(Last Updated On: October 24, 2022)

waterfall on cherry creek at castlewood canyon state park

Waterfall on Cherry Creek at Castlewood Canyon State Park

Castlewood Canyon State Park is a state park in Colorado located in Franktown, and is approximately 40 miles north of the city of Colorado Springs. The park offers hiking, biking, horseback riding, and birding with breathtaking views of Castlewood Canyon.


There are a large variety of things to do available to Castlewood Canyon State Park explorers.

Here is a sampling of the many things to do at Castlewood Canyon park:

Hiking At Castlewood Canyon State Park

Castlewood Canyon is a hiker’s paradise. Countless trails crisscross this natural preserve, offering paved trails for those looking to take in the sights, and more difficult trails for those looking to push on toward the summit of their abilities. There are even trails that take visitors along the floor of the canyon, allowing them to see the incredible majesty of the geological record up close and personal.

As Castlewood Canyon State Park is home to countless trails, it is important to plan out what trails you are looking to take before arriving at the park, to make sure you have everything you need before setting out.

Here are just some of the trails at Castlewood Canyon State Park:

  • Canyon View Natural Trail – This trail is ideal for hikers of varying skill levels. Not only is this trail paved, but it is also exclusively for use on foot, with exceptions made for ADA accessibility, of course. This meandering trail offers incredible views of the canyon and is a lovely start to a longer trek around the park. Length: 1.2 miles Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • The Dam Trail – Those interested in the history of the area will find this moderately difficult trail to their taste. This unpaved trail brings visitors to Castlewood Dam ruins and can be paired with any number of interconnecting trails to explore the canyon up close and personal. Length: 0.35 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • East Canyon Preservation Trail – Due to the number of protected species of both flora and fauna in this area, dogs are not allowed on this trail. However, those looking to experience the delicate beauty of Castlewood Canyon will find themselves enraptured by this unpaved trail. Length: 4 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate

Rock Climbing At Castlewood Canyon State Park

With rock walls up to 60 ft high, as well as canyon faces just begging to be scaled, Castlewood Canyon State Park is a rock climbing paradise. Climbing groups should register at the park office before coming to the park, and can take on a variety of climbing locations depending on the season. The main climbing locations are Shakespearean Theater, Mind Meld, Porky’s Wall, June Vulture Wall, and Morning Sun Wall. Keep in mind these locations are closed off during nesting season to encourage local birds to nest within the walls themselves.

Picnicking At Castlewood Canyon State Park

With over 30 family picnic sites throughout the park, as well as group picnic areas available for reservation, visitors are sure to find a new favorite picnicking spot every time they visit the park. Keep in mind that family picnic areas are on a first-come-first-serve basis and that any trash should be properly disposed of before you leave.

Birding and Nature Viewing At Castlewood Canyon State Park

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of a turkey vulture, or are longing to see a canyon wren in flight, Castlewood Canyon State Park is calling to you. Not only does the park have one of the largest populations of turkey vultures in Colorado, it also features countless trails that bring you alongside nesting locations for smaller birds, making it a birding paradise.

Those hoping to see local wildlife may be graced by a visit from deer and elk, as well as the distant bobcat or black bear. Please keep all pets leashed, and do not interact with wildlife. It is also worth noting that Castlewood Canyon is home to rattlesnakes, so it is best to be cautious when walking the trails.

Pets At Castlewood Canyon State Park

Dogs are welcome throughout the park, so long as they stay on a 6-foot or shorter leash and owners properly pick up any waste left behind. The only exception is East Canyon Preserve Trail, which unfortunately does not allow dogs in order to help preserve the natural area.

Those looking to horseback ride in the park can take on the Cherry Creek trail, which goes for one mile between Castlewood Canyon State Park and Cherry Creek State Park. While the eventual goal is to connect the two parks, at the moment the trail is only one mile long.

Camping At Castlewood Canyon State Park

There are no camping facilities at Castlewood Canyon State Park.

Park Location

Castlewood Canyon State Park
2989 South State Highway 83
Franktown CO 80116
Phone: 303.688.5242



Here is a short YouTube video showing a number of things to do at Castlewood Canyon State Park: