I had the opportunity Mother’s Day of 2017 to spend the day with my youngest son, Nathan. My eldest Daniel lives in Texas and couldn’t join us, and my husband was visiting with him mom in Missouri. It was an unusually warm spring day in Colorado so we decided to hit the trails for a hike.
I’m not much for winter activities during the cold Colorado months, but during the spring, summer and early fall I’m outdoors as much as possible. Colorado features many breathtaking hiking trails locally near the Denver metro area, or you can take a drive to the nearby Rocky Mountains.
We chose Castlewood Canyon State Park near Franktown because it’s close to home and the views can’t be beaten. The park’s main attraction and historical site are the remains of Castlewood Dam. The dam was built in 1890 until its collapse in August 1933 when a severe rainstorm filled the dam’s reservoir to busting. Over a billion gallons of water traveled over 40 miles flooding the nearby city of Denver.
Almost immediately after being built, the dam started leaking and did so for years. Age and lack of maintenance caused the dam to eventually give way. All that remains today is a rocky structure, and the track where the water broke through is now a dry, grassy patch of land.
Luckily and unfortunate at the same time, one person perished in the flood and property damage was immeasurable.
Today, Castlewood Canyon Park features a multitude of hiking trails as well as a nature preservation area that is home to wildlife and interesting geological features.
Trails leading to the dam range from moderate to difficult. We chose the Inner Canyon and Lake Gulch Trail, a moderate 1.16 miles trail that leads you into the canyon by the creek and to the dam. The 73-degree temperature, moderate wind, and the warm sunshine made this day perfect for hiking. Going to and from the dam took us approximately 2 hours.
This was a memorable and fun-filled Mother’s Day with my boy. I love experiencing everything Colorado has to offer in the summer and hiking is at the top of my list. Its endless parade of hike trails should be on your to-do list when visiting Colorado during the summer. Because if you didn’t know it yet, there’s much more to Colorado than its premier skiing!