Bluffs Loop

Bluffs Regional Park, Colorado

Trip Date: Sunday, November 25th, 2018
Last Updated: Thursday, November 7th, 2019
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★☆☆(3/5)
Overall Difficulty Moderate
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 3.4 miles roundtrip
Time 1.5 hours
Terrain Hilly, 200 feet of elevation gain
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly No
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

Given its proximity to my sister's house, I've hiked this loop at least 3 times. While I wouldn't book a trip just to go on this hike, there's a reason I keep coming back: it's really accessible to the city, it has great views, and the loop has varied and interesting terrain. This is a perfect hike for the days you don't feel like driving into the mountains.

The trail starts at the northwest end of the parking lot. Shortly after starting, you'll have the option to continue straight or turn right -- either way works but I will describe the trail going straight. The trail converges with a service road, then you'll stay right to keep heading up the bluff rather than going towards the water tanks on the left.

Once at the top of the bluff, take a sharp right to stay on the loop or you'll end at two closed-top water reservoirs. At the fork ahead, go right to take the spur trail to Tepe Overlook. At the end, you'll have the view pictured below with the Denver skyline poking above the horizon. In addition, there is a bench and monument honoring Edward A. Tepe, the former Douglas County planner that was responsible for preserving these bluffs.

The suburban view from Tepe Overlook

The suburban view from Tepe Overlook

Return to the main trail, then turn right. After a short walk, you'll reach a confusing intersection. Keep staying to the right so you can visit the second overlook. At the end of this spur trail, you'll have the best view on the entire loop with the Rockies and flowering grasslands in front of you, as pictured below in both November and June. No matter which season you hike, the trail is always pretty.
The view of the Rockies from the overlook

The view of the Rockies from the overlook

The same view in the summer

The same view in the summer

Once back at that confusing intersection, turn sharply right and head downhill. The trail twists down the side of the bluff. Stay right at the intersection at the bottom, and continue to stay right at the three intersections after that -- if you make a wrong turn, you'll end up in a neighborhood. The trail ends with a winding uphill climb and a final turn left at the top to return to the parking lot.

This is a great spot for a quick hike when you're looking to enjoy the outdoors on a nice day. Let me know what you think in the comments section below and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. This hike is a bit long and hilly to be kid-friendly, but you can shorten the hike to 1.6 miles roundtrip by going to Tepe Overlook and turning back rather than completing the loop. You can hike here in all four seasons, though you should hike early in the morning in the summer to avoid the heat on this shadeless trail. Since the trail is adjacent to a neighborhood, expect there to be people no matter when you go.

Directions

From Denver, take Interstate 25 south. Take the exit for Lincoln Avenue, then turn right. Turn left onto RidgeGate Parkway, then turn right onto Crooked Stick Trail. Turn right into the parking lot.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There is a port-a-potty and covered picnic area adjacent to the lot.

External Links

Nearby Hikes

Fountain Valley Loop

Roxborough State Park, Colorado
★★★★★(5/5)

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