Day Trip: The Black Forest
Location: Highway 83, between Colorado Springs & Parker
A trip through the Black Forest between September 5th and October 31st will provide a different view each day. The fiery red outcropping of bushes and golden Aspen and Cottonwood stand out from the almost black Pines that make up the lush Black Forest.
Nature lovers and groups enjoy environmental diversity on several hiking trails ranging from mild to moderate. The trails range from .5 to 4 miles and can be combined for longer journeys. The winding Cherry Creek flowing along the canyon floor provides wonderful rest stops. Remnants of geologic and local history combine when the then Castlewood Dam burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot-high wave of water into Denver. Ruins of the original ill-fated dam and the historic homestead still exist for hikers to see.
Pets, on a leash, are welcome on most trails, except the new East Canyon Preservation Area trail.
The natural amphitheater and the Bridge Canyon Overlook gazebo perched on the edge of the canyon are unique places for weddings or other outdoor ceremonies. Casual groups and families enjoy the picnic areas at both entrances.
Castlewood Canyon is a day use park. Current park hours are from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Sorry, there is no camping. Inbound gates are closed one hour prior to park closure, at 7:00 PM; both gates are locked, promptly, at 8:00 PM.
Allow: 1.5 - 3 hours.
Best time: Early Morning - Late Afternoon
Related Communities: Colorado Springs, Franktown, Elizabeth, Parker, Monument, The Pinery
*info about Castlewood Canyon furnished by Colorado State Parks - Castlewood Canyon