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Rawhide Trail, White Ranch Park in Golden
Distance: 5.5 miles round-trip
White Ranch is the largest park in Jeffco Open Space and, we daresay, one of the most idyllic spots in the metro area. (It’s also one of just two Jeffco parks where permitted camping is allowed, although new reservations have been suspended due to high visitation.) The Rawhide Trail is accessible from either of the park’s two west parking lots. Traveling clockwise around this oddly shaped loop, the trail starts out wide, passing through a grassy valley before, about one mile in, hitting the first of a few short, flowy hills. Around the two-mile point, you’ll finally feel like you’re entering the woods, and the rolling route narrows, taking you through trees that suddenly disperse and reveal expansive views toward Denver. Though Rawhide intersects with a number of other paths, the trail is well-marked with directional signs.
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Who Will Love This Trail: Families; hikers with dogs; those seeking a high-mountain feel in the Front Range; trail runners
Pay Attention: Road cyclists pedal up and down (at full speed) Golden Gate Canyon and Crawford Gulch roads; be careful as you navigate the windy streets on your way to the trailhead.