Trail Snapshot: Elk Range Trail at Centennial Cone
- Hike Distance: 6.6 miles Round Trip
- Difficulty: Easy
- Duration: approx 2.5hr
- Trail Type: Out-and-Back
- Elevation Gain: +446’/-314′
- Seasons: All Year (closes during hunting season)
- Dogs: Allowed on Leash
- Hike Trail Map: Click for a map of Centennial Cone Park
- Weekend Use: Odd days hiker-only, Even days bike-only
- Denver Drive Time: 42 min
- Directions: Click for Google Map
- Town Nearest Hike: Golden, Colorado
- Beauty: Upper foothills and the peaks of the Rockies beyond, high country meadows, grazing cattle and horses, elk and whitetail deer
- Activities: Horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and wildlife viewing
- Video: Click For Video
Looking East towards Centennial Cone
Elk Range Trail at Centennial Cone Profile
You have two trailhead options when taking the 6.6 mile Elk Range Trail.The driving directions link above are for the Centennial Cone Road trailhead. A North Centennial Cone Park Trailhead has equestrian trailer parking and can be located at this link. Our trail profile here describes the trail hiking from West to East.
Hiking along the Elk Range Trail, I couldn’t help wondering, “Can you hike up to the top of Centennial Cone?” There is no trail on the map but there appears to be the vestiges of an old road or trail leading up the North end of Centennial Cone. Because I haven’t hiked it yet, I can’t recommend it, but the old trail can be found just before the trail enters private property. Where the trail bends just before the gate, you can follow a set of what look to be markers for an underground gas line. These lead up to the trail at the base of Centennial Cone. This is as far as I explored, and hope to get back to attempt a hike to the top of the cone.
It’s important to know that on the weekends the trail alternates from hiker-only to biker-only. Here’s how to keep track of it: Odd days are hiker only and even days are bikes only.The weekdays are open to both hikers and mountain bikers.The park is closed during certain days for hunting season. You can get the exact closure dates from the Centennial Cone page of Jefferson County’s opens space site.
If you’ve started from the Centennial Cone Road trailhead and would like a pleasant and beautiful drive home, take Highway 6 through Clear Creek canyon, and into Golden.
Tips & Resources for Hiking the Elk Range Trail:
- Mud: The Elk Range Trail can be a bit muddy after a good rain. You’ll want to bring appropriate gear if you’re planning a hike after a storm for a good day or two, including sturdy shoes.
- Storms: The Elk Range Trail is at a high enough altitude that you’ll want to keep an eye out for thunderstorms. There is very little cover on this trail, so check the weather report before heading out as well.
- After the Hike: Cafe13 in Golden
- Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
- Map: Centennial Cone Park Trail Map Link
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions