Staunton State Park - Full Clockwise Loop

 82 votes

19.2 Miles 30.9 Kilometers


90%

Singletrack

2,839' 865 m

Ascent

-2,838' -865 m

Descent

9,515' 2,900 m

High

8,183' 2,494 m

Low

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

All Clear

4 days agoUpdate

A very fun, reasonable tour with beautiful scenery and perfect mix of cross-country and downhill.

Ian Eldridge

Overview

In a state park, so $7 daily pass or annual pass required.
This is a great trail for someone who wants to experience a longer ride for the first time. The downhill sections are very fun and doable, and the climbs are reasonable. It is mostly singletrack and loose gravel in sections, much like Buffalo Creek. Some highlights of the trail are Marmot Passage Trail, Elk Falls Overlook, and Staunton Rocks Lookout on Border Line Trail.

The southern section of the park (Staunton Ranch Trail and Mason Creek Trail) can get rather crowded with hikers, however the trails are pretty wide at these parts. Once up in the northern sections, you pretty much have the trail to yourself.
Features: eMTB allowed
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

Bring cash or credit card for access to this state park. $7 for day pass.

Description

Start from the southernmost parking area in the park (Parking Area #1), and follow signs for Staunton Ranch Trail behind the restrooms on the east side of the lot. Alternatively, the trail can be accessed from the 2 parking areas farther north, however this will leave you with a small climb at the end of your ride if you do a big loop clockwise.

This new route offers the best of all trails currently open at Staunton State Park (as of early October 2016) without leaving much out for those interested in a ride that can get them close to 20 miles and over 3,200 feet of vertical ascent. Expect it to take anywhere from 3 - 4 hours total for a solid intermediate rider in good shape, depending on how much time you want to spend taking in the sights.

You'll start by heading up the new route of Staunton Ranch Trail, which is a great way to warm the legs up. This part can be heavy with hiker and equestrian traffic. It's a fairly steady climb for most of the time and eventually dumps you onto the service road just a short distance away from the 4 way intersection of Marmot Passage Trail, Border Line Trail, Bugling Elk Trail, and Staunton Ranch Trail. You'll take a left onto Marmot Passage Trail which will eventually dump you out right by Elk Falls Pond. From here, continue a very short distance up Lion's Back Trail (only about 40 feet up) where you'll turn left onto the start of the new Chimney Rock Trail. The most fun way to do Chimney Rock Trail is as an out and back, but you can also come down Lion's Back Trail if you want. Elk Falls Overlook should not be missed while you're up there!

From the 3-way intersection of Marmot Passage Trail, Lion's Back Trail and Bugling Elk Trail at Elk Falls Pond, make a left onto Bugling Elk Trail. This is a short and rather uneventful section of the tour. It climbs and progresses from a meadow, and through the woods on a rutted road back down to the 4-way intersection of Marmot Passage Trail, Staunton Ranch Trail and Border Line Trail.

From here, make a left onto Border Line Trail which is the hardest climb on the tour. A quick up and down cruises along the side of the mountain, and then the switchbacks and big climb begins. The trail peaks at about 1.2 miles, and right when the descent starts, there is an opportunity for an overlook at a point call "Staunton Rocks." This provides a great breaking point to take in the view before the final descent of the full clockwise circuit down Mason Creek Trail. The descent continues and ends at the Old Mill site, a turn-of-the-20th century saw mill that has some cool abandoned buildings and equipment. This is a 3-way intersection of Mason Creek Trail and Old Mill Trail, which is a hiking-only trail.

At this intersection, go left onto Mason Creek Trail, which you'll for about 8/10 of a mile before you come to the turn off for the newly opened Bear Paw Trail.

Eventually Bear Paw Trail joins back with Mason Creek Trail and you're in for about an 800 foot (vertical) descent back to the car!

About 2 miles from the end of Bear Paw Trail, some rocks and obstacles present themselves, but nothing too advanced. There are a few very small creek crossings along the way as well. Once out of the woods at about mile 3.5 (of Mason Creek Trail), the trail opens up into a sprawling meadow and makes its way back to the Parking Area. Be on the lookout for hikers in this area as you make your way back to the parking lot for a well deserved cold beverage.

History & Background

Staunton State Park is one of Colorado's newest parks thanks to a donation by in 1986 by Frances Hornbrook Staunton. It hosts some beautiful hills and rock formations, along with a waterfall and turn-of-the-20th century saw mill.

Contacts

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4.1 from 82 votes


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Check-Ins

Oct 21, 2017
Sara Boyd
Oct 17, 2017
Aaron Null
15mi
Oct 16, 2017
C Wilkes
Oct 13, 2017
Matt Rettmer
3:30 total. System is awesome. Some standing snow/mud but overall an outstanding ride. 8500-9000' elev. makes this slightly harder than FR Trails. 18.5mi — 3h 33m
Oct 8, 2017
Dave Kintz
Oct 7, 2017
Reed Harrington
Good mix of technical and cruising.
Oct 7, 2017
Clare Liu
Oct 2, 2017
Justin Kretzmann
14.9mi

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  4.1 from 80 votes

#33

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  4.1 from 80 votes
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#33

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Working the trail clockwise is well worth it in the end because the downhill on Border Line Trail is fantastic. I felt like I needed more bike in mulitiple areas of the trail but the over all experience was excelent. Diffinatley worth the push Sep 4, 2016
Richard Thurau
Denver, CO
Richard Thurau   Denver, CO
Krystyna Zatorski If you include the climb out of the parking lot at North Table, this is probably equivalent. More climbing but its pretty gradual. North Table is probably more fun, but Staunton is far more scenic, IMO. Sep 5, 2016
Richard Thurau
Denver, CO
Richard Thurau   Denver, CO
This is a fitness ride with lots of scenic beauty. I've only done it clockwise and there isn't much fun to be had until Mason Creek (MC down is a blast). Lots of climbing with short decents that are littered with tight, loose, unburmed switchbacks. Good loose hairpin practice, if you're looking for that. I guess some of the trail is similar to Buffalo Creek, except these are hiking trails, a bit crowded on the weekends, and feels far less remote. The scenery is great, especially at the well-placed look outs. If you want an easy, but somewhat physically strenous ride with great views of nature and people from Denver, this is your place. If you want to ride a variety of trails all day long, drive the extra 30 minutes to Buf Creek. Sep 5, 2016

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