Trail Run Project Logo

This longer run is well worth the effort as it provides views along the way, ending at a scenic waterfall.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key







9,253' 2,820 m


8,178' 2,493 m


1,936' 590 m


1,936' 590 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Leashed

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


Visitors looking for a route that allows exploration of many of Colorado's ecosystems need to look no further than this scenic route in Staunton State Park.

Runner Notes

With incredible views and the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife, this is a great running trail.


Beginning from the main parking area in the southern extent, visitors will start out on the Staunton Ranch Trail. This portion is fairly mellow and makes for a good warm up. Though the going will be fairly easy, you'll be on a steady incline. If you notice that your heart rate is up, this sneaky uphill is to blame! You'll pass through a variety of terrain types and ecosystems, which ensures that you'll have enjoyable views along the whole trail. Keep an eye out for elk in both mixed conifer/aspen and aspen forests, as these large ungulates are particularly partial to snacking on aspens.

As you continue along, the trail will start to get a bit steeper, but beautiful views will be your reward. At just over three miles into your journey, you'll take a left onto the Marmot Passage Trail. As its name suggests, you might be able to catch sight of a yellow-bellied Marmot on this trail, so keep an eye out! Once you transition to this trail, the going will get a little more difficult, as the grade increases slightly, and there will be more technical aspects on the trail, including roots and rocks. About halfway through this trail, you'll begin a gradual descent, hinting at the fact that you're beginning your initial descent to the falls.

Don't despair, you'll continue to enjoy scenic views of both forests, meadows, and incredible rock formations. Soon enough, runners will make another left onto the Chimney Rock Trail. This route will continue more of the same from the Marmot Passage Trail, but you'll be getting ever closer to your goal, the scenic Elk Falls!

A short continuation will lead to the Elk Falls Trail, which will lead you on a steep descent to North Elk Creek. Though this portion is steep, you'll be able to get up close and personal with Elk Falls as it tumbles 100 feet to meet the creek. Take some time to enjoy the sound of the water and potentially have a snack before returning the way that you came. The first few miles running away from the creek will be a climb, but you'll be able to coast back to the parking area.

Even though you'll be moving along the same trails, you'll enjoy the new perspective on the landscape. By the time you'll return to the parking area, you can congratulate yourself on knocking out a lovely 14 miles!

Flora & Fauna

You're likely to see plenty of Colorado natives, including aspens, wildflowers, elk, marmot, and many avian species.


Shared By:

Mikhaila Redovian with improvements by Cassie Wallace

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 25 votes


  4.3 from 25 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in Colorado


9 Views Last Month
4,981 Since Oct 20, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



Enjoy a great view of Lions Head along the Staunton Ranch Trail.
Apr 8, 2017 near Pine, CO
Early morning forest sun flare.
Aug 13, 2021 near Pine, CO
Marmot Passage.
Oct 20, 2016 near Pine, CO
The trail widens to a road for a bit when you turn onto the Staunton Ranch Trail from the Border Line Trail
Sep 9, 2018 near Bailey, CO
Cathedral Rocks as seen from the Elk Falls Trail
Dec 1, 2017 near Bailey, CO
Granite outcrops.
Aug 13, 2021 near Bailey, CO



Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 28 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Jul 2, 2023
Heads up, this gps file is outdated, there's no jug handle anymore, just take the main trail from the parking lot! 15mi — 3h 20m
Apr 23, 2020
Emma H-p
Walked/jog. Beautiful wildlife. Gorgeous sights. Trail was snowy near the falls. 11.8mi — 4h 38m
Aug 4, 2019
Countess Cwin
Don't follow these driving directions. It'll take you to the wrong parking lot. 14.9mi
Nov 22, 2018
Michael McConnell
Aug 4, 2017
Chris Aguirre
10.2mi — 1h 40m
Jul 26, 2017
Kyle Barrett
May 14, 2017
Jena Humer

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started