are likely to hear the residents that live in the surrounding area as sound travels very well here.

Meadow View Loop: (This is now Bear Creek Cutoff Trail)

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)4 (Easy)
Views Rank (1 – 10)4
Distance1.4 miles
Time NeededAbout 32 Minutes
Meadow view within O Fallon Park
Meadow in O Fallon Park

Meadow View Loop Details:

  • Connecting trails: Picnic loop, and Bear Creek Trail
  • Hiker only trail
  • Minor elevation change
  • Partially treed
  • Closest parking area: O’ Fallon Parking lot

Trailhead directions: Starts at parking lot

Meadow View Loop Trail Highlights:

  • Meadow views

Meadow View Loop Trail Review:

Reaching the trailhead, you will be starting at the picnic area near the stone bridge that crosses Bear Creek. Walk down the gated off dirt road lined with picnic tables that follows Bear Creek until you reach a little bridge. The trailhead is directly across the wooden bridge next to the restrooms.

Loop Option One

The trail meets up with the Bear Creek Trail as it slowly climbs the mountain side, as does the west ridge trail, which can be used to create a loop. If you are looking to create this loop you can hike in and take a right when you hit the Bear Creek trail. Hike up the Bear Creek Trail until you see the intersection with the Meadow View trail, at this point take another right at the fork where West ridge and Meadows View meet again. This will take you back down to the parking lot near where this trail starts.

Loop Option Two

If you are looking for a yet longer hike pass Meadows View turnoff and continue up Bear Creek trail until you see the option to start heading west towards Myers gulch road. There is a signpost as the West Ridge Trail veers off to the right and runs parallel to Myers gulch road. The trail is well traveled and well-marked don’t fret if you miss the trail junction as the beginning of Bear Creek trail starts a short distance away on Myers gulch road.

Loop Option Three

Another great option is to hike the Meadows View Trail and take quick jaunt, left on Bear Creek Trail, over to the Panorama Trail in Corwina Park for some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. When you are finished taking in the amazing beauty of the mountains head back down and either retrace your path on Bear Creek or finish the trek down panorama trail and follow 74 southwest towards Kittredge (upstream) about 4/10 of a mile back to the O’ Fallon park area.

Over all the options listed above make for an excellent trip with a variety of distance options to choose from. Because Meadow View is so central to O’ Fallon park it is a great trail in incorporate into your hikes in this area. Consequently you are very likely to find yourself enjoying its rugged scenery on your next trip to the park.

Panorama Point Trail

Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)9
Distance1.2 miles
Time NeededAbout 35 Minutes

Panorama Point Trail Details:

  • Connecting trail: Bear Creek trail.
  • Hiker only
  • Descent elevation gain
  • Good tree cover
  • Closest parking area: Corwina Park on the South side of 74

Trailhead directions: Starts at the parking lot

Panorama Point Trail Highlights:

  • Panoramic views
View from the top of the Panorama Point trail.
Panorama Point

Panorama Point Review:

This hike is a bit of a work out if you are hiking from the Corwina lot but not too strenuous off the Bear Creek trail considering its short length after this point. The rewards for the trek are well worth the effort you will expend to reach the clearing at the top. If you are hiking in from the parking lot in Corwina Park, hike up the trail until you reach the Bear Creek trail junction. You will want to take a left on Bear Creek trail and the Panorama trail will resume on your right hand side after about 2/10th of a mile. The trail leads up the side of a mountain and is marked with a sign.

West Ridge Loop

View of a portion of the West Ridge loop trail in O' Fallon Park
Trail in O Fallon Park
Difficulty Rank (1 – 10)5 (Moderate)
Views Rank (1 – 10)3
Distance1.5  miles
Time NeededAbout 36 Minutes

West Ridge Loop Details:

  • Connecting trails: Bear Creek trail, and Meadow View
  • Hiker only
  • Gradual elevation change after initial climb
  • Partially treed
  • Closest parking area: O’Fallon parking lot

Trailhead directions: Starts at the parking lot

West Ridge Loop Trail Highlights:

  • Views of Meadows
  • View of Mount Evans

West Ridge Loop Review:

West Ridge Loop is home to an abundant amount of wildlife in spite of its heavy human usage. Coupled with a variety of landscapes you will feel much deeper in the woods than you are. The trail begins with slight elevation change which slowly tapers off. Throughout the trail you will enjoy a mix of open sky and tree cover. Another nice aspect of this trail is that development of the area is slight so houses are not seen until you hit the Bear Creek Trail, which connects Meadows View and creates a loop. When you have reached the junction with the Bear Creek Trail the scene will start to change to an open meadow. At this point the Bear Creek Trail snakes past a few of the homes that are just off the trail. Finally you will quickly meet up with Meadow View Trail to finish off the loop.

All the information listed in this post is also available in an E-book which can be purchased from Amazon. Please consider purchasing a copy, or one of the other outdoor guides we have available!

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