Mount Falcon Park

   
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9
miles

Intermediate

Singletrack
↑ 2,600 ft
↓ 2,700 ft
5.2
avg mph
387
ridden
167
wishlist
1:45
avg time

Lariat
AVERAGE RATING
4.22 out of 5
About This Trail
added by jeff World Champ on January 1, 2004
 
The ride is actually a 'lollipop' configuration with an out and back attached to a loop at the
top. Ride up the Castle trail where you'll climb about 1800 feet in 3.5 miles. Once you get
to the restrooms, turn left onto the Parmalee trail. Here you'll drop about 400 feet down
some nice singletrack. The trail will then climb back up to an intersection with the Meadow
Trail. Take a right on the Meadow trail. The trail will come back to the Castle trail. Take a
right for a fast ride back to your car. Most of the trail is wide singletrack but watch for other
trail users - this trail is pretty popular.
Rider Questions
 
Recommended Trails
Lair O' The Bear / Bear Creek Trail
Buffalo Creek
Red Rocks / Dakota Ridge
Green Mountain
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solofat on August 16, 2014
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Review: starts really easy, some switchbacks and rock gardens. Lots of uphill climbing. Meadows up above. Sweet hard ride.

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christopher.hegge@gmail. on July 8, 2014
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Review: very funny

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mtbark on June 25, 2014
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Review: We rode up from the parking lot and I do have to say this is probably some the most climbing I have done on the front range it sure put me in my place. A positive leg burner especially when your not use to that altitude. The downhill was fun much better then the climb up. Overall it's an okay trail but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. To many people on the trail, water bars really make the climbing harder.

Similar Trail: Lair O Bear

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Mountaineer19 on June 14, 2014
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Review: Although it is close to Denver, within 20 minutes of my house, I tend not to come here. It's very busy with alot of hikers that have dogs and other mountain bikers. You can either start at the front side and do a climb up to get to a network of trails or start in the backside and already be there. The frontside downhill is pretty fun but all the other trails on top are not that fun. They are sort and very rocky.

Similar Trail: Green Mountain and Lair O'Bear

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FinishSTRONG7 on December 21, 2013
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Review: The climb up Castle is not bad at all if you are a strong climber. The only technical challenges are a couple of short sections with rocks and water bars. Add in Parmalee and Old Ute Trails if you want the extra technical challenge in addition to mileage and climbing. Those trails are very scenic as well! Watch the speed going back down Castle due to the blind curves, riders/hikers coming up the trail, and loose spots.

Similar Trail: Coyote Ridge

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toribets on July 30, 2013
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Review: Wow!! So I decided to give this trail a go thinking I was ready for the challenge. My sea-level based lungs were so not ready for this challenge and neither was my skill level. I've considered myself intermediate but after this ride I might think twice on that one! The downhill makes the climb worth the work though.

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vbeckman74 on May 5, 2013
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Review: The climb never lets up. There's no real flat parts to catch your breath, but the trail is manicured enough that it is ridable if you're a cardio stud. There are some cool ruins on top and the loop around the mountain is very fun.

Similar Trail: Apex Park

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delphinide on January 17, 2013
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Review: Winter Update: The trail is almost completely clear except 2-3 short sections of packed snow!

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tetontom on December 4, 2012
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Review: I rode up Castle Trail and a lap around Old Ute as the first leg of a "5 Parks" loop today. This was my first time at Mount Falcon and was impressed by the Castle Trail. I found it a lot more ride-able than I was expecting; I think I pushed my bike about 50 yards altogether, most of that getting past the first 10 water-bars down low (I've seen much better designed trail in other JeffCo parks BTW). The other 95%, though, was pretty pleasant surface and grade.
Sad that I went off the backside and didn't get to descend Castle, I can't wait to go back.

Similar Trail: Deer Creek Canyon

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303Triumph on November 21, 2012
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Review: This trail starts off easy enough, but the top 1/3 gets fun so keep a little extra in the tank.

