Old Mill - Mason Creek Loop, Staunton State Park, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado
Old Mill - Mason Creek Loop - 6.5 miles
Staunton State Park
|Round-Trip Length:||6.5 miles (see bike and horse restrictions below)|
|Start-End Elevation:||8,310' - 9,398' (9,398' max elevation on loop)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,088' net elevation gain (+1,168' total elevation gain)|
Old Mill - Mason Creek Loop - 6.5 Miles Round-Trip
The Staunton Ranch, Old Mill and Mason Creek trails form a 6.5 mile loop through Staunton State Park. This moderate, diverse hike features historic buildings, large aspen groves and open views. Hiker-only sections reduce traffic on this route, which is particularly nice in the fall when aspens turn.
The hike begins on the Staunton Ranch Trail to the first Mill Creek trail split (.05 miles). Keep left on the Staunton Ranch Trail and begin clockwise travel on the loop.
The Staunton Ranch Tail passes the Chase Meadow Trail (.98 miles : 8,559’) and heads west towards granite rock formations with views of the Staunton Cabin District to the south (1.5 miles : 8,661’).
It passes several cabins and grows rocky up to a bridge over Black Mountain Creek to the second intersection with the Old Mill Trail (1.82 : 8,653’).
Turn right on the hiker-only Old Mill Trail, which steepens past a climbing access route to the Old Mill Site (2.57 miles : 9,092’). Enjoy intact remains of this historic collection of cabins, ranch and lumber facilities. The area is ringed by aspens with good views of needle-like granite rock formations above.
Turn right from the bunkhouse onto the multi-use Mason Creek Trail (2.6 miles : 9,110'), which passes under towering pink and gray granite cliffs before climbing away into a dense lodgepole forest.
Keep straight and drop through an aspen grove and meadow past two splits for the Bear Paw Trail (3.55 and 4.28 miles) back to the creek (5.12 miles : 8,835’). There are several easy water crossings on the next half mile.
The trail descends through mixed forest back to the Staunton Ranch Connector Trail (6.2 miles: 8,320’). Turn right and follow signs back to the Ranch Hand Picnic Area to complete the loop (6.5 miles : 8,310’).
- N39 30 00 W105 22 44 — Ranch Hand Picnic Area and Trailhead
- N39 30 00 W105 23 16 — Old Mill Site
- Bikes and horses are not permitted on the Old Mill Trail past the 1.8 mile mark.
- Aspen groves along the loop make it a particularly nice hike in the fall.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- There is no backcountry camping at Staunton State Park.
- Fishing is permitted at Elk Falls Pond and the Davis Ponds with a valid Colorado fishing license.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $7 entrance fee to Staunton State Park. Colorado State Parks passes are accepted.
- Park Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Dogs are permitted at Staunton State Park, but must be on a six-foot leash.
- Rock climbing is allowed. Climb without bolting or fixed protection only. Seasonal raptor closures are clearly posted and strictly enforced.
- Mountain biking is allowed on multi-use trails.
Directions to Trailhead
Staunton State Park is located 40 miles SW of downtown Denver in Pine, CO. The park is approximately 6 miles west of Conifer on the north side of US Highway 285.
From the junction of US 285 and C470 near Denver, travel 18.4 miles on 285 South towards Fairplay. Turn right (north) on Elk Creek Road. Travel on Elk Creek Road for 1.2 miles, then turn right into the park. The Ranch Hand Picnic Shelter and Trailhead is .5 miles from this entrance.
Staunton State Park
12012 S. Elk Creek Road
Pine, CO 80470