January 8, 2018
Trail(s): Paul Hill Trail and John Emerson Summit Trail
Location: Rock Park
Website: Rock Park
Distance: 1.4 miles
Today we decided to take a short road trip and explore Castle Rock. I feel like I’ve driven by it at least 100 times. It’s hard to miss as the butte towers above the flat plains and I-25. It’s a bit of a drive from Denver for only a 1.4 mile trail, so the outing turned into watching the sunset and grabbing dinner afterward in Littleton Town Square. We read that the short trail would take an hour which seemed sort of long, so we expected the climb up to the rock to be hard despite only gaining 300+ feet in half a mile.
We followed the gradual incline around the “back” of the rock as we passed scrub oak and small pinon on the hillside. We quickly reached the base of “Castle” whose ledges were decorated by nesting pigeons. We spiraled around the base to find the climbing area that would get us to the summit.
This 75 feet required rock scrambling. Fortunately, the rock was course, almost like cement, so hand and foot holds were easy to find. We squeezed through a narrow crevice and quickly the flat top of the butte. I don’t think it took us more than 20 minutes in total, but I also wasn’t counting. Regardless, the sun was quite setting yet, so we played around making shadows.
Eventually we enjoyed the setting sun, though the original forecast for some clouds didn’t really pan out, so there were only a few pink clouds in the sky. All in all, it was still pretty and we were gladly we finally climbed the rock we pass by regularly!
Oh well…we still savored some cajun food. ETB