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stillfat on June 18, 2012
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Review: A great conditioning ride, if you're into that kind of thing. Better options abound in the Jeffco Open Space network.

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ridegolden! on May 16, 2012
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Review: If you can climb the Castle Trail without putting your foot down, you're in great shape! This climb is truly challenging with a few rocky sections you must pass before making it to the top. A fun loop at the top and back down you come. There are some fun swoopy sections on the descent. I find it a challenge to pick the best line. When you find it, you're truly stoked because it feels great.

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luv2mtb on September 10, 2011
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Review: Rode this trail on 07.05.2011 and reviewed it. Rode this trail again on 09.09.2011. Much more acclimated to the altitude and in better shape. I rode 99% of the incline (walked a portion of the rock gardens cuz I was gassed and took a few short breaks). This trail has so much to offer. You pass through three unique landscapes; desert brush, mountain meadows and tall evergreen forests. When you get to the top reward yourself by riding Parmalee east to west; what a treat! The ride down is fun but watch out for hikers, ascending bikers, and make sure your brakes are adjusted.

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davefourtwenty on August 30, 2011
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Review: This trail is short but to the point. The climb is steep and smooth. Zero technical. I would recommend riding this during the week because it gets crazy busy with hikers on the weekend that will force you to go really slow on the downhill.

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luv2mtb on July 5, 2011
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Review: Rode this trail today. Had just arrived in the Denver area the day before (from sea level) so I was not at all acclimated to the altitude. The climb kicked my butt. I'm not ashamed to say I walked as much as I rode the first 3 miles. When I got to the top I was gassed but enjoyed the loop and the scenery. Bottom line: if you're new to the area and the altitude get ready for a first class butt kicking courtesy of the climb up to the top. But don't be scared, cowboy-up, walk when you need to, take plenty of breaks, drink plenty of water, snap plenty of pics, and see how you do on the climb. Then ride the loop and explore the trails on top. On the way back down, beware ascending foot and bike traffic, and enjoy the descent.

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bikerboy3 on June 28, 2011
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Review: This is a pretty hard trail, but with some great views. It is much easier to start on the west side of the park so the climb isn't as bad. Once at the top, there is a network of trails to take.* Review edited 6/28/2011* Review edited 6/28/2011

* Review edited 6/28/2011

Similar Trail: Red Rocks Trail

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mattics on June 2, 2011
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Review: Mt Falcon is a slog. I'm still getting my lungs and legs acclimated so I simply suffered heading the 3+ miles up. Good opportunity to work on ascending skills through semi-technical sections along the way (and feel the anaerobic burn as a result). However, I had a great time doing this trail, mainly because I enhanced it by following an earlier suggestion and linked it up to Bear Creek Trail (Pence Park and Lair o' the Bear Park). I don't think I would have enjoyed the Mt. Falcon decent, seemed to be pretty loose stuff which I personally don't like and lots of hikers and bikers to dodge. But Lair o' the Bear was AWESOME. Great link-up, although there is several miles of road time after Mt. Falcon and then again on Hwy 74 back into Morrison. About 21 miles for the complete loop, give or take.

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maddslacker on March 15, 2011
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Review: Climb, climb, and the climb some more. Catch your breath at the picnic area and then do one of the shorter loops at the top, such as Parmalee Gulch. Bomb back down, and try not to be too hard on the people sweating their way up...that was you a few minutes earlier! The trail is singletrack and doubletrack with water bars and some rocky sections. It is totally rideable...if you have the breath left after all the climbing.

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bstat on October 29, 2010
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Review: Rode this with a friend on a nice Friday in early October. I'm not sure what I was thinking. :) The climb up Castle Trail is as others have said - one technical section with water bars at the bottom, then not too technical of a grind, then euphoria as you reach the intersection with Two-Dog Trail. We did the Meadow Trail back to Castle and rode the brakes down. If the climb is a bit much, a good ride is (from the top lot) Parmalee to Old Ute to Devil's Elbow, then back along Meadow. I'll be back after getting an extra lung or two. :)

Similar Trail: Apex Park Hayden/Green Mountain

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XLTwo9er on July 8, 2010
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Review: Very difficult climb and awesome downhill...leads to a beautiful meadow at the top along the way some amazing views of Denver and Red Rocks

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cromagno on July 4, 2010
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Review: I found the climb to be grueling but will be back soon. I'll take strenuous over technical any day of the week. Getting over all the water logs at the start seemed the most difficult to me. The climb is pretty long but the loop at the top is super fun and made it all worth while. Downhill is great as well. I would compare it in technical difficulty to Lair o'the Bear but with the caveat that this is about twice as challenging a climb. Also, this climb is very exposed so riding it on a hot day can be rough.

Similar Trail: Lair o'the Bear

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haupt on June 10, 2010
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Review: This one is a quintessential front range trail - grueling climb up, great ride on top, bomb down. Technically, this one is challenging but doable with many fun rockfields that aren't overly jagged. Not an Apex or White Ranch in difficulty. Great views up top of the front range.

Similar Trail: Lair of the bear.

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dannyboy5280 on May 26, 2010
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Review: This is one of my favorite trails, possibly because it is the location I contracted the initial love for this sport about 15 yrs ago. Have since honed my skills and wish we (mountain bike riders) could close castle trail to for downhill traffic only (good shuttle-race the car to the bottom). Or trade out your full-face helmet and DH bike for an XC or all-mtn and have fun all over the mtn. nothing too technical, but there is a lot of little rocks to chatter your teeth on. This mountain is definitely a case of each trail having a good direction and a not good direction. Ask other riders for their input and enjoy. Beware of heavy traffic. A lot of family hikers (including small children), horseback riders and seems to be a magnet for beginner/inexperienced riders (we all start somewhere).

Similar Trail: APEX

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JohnsXCbike on May 25, 2010
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Review: Tough long climb but doable, coming back down wasn't as fun, had to ride the brakes the entire time, and there are long steep drops along the side of the trail, if you fall, you're going down a looooong way. Had some great views. The loop at the top was the best part I thought. Can't go super fast on this trail because there where a lot of other bikers/hikers, even on a Tuesday, so I imagine this trail wouldn't be as much fun on a busy weekend.

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Greg Heil on November 12, 2009
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Review: This was a fun ride, but sections of it are very wide and not interesting. A couple of awesome views of the Denver metro area though!

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mooniakrides on October 8, 2009
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Review: This trail is like most Colorado trails, you start off with a steep uphill that gets your heart pumping. The first several miles of the trail is exposed to the sun and can get very hot during the summer. It's steep, rocky and somewhat technical but doable for intermediate to advanced riders. Beginners will be pushing their bikes a lot. Once you get to the shelter at the top of the climb, the trail widens into a double track/jeep road. It also becomes more rolling which is a much needed break after the climb. The Parmalee trail is some fun singletrack. It is somewhat technical in spots but overall is rideable for intermediate to advanced riders. There are several other loops you can add on if you want more riding, like the Devil's Elbow, Ute Trail, etc. Most of these are fun singletrack also. The descent back down the Castle Trail isn't that fun for me, because it is somewhat rocky and not really singletrack. As always, beware of hikers and other users of the trail, especially on weekends (like any other trail near Denver). Check out mooniakrides.webs.com/index.htm for more trail descriptions/maps/etc.

Similar Trail: White Ranch, Apex

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BFD on August 20, 2009
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Review: I know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I'd heard all kinds of scary stories about what a gut-buster of a climb this trail was, but I gotta tell ya, it wasn't all that bad, steep; sure, but ride-able. As for the rest of the ride, I didn't think it was all that great, the downhill was so rocky that I ended up having more fun on the ascent than the descent...And that ain't right! Also, there were plenty of areas that are washed out due to erosion, but if you can steer clear of these you should be fine. If you're looking for a climb on the front range that I thought Equaled or Bettered Mt. Falcon; try the backside of Waterton Canyon, the Colorado Trail picks up at the South Platte on the backside of Waterton Canyon heading North and begins a steep/endless climb that I have enjoyed triumphing over several times.

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Viper45 on June 15, 2009
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Review: Last Saturday, the trail was full with lots of people hiking, running, and other bikers(...halfway through Meadow there was even some photographers taking pictures of people). So in my opinion special care needs to be taken if you come here on the weekend. That said, the initial climb kicked my ass, but I plan on coming back.

* Review edited 6/15/2009

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jkovaly on November 18, 2008
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Review: It was an amazing 81deg in Denver today so I couldn't resist hitting the trail one last time before the snow hit. I rode up from the bottom parking lot, 1600ft of elevation gain in 3mi - that was a tough climb ! Grade lessens and then levels out at 3.5mi. Took the Parmalee trail and rode it to Meadow and followed Old Ute trail around the Devils Elbow and back to Castle via Meadow, 12mi total. The Parmalee, Old Ute and Devils Elbow trails had some excellent technical sections with lots of bumps and a couple of short steep rocky sections I couldn't clean. All in all, the fun stuff at the top was worth the ride up ! * Review edited 11/18/2008

* Review edited 11/18/2008

Similar Trail: white ranch

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Guest on September 28, 2008
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Review: New riders don't be deceived by the blue square rating. It's easily blue/black maybe toward black. The bottom section is at least a half dozen switch backs (tight) with a series of 10 inch steps at the bottom. The trail also climbs about 2600 feet in 3.5 miles which is substantial and I think the biggest climb on the Front Range. It is crowded after work and early on the weekends and is best ridden late when the sun is less intense. You get nuked by the sun pretty much the whole way up...which I think is great but I know many are concerned with sun exposure in our lovley state. Also, when the sun goes away you see less rattle snakes which depending on how you look at it is part of the fun on this trail. You can do this ride from the lower lot or upper-up and down or down and up plus the top loops. Another fave is climb out of the lower lot gain the summit of Mt. Falcon and haul booty down the winding road to Parmalee Gultch road. Bang a right and head about 1.5 miles to Pence Park. On the opposite side of the street is the top end of Lair O Bare. Drop in here and head down to Bear Creek Canyon. You can drop down BCC into Morrison and do the short-ish climb back to your car at Falcon. The key here is riding DOWN Bear Creek because you are going faster or at least as fast as traffic and are less likely to get clipped or cause an accident. I did a different variation yesterday. Falcon to LOB then back up LOB to Falcon and back down Falcon. Basically an out and back rather than a loop. MIleage is about 20 whether you do the loop with BCC or the out and back. Out and back adds about 2500 feet of climbing to the mix. Took me about 2 h 45 min. with ample water and some food.* Review edited 9/28/2008

* Review edited 9/28/2008

Similar Trail: Centenial from Mayhem Gulch, Chimney Gulch to Apex, Grren Mountain>Dakota>Red Rock>M/W>Dakota>GM

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j.young on July 9, 2008
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Review: This trail has a good 2 section climb 2 or 3 technical sections. They did some trail work this spring toward the top which make it really easy not technical at all anymore , I use to love that section but I guess the trail was erroting so they did some work , maybe a little to much work as far as making the trail skinny in some sections not wide like it use to be.The top has like 4 loops you can ride go explore bring a lunch and lots of Gaterade!

Similar Trail: White Ranch

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MarkZahn on August 19, 2007
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Review: Jason went at the wrong time of the day. It's best to do this trail late, 2 to 3 hours before dark, it thins out and then you can do your non-stop drop to the parking lot. I've done it 10 times, and never was anyone in my way non-stop back to the parking lot. Jason dropped the trail ranking by giving the rating he did, because of his bad timing at the trail. 1 hour up, 6 minutes back to the parking lot. It's amazing and fun!

