Length: 4.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Why we love it: The wide, groomed trails, moderate elevation gain, and aptly-named ‘eagle’s view’ make this a great all-around choice.
When to go: Spring through fall, when you want to beat the heat at lower elevations.
Pre-hike Buzz: Stop by Aspen Park’s chill Bean N Bakery Bistro for a pre-hike espresso and gooey ‘sinNbun’ or a post-hike panini.
Restrooms: Outhouse at the trailhead
Distance from Denver: About 37 miles
Dogs: Allowed on leash

This loop hike through JeffCo’s 2,100-acre Reynolds Park is perfect for a relaxing half-day excursion from Denver. The route lets you experience the foothills at their best: gently rolling terrain, cool ponderosa and Douglas-fir forests, wildflower-filled meadows, and great views of the north face of Pikes Peak, aka America’s Mountain (another great hike).

From the parking lot, walk past the trailhead sign, cross Casto Creek, and then immediately turn right (north) to reach the junction with the Elkhorn Trail. Turn left here to follow the Elkhorn about 0.2 miles uphill to the intersection with the Oxen Draw Trail. Veer left to follow this trail west through the shady forest, where you’ll enjoy the sun filtering through many different kinds of trees, including ponderosa, spruce, Douglas fir, aspen, and lodgepole pine.

After climbing steadily (though never too steeply) for about 0.6 miles, you’ll meet the Eagle’s View Trail. Turn left at this junction and continue climbing for a short distance until you reach the flatter ridgetop, which offers great views of Pikes Peak, especially in the morning light.

From this perch, continue east along the loop as it switchbacks downhill until, about 2 miles from the Oxen Draw junction, it reaches the Raven’s Roost Trail. Turn left at this T-junction to proceed east (downhill) for 0.6 miles until you reconnect with the Elkhorn Trail. Continue left to end the loop, much refreshed, at the Reynolds Trailhead.

Getting There: From Denver, take US 285 south to Conifer and reset your odometer as you pass the local King Soopers on the north side of the highway. After 2.6 miles, exit onto Foxton Road. Turn left to head under the highway. At the stop sign, turn left again onto South Foxton Road. Follow this for about 5.2 miles to the large parking area on the right at the Reynolds Park trailhead.

Terri Cook
Terri Cook
Terri Cook is an award-winning freelance writer based in Boulder. More of her work can be found at down2earthscience.com.