|Castlewood Canyon State Park|
|Denver Post photo of the flooding|
|Flood wall reaches Denver|
|Trailhead for Homestead Trail around the historic Lucas Homestead|
There are hiking trails along the Cherry Creek bottom, on top of the mesa above the creek, around the dam, and east along Cherry Creek from the main park area on highway 83. My favorite hike is the Creek Bottom Trail, about 1.7 miles, starting at 6200 feet elevation. This riparian area is beautiful with trees and shrub, birds and wildlife and the canyon walls, along with a small waterfall.
Finding the park is easy. From Denver, head south on I-25 to exit 182, go east on highway 86 for 4 miles to Franktown. Turn right/south on highway 83 and drive 5 miles to the park entrance on the right. Alternately, you can enter the west gate from highway 86. Turn right onto Castlewood Canyon Road prior to crossing Cherry Creek bridge about a quarter mile west of Franktown. Follow the road south to the entrance. This road becomes dirt once inside the park.