Similar Trail: Deer Creek Canyon

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jasonvelocity on August 12, 2007
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Review: Trail is an out and back, or should I say up and down. The up would be worth it, but the down it littered with hikers, horses, and bikers on their way up. If you live in the area this might be a good outing, but IMHO it's not worth the drive.

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raleighman91 on June 2, 2007
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Review: in Co. Havent had this much fast technical downhill for a while Very good trail and its just amazing Broke my handle bar and stem on this trail on 6-23

* Review edited 6/24/2007

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Lancefan on June 2, 2007
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Review: This trail has it all. Exposed, rocky, wide single track, dirt roads, skinny forest singletrack, technical climbs and descents and amazing veiws and ruins. This is defenitly one of the best trails on the front range. It has parts like every single front range ride. It's amazing.

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BobinConifer on May 9, 2007
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Review: I rode this trail last night and was very happy with the overall condition. It was my first ride since recovering from a blown knee and I hadn't been on Falcon for over a year. The trail has been very well maintained. EVen to the extent that some of the water bars turn in to big hits on the fast decent. If you start at the low parking lot off of route 9 near Morrison the ride starts with some smooth high bank single track and fun, steep climbs before opening up to the massive climb to the top. It's wide open wide single-track to the top with a few rocky sections to keep you concentrating. A lot of people stop at a gazebo at the top but if you continue for another mile or so the trail comes out of the woods and into a nice meadow with several trail options. One of which is the Parmalee trail, which as of yesterday was almost completely dry with only a few muddy sections. This trail adds a few more relatively easy miles befor dumping back at the meadow and the long downhill back to the parking lot. I like this trail a lot since it is very convenient, has great scenery, a big climb, and a few fun, fast sections of single track.

* Review edited 5/13/2007

Similar Trail: Deer Creek, Apex, White Ranch, Roxborough Loop of Waterton Canyon

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jeeper on April 30, 2007
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Review: Best ride on the front range as long as you don't mind a steep and continuous climb right out of the gate. To keep you going, just remember, once at the top you will have absolutely no uphill sections all the way back to the parking lot. I was somwhat tired once I reached the top but the thought of no more climbing to get back kept me going enough to check out some of the points of interest. Definitley take the time to explore up there. A lot of very interesting history and absolutely beautiful scenery and overlooks. As for the trail rating, definitley not beginner. You will need to be in good shape and be able to navigate through some tight rocky sections that are fairly steep. Easy for some, not so much for others. Enjoy!!!

* Review edited 4/30/2007

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MarkZahn on October 15, 2006
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Review: I've ridden this trail 10 times now since June of '05. I disagree with the rating that it's a beginner trail, it's intermediate to advanced. Depending on how you descend, fast as you can or hit the brakes prior to every challenge in front of you, that might be why people rate it as not a difficult trail. If you try this trail on the descent fast as you can, and hit the tight sequences at top speed, it's advanced and demands close to expert skills. Everything about Falcon on the descent is tight sequence, close quarters sequences. Jumps 10 feet apart, waterlogs that are 2ft drops 6 feet apart and on a turn, switchbacks and waterlogs, and very tough rock gardens at the top make this at minimal intermediate in my opinion. But it is a blast especially on the downhill, and the climb per mile is the steepest on the front range. The climb itself is very tough and you have to be in shape.

Similar Trail: Deer Creek, Chimney Gulch

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jbersch on October 8, 2006
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Review: Tough climb, mostly pretty smooth, but a decent amount of rocky stuff as you get higher. Finally made it to Parmalee from the bottom and had a blast. Check out Walker's Dream too. A quick diversion leads to incredible views from the ruins up there.

Similar Trail: Deer Creek

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yellowdman on June 23, 2006
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Review: I've been riding this trial since 1989. It's a killer ride! If you start from the bottom and make it to the top with out stopping your in damn good shape and your ready for most rides out there! Once you get to the top ride the loops up there and check out the overlooks and other stuff! It's a blast! Have fun and be nice to the hikers and give way to the bikers going uphill--if you don't I'll push you off the trail!:)

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lukewiens on March 31, 2006
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Review: great trail....tough climb. the parmalee section was definately the highlight of the ride. nice rolling singletrack w/ a couple little drops. hold on to your teeth on the way back down castle trail. 9.7 miles round trip took me about 1 hour 42 minutes at a fairly casual pace. average speed 5.7 mph.

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dirtcoach on December 4, 2005
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Review: One of my mainstay rides for 15 years since it is so close to home. Last done 11/25/05 There was snow on the ground with some ice mud in some spots all made it more fun if you think like me. Trek7K does a great job on the descriptions, though donít forget about Devils Elbow and Ute trail (best done CCW) The usual ride is up Castle trail over to Parmalee CCW then Devils elbow and Ute a couple times once each way then back to Castle Trail for the DH total ride time 1.5 hours. hill can be hard best time up is just under 18min on a 18lbs Rigid XC bike, nowadays a slower 26min on a 36 lbs all mountain rig. Over all really enjoyable ride but best done on off peak days to avoid the crowds

Similar Trail: Elk Meadow, Parts of White Ranch

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petersbike on September 10, 2005
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Review: I tend to think that mtberman was high when he wrote his review. I rode 20 miles at buffalo creek with my brother and then came back to mt falcon and rode up Castle trail and to the end of two dog trail where there is a nice bench.This was a casual ride up for me in under 40 minutes. But if you are the type of rider who can't ride all sections of the castle trail you are not going to make it in under 40 minutes from bathroom to the bathrooms at mount falcon road.

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c3667 on August 17, 2005
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Review: This was a great ride! I did not mak it in the time alotment per age (28). But I think the fact i rode 7 miles on Green mountain last night did not help. went to the top and did the parmele trail , which was a blast! great trail next time I will atack the time clock!

Similar Trail: Apex

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Guest on March 8, 2005
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Review: Either I am good shape or I am reading the other review wrong. I do not think anyone can go from parking lot to RESTROOMS in their age. restrooms being al the way over by the top parking lot. Usual is from bottom parking lot to top out by the first shelter you come to. I am 54, can do it in 42 mins or so. It is a grind the whole way. Smallest gear for me. No easy excepting the short flat spot about 1/2 way up. You will be redlining most of the way.

Similar Trail: Apex trail and Dinosaur Ridge - both even harder, but shorter.

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mtberman on January 18, 2005
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Review: This is basically a lollipop and is located just suoth of Red Rocks. The "in" section is Castle Trail and the challenge is to ride from bottom to top in the number of minutes which equals your age, i.e. a 33 year old should take 33 minutes to get to the restrooms at the top. The trail is in the open and has views facing East and so is prettier and drier than nearby areas. Count on lots other users, particularly an unusually large number of older hikers who have been frequenting the area for years and like to remind you of that fact and who don't like to walk in the "hikers-only" area. Note that Castle Trail often is so rocky that sections are barely rideable, so it can at times be a long and frustrating hump up. The reward at the top it the wooded network of trails. Parmalee Loop is typically ridden counter-clockwise and is both more fun and more ride-able than the trip up. It goes around the mountain so you'll get some nice views of nearby valleys and then Denver as you come back around. Some loose and steep drops, water bars and snaking climbs but nothing too brutal. When play time at the top ends, bomb down Castle to the car and try to get the feeling back in your hands by wrapping them around a cold drink.

Similar Trail: Belcher Hill at White Ranch

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petersbike on December 15, 2004
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Review: This is a great trail for a one to two hour session. The initial climb will test your endurance. Make sure you go there during the day on weekdays or you will be riding with an army of folks.

Similar Trail: deer creek, evergreen 3 sisters

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Mount Falcon Park MTB Trail 4.22 out of 5 based on 47 ratings. 47 user reviews.
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Trail Features
 
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Trail Conditions
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