MT. FALCON PARK hiking reviews

MT. FALCON PARK is a kid & dog friendly day hike near Morrison overlooking Red Rocks Ampitheatre and the Denver Metro Area. Lovely meadows and two historic ruins to visit. Great for hikers, mtn bikers and horseback riders. West Trailhead Parking: 21004 Mount Falcon Road, Indian Hills From U.S. Highway 285, take the Indian Hills turn-off, follow Parmalee Gulch Road for 5 miles to Picutis Road, then straight ahead to Mount Falcon Road. From the UPPER parking lot, take the Castle Trail. Make sure and look for the sign for the Walker Homestead Ruins, which is just off the trail. Get back on the Castle Trail and keep going to the Summer White House.

**Multi use trail for hikers, mtn bikers, so make sure you and your companions know how to react when you hear “On Your Left”. Also there are horses along the trail so please keep your dogs leashed and under control. Just shy of 4 miles round trip on the Castle Trail, but there are a total of 12 miles of trails in the park so if time permits try them all!

Common Question:

Is the hike relatively flat? or on a trail? I ask cause I like to take my babies out and when I go alone I take the stroller, its an off road stroller though, we have done meyers ranch before and could handle something like that! TIA.

– From Katie Lyn Burgoyne 

Lots of kids in strollers and wagons Katie. It’s a great place for a family picnic too. Mostly wide gravel trails, very well maintained. The west entrance is easy rolling hills. The east entrance is a rough climb for adults and older kids, but fun.


My packing list for 2-3 Day backpacking High Mountain

1. Osprey Graphite grey Atmos AG™ 65 Anti-Gravity™ suspension* ventilated backpack. This 3D suspension system contours your body providing seamless comfort allowing the user mobility with ease on any multi-day backpacking trip.
*Osprey Anti-Gravity™ [AG™]
A continuous panel of lightweight mesh extends from the top of the backpanel to the hipbelt. The seamless structure contours automatically to the body, