Roxborough State Park is a gem in the southwest part of the Denver metro area. Because of its magnificent tilted sandstone formations and diverse ecological systems, the park is a designated National Natural Landmark. While most tourists head to Red Rocks for their close-in Denver nature fix, locals know that Roxborough State Park has nicer trails and better scenery. Unfortunately, this also means that the park is crowded on weekends, so much that rangers restrict the number of vehicles entering the park and you may find a line of cars waiting outside the gates when you arrive. The park is day-day use only, and no camping is available.
There are 6 trails available in the park with a range of difficulties. The Fountain Valley Loop is the best way to experience the park, providing an easy, wide, and gently sloping trail with views of the impressive formations. The South Rim Trail is a moderately difficult hike that is sees less traffic than the Fountain Valley Loop and also has good views of the rock formations. For a challenge, hike to 7,160-foot Carpenter Peak on a 6.2 mile roundtrip hike with over 1000 feet of elevation gain.