Staunton State Park, about 30 minutes from Denver in Pine, Colorado is a park I love visiting during any season. (Check out my previous two blog posts about Staunton posted in May 2018)
Earlier this week, I set out to find fall colors in the park and I got so much more!
Beautiful sunny, blue sky day. A little warm for mid-September (80+ temps), but most of the trails I hiked were shaded. Plus, an early morning start really helps beat the heat.
I completed an 8.5 mile loop.
Staunton Ranch Trail ➡️ Old Mill Trail ➡️ Mason Creek ➡️ Bear Paw Trail ➡️ Mason Creek ➡️ Dines Meadow Trail
My gear: snacks, water, map, headlamp, extra layers, knife, compass, and my mini survival kit.
Last time I was on this trail at the end of spring, I had assumed the snow would be melted. I ended up with pretty wet feet in my Salomon trail runners. Nice to have some dry trail this time 😉 and the shade was awesome!
There are large meadows of aspen trees on the Mason Creek Trail, but I discovered that I was a little too early to see them dressed in their yellows. In Colorado, different elevations peak at different times in the fall months.
I continued hiking and was rewarded with some pretty amazing views from the Eagle Cliffs Overlook at 9579 feet. I spy some brilliant fall color in the distance.
Stunning 360 views.
Visiting the park on a Monday is pretty sweet and far less crowded than the weekends. I only encountered a dozen other people the whole morning.
Wildlife count for the day: lots of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and one deer. 🐿🦌🦋🦅
There are two additional overlooks, Pikes Peak and Catamount, along my route with sensational views.
Staunton has fantastic, well maintained trails with easy to follow signs and maps (pick one up from the cashier at the entrance when you pay your $7 day pass fee). The trails vary in length and difficulty so there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
New at Staunton…..camping!!! I can’t wait to get the opportunity to camp there in the future.
There is a huge visitors’ center being constructed in the park as well. I’m looking forward to checking that out upon completion. Stay tuned.
Happy Fall Hiking Everyone!