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A tour of the immaculate singletrack at one of Colorado's newest state parks.


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Map Key

16.2

Miles

26.1

KM

90%

Runnable

9,410' 2,868 m

High

8,337' 2,541 m

Low

2,526' 770 m

Up

2,525' 770 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

49%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Raptor closures can be in effect...seasonally dependent. Check the park's website for current closures.

All trails are open to runners, some trails are closed to equestrian and MTB use.

Overview

The park offers immaculate, well-constructed singletrack trails that cater primarily to mountain bikes but are a worthwhile detour for trail runners when they feel the need for speed or for hikers looking for an easy, smooth loop option. The park offers views of waterfalls, sweeping valleys, Mt. Evans, large rock formations, wildlife, and aspen groves.

The trails are extremely well marked with names, directions, and mileage. Half-way point signs are even posted on all trails. Be prepared to share the trail with numerous mountain bikers and a few other runners close to the trailheads.

Need to Know

Park is open every day, and hours vary by season. $10 entry fee for day use.

New trails are being put in and existing ones are being changed at a rapid rate and are sometimes not reflected in the park maps. For up to date trail directions and information about new construction ask the park rangers, they are extraordinarily friendly and willing to help (seriously the most friendly park staff I've ever met by far).

Trailhead parking is abundant on week days, but will fill up before 9 am on summer weekends.

Description

After entering the park, continue straight until the road dead ends at the Staunton Ranch Trailhead. The trailhead has bathrooms, potable water, and a picnic area.

From the trailhead, start out uphill onto the Staunton Ranch Trail and take this trail until its termination (2.8 miles) at a four-way intersection. You'll pass climber's access and hiker's only trails, but follow the signs to stay on SR trail. At the 4-way intersection, follow signs to turn left and uphill onto the Marmot Passage Trail.

Follow this trail uphill 0.5 miles and stay right at the intersection with the Scout Line Trail. Continue uphill for another mile and then enjoy another mile of smooth, well-groomed downhill to Elk Falls Pond (2.5 miles total). Upon reaching Elk Falls Pond, loop around the lake in the CCW direction and follow signs for the Lion's Back Trail. After 100m on this fire road turn left and follow signs onto Chimney Rock Trail. This beautiful trail has a slight downhill for a half mile then turns uphill for the remaining mile before meeting back with Lion's Back Trail (1.5 miles).

At the intersection with Lion's Back Trail, take a left and follow signs to Elk Falls Overlook. After taking in the views of Elk Falls in the valley below, continue back down Lions Back Trail and follow it until it's completion at Elk Falls Pond (1 mile). At the three-way intersection on the north side of the lake, make a left and follow signs onto Bugling Elk Trail.

Follow this service road through a scenic meadow until its termination at the same 4-way intersection you visited earlier in the run (1.1 miles). At the intersection, take an immediate left and follow signs to the Border Line Trail. The trail follows switchbacks uphill for a mile and a half until you reach Staunton Rocks Overlook. After visiting the overlook continue on Border Line Trail for another mile until you reach the Old Mill Site and cross a few streams (2.5 miles). At this three-way intersection, continue left/uphill and follow signs onto Mason Creek Trail.

Mason Creek Trail is the most fun section of this run. You'll continue uphill, crossing creeks and frolicking through aspen groves. for about one and a half miles. From here, it's all downhill to the finish so enjoy, but be careful because this trail is very popular, and you'll likely be sharing the path with other visitors. Continue downhill for 3ish miles and take a right at the first intersection, following signs to the parking lot (4.5miles). Follow a short connector trail to the parking lot, completing a full loop of Staunton State Park.

I did not include it in this run, but seriously consider a 0.5-mile RT journey to Elk Falls. This trail is an offshoot of Chimney Rock Trail. The trail is very steep but worthwhile to see the falls up close.

Flora & Fauna

Large aspen groves in the eastern portion of the park.

History & Background

Read more about the story of Staunton State Park on the park's website.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris Fa with improvements by C B and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 22 votes

#607

Overall
  4.5 from 22 votes
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1 Star
5%
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Photos

Enjoy a great view of Lions Head along the Staunton Ranch Trail.
Apr 8, 2017 near Pine, CO
Entrance to North Elk Trail from Bulging Bulging Elk Trail/Elk Falls Pond Loop.
Aug 14, 2022 near Bailey, CO
Entrance to Rusty Buckle Trail from Borderline Trail (Staunton Eastside Loop).
Aug 14, 2022 near Pine, CO
Early morning forest sun flare.
Aug 13, 2021 near Pine, CO
Aspen grove on Mason Creek Trail.
Sep 26, 2016 near Pine, CO
The beautiful view from the Staunton Rocks Overlook, before you begin descending the Border Line Trail
Sep 9, 2018 near Pine, CO

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