Castlewood Canyon is a great day trip. There's lots of trails and picnic sites to chose from. It does get very hot in the canyon in the summer, best visited in spring and fall. When you go be sure to see the remains of the dam. Castlewood Dam burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot-high wave of water into Denver. We took the Inner Canyon and Lake Gulch Trail (1.96 miles, moderate) to The Dam Trail(0.35 mile, moderate) to the Creek Bottom Trail. The Creek Bottom trail runs for 1.7 miles, but turned around after reaching the waterfall. There is an entrance fee of $6.
Castlewood Canyon State Park is a great place to get away from Denver, or Colorado Springs and go on a peaceful hike. Highlights of the park include a small waterfall, the ruins of an old damn, this an old homestead foundation, great rock formations, and in areas they allow for rock climbing.
Most of the time Cherry Creek is a calm and small creek, however, it has been known to flood. This past summer during a heavy rainstorm the canyon flooded bad enough to wipe out a footbride over the creek. I stopped by a week or so later, and their was evidence of water up to 10 feet away from the normal flow of the creek.
Castlewood Canyon is a great place to visit in any season.
I hope to add a travelog of my picutres soon.
Medina's is a great family run small town resturant. The local population keeps this place in business, but if you are in the area it is worth a visit. They even managed to beat out a chain Mexian Resturant that tried to open up a location in Franktown. The resturant has a wide selection of foods to choose from, all of which are fantastic. Their green chile sauce is very good, and the portions are fairly large with plenty of beans and Mexican rice on the side.
Favorite Dish: Carnitas: Served on Thus, Fri, Sat only, the slow cooked pork is very tender and the spices give it a great flavor.
Carne Adobada is another favorite of mine
great burritos and chimichangs as well.
Franktown is located at the intersection of Highway 86 and 83, 45 minutes to an hour south of Denver. It is great place to get out of the city and go for a hike, without going up into the mountains.
From Denver: Take I-25 south to Founders/Meadows Parkway, go left on Founders Parkway. Take Founders to the top of the hill. Turn left at traffic light at Highway 86. To reach Castlewood Canyon, turn right from 86 onto 83, go five miles to main enterence. To reach the back enterence turn right on Castlewood Canyon Rd. from 86 (located after the church before you reach Franktown) take this road into the park.
If you are familiar with poison ivy than you know what to look for. But if it has leaves of three than don't touch it - unless you enjoy itching like crazy. I am personally not familiar with the stuff - but a sister plant called poison oak has an oil sheen on the top of the leaves. And of course - when in doubt don't touch anything in question.
Despite house small Franktown is, it does have its own historical museum, where one can learn all about the frontier history of the town and the Douglas County region. It is a very small museum, yet if you are a frontier life history buff it might be worth a visit.
Located next to the fire station on Highway 83, just past the traffic light.
Favorite thing: When hiking in the Canyons at Cottonwood Canyons State Park be sure to bring water in the summer. You can make several different loops ranging from less than a mile to 6 or 7 miles in the park. Some portions do require and uphill trudge, but no technical equipment is needed.