Trails Traveled: Plymouth Creek Trail, Red Mesa Loop Trail at Deer Creek Canyon Park
Difficulty: Blue (Moderate) / Black (Difficult)
Distance: 7.75 miles / Elevation Gain: 1,550 feet
Time: 3 hours
- Partly Cloudy
- Views of Denver
- Coniferous Trees
Deer Creek Canyon Park is one of my favorite places to hike. I have hiked probably every inch of trail at least once. This time I hiked way out there around Red Mesa Loop. Just getting to the loop is about a 2.5 mile trek and then the loop itself offered stunning 360° views all around the park. You can even see downtown Denver from some of the overlooks.
One reason I love to hike Deer Creek Canyon is because it is close. We are blessed in Colorado to have hundreds, maybe thousands of hikes all around us, but some are not very close to get to. This hike is maybe half an hour from my house and it offers everything. There is a short loop near the trailhead that all three of my kids can hike. There is the strenuous, seemingly straight up hike up Plymouth Creek that is really challenging, especially for me when I have been stuck inside so often this summer/fall. Then the payoff of the hard trek up results in a couple of mild loops.
One loop takes you around and eventually to the top of Plymouth Mountain, a north-facing summit with views of the South Denver suburbs and on a clear day like it was on Saturday, you can see all the way to downtown.
The other loop, that I took this day is Red Mesa Loop, there is a summit of Bill Couch Mountain that you wander up, but the loop itself offers a panoramic view of all the nearby foothills peaks around the park. The mostly flat loop is a nice reprieve from the steep ascent up Plymouth Creek.
It was a perfect day, not too hot or cold, nor was there any precipitation, for this hike. It was a great time too, to work things out I am going through and process the holiday weekend. It was a good weekend, but for me, hiking is the perfect time to “check in” and see how I am doing. I also usually jot down thoughts, write poetry, and process whatever is buzzing in my head. The length as well as the difficulty of the hike helps me to calm my thoughts as I go through whatever might be bugging me.
As you can see from my pictures, we are making the transition from Fall to Winter. Most of the leaves have fallen by this point and plants are starting to ready themselves for the cold. We still have yet to have much significant snowfall so far around town and the temperatures have been very mild for this time of year. I am not sure how that bodes for later in the season. Usually our snowiest month of the year is February or March depending on the year.
If you made it this far, congratulations you get to see a selfie I took on the trail 😎 (Yes, that is Grogu from The Mandalorian on my t-shirt).
I think the last photo here was the coolest picture I took. Did you get outside this weekend? Where did you go? Where is your favorite place to enjoy the great outdoors? Share below in the comments.