Only an hour from Denver, Roxborough State Park offers unique Colorado beauty
I grew up in Roxborough, immediately adjacent to Roxborough State Park. Roxborough is a unique area: how many housing developments, golf courses, and restaurants back right up to a state park border?
Because I grew up here, I didn’t really appreciate the beauty of my surroundings until I moved to Houston. I really do love living in Houston, but nothing in Houston really compares to Roxborough.
Really, though, only a few things compare to Roxborough: the Flatirons in Boulder, the red rocks surrounding Red Rocks Amphitheater in Golden, and Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
Roxborough is a great day trip from Denver. Just over an hour away, it offers hiking trails for every skill level, stunning views unique to Colorado, and fewer crowds than many other local attractions!
You can’t take a trip to Colorado without escaping to nature. If you’re looking for an easy, outdoor day trip from Denver, look no further than Roxborough State Park.
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Directions to Roxborough State Park
Roxborough State Park is a quick one-hour drive from downtown Denver– making it a great day trip option!
There are three main ways to get to Roxborough from Denver:
My preferred way is to head south via Broadway to Santa Fe. It tends to avoid highways and is the easiest way to get out of the bustle of Denver. The second way is to head west on 6th Ave and exit at Wadsworth to head south. The third way, which I think is unnecessarily long, takes you west on 6th Ave and then east on C-470 to Wadsworth.
Once in the Roxborough Village community, you’ll drive by a Safeway shopping center, two schools, and houses on either side of you. Continue past all of this development until the road narrows down to one lane each way. You’ll see a sign welcoming you to Roxborough and, shortly after, a doggy daycare facility will be on your left. Turn left just past that, pass the fire station, turn right, and follow the signs to the main parking lot.
I recommend you just follow your phone’s GPS. The address is 4751 E Roxborough Dr., Littleton CO 80125
Entrance Fee & Hours for Roxborough State Park
Roxborough State Park is generally open during daylight hours. As of this publishing date, the hours are 7a-6p daily, but the hours are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter. Definitely call ahead and check if you have any questions – hours may change seasonally, due to holidays, or in the event of inclement weather.
You can quickly call here: (303) 973-3959.
A daily park pass is $9. Colorado does offer an annual park pass, but it’s only worth it if you plan to visit ~10 Colorado state parks in one year. For Colorado residents, it may be worth it, but for visitors, it’s probably just cheaper to pay as you go. Find out more about state park passes here.
Weather & Climate in Roxborough
There’s a saying in Colorado… “Don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes.”
It sounds dramatic but there’s some truth to it. I went to grad school in Golden, CO and more than once drove to class in heavy snow only to return home to weather warm enough to sunbathe in.
In fact, I visited Colorado over Labor Day this year and saw crazy weather. On Labor Day, it was dry and hot in the 90’s but the following day (literally 12 hours later!) it was freezing and snowing. At my parent’s place, we got like 4 inches of snow the day after scorching heat!
Moral of the story: Colorado weather is unpredictable. You’re going to want to check the weather before you leave and be prepared for temperature swings. A packable jacket, bug spray, and sunscreen are vital.
Oh, and speaking of sunscreen… Colorado is high elevation, which is why Denver is known as the “Mile High City.” The city is literally 5,280 ft above sea level, which is over 5,000 ft higher elevation than Houston!
Roxborough State Park is about 1,000 ft higher than Denver – which is really pretty significant.
What does this mean?
It means two things: first, you’re pretty close to the sun. It’s much easier to get sunburnt at high elevation so put on sunscreen even if you don’t usually bother at home. Just half an hour is enough time to burn for more fair-skinned people! Secondly, it means the air is thinner. Take it easy if you’re visiting from low elevation because breathing will be more difficult to breathe until you acclimate.
Colorado is also super dry. Every time I return home from Texas, I blow through Chapstick, water, and lotion. Pack more water than you think you need because I promise you will use it. And swing by a convenience store to pick up Chapstick if you don’t usually carry any!
Are Dogs Allowed in Roxborough State Park?
Unfortunately, no. There are other hikes near the state park that you may enjoy, however!
What Trails are Available at Roxborough State Park?
There are about 8 trails spanning roughly 14 miles at Roxborough State Park. There are hikes for every fitness and skill level, ranging from quick loops to more strenuous hill climbs.
Not including the two short trails (<0.5 miles), the easiest hike is the Fountain Valley Trail. It’s just over 2 miles long with limited elevation gains. The most difficult trail is the Carpenter Peak Trail. It is just over 2.5 miles long but has nearly 1,000 ft in elevation gain! That is a lot of elevation gain over a short distance, so it’s certainly not for everyone.
Plan your trip before you go and check out the trail map!
Where to Eat After Visiting Roxborough
The Roxborough area is pretty small and it’s about a 30-minute drive to get to “out” of Roxborough into another community. Because of this, I recommend you just eat in the area – you’ll probably be hungry after a day of higher altitude hiking!
There are a few restaurants in the Safeway shopping center that you’ll have passed on the way to Roxborough State Park. However, if you want to enjoy the red rocks, I recommend you check out On the Rocks Bar and Grill, located in Arrowhead Golf Club just a couple miles from the State Park entrance.
Arrowhead is just on the border of the State Park but has wonderful views. Just navigate to the golf course, park in the parking lot, and enter the clubhouse – the restaurant is in the back.
You’ll be treated to this view. Does it get any better than this?
If you decide you want the views but not the hikes, golfing at Arrowhead Golf Club is always an option! Fair warning, though: it is a pretty expensive golf course. It’s said that the Denver Broncos like to play here. The course is gorgeous, though, so if you’re open for the experience, I say go for it!
Roxborough State Park is a quick 1-hour drive from Denver and offers hikes for every skill level
No trip to Colorado is complete without at least some outdoor adventuring. If you’re looking for an easy day trip from Denver that provides the beauty of Colorado without all the crowds, then Roxborough State Park may be perfect for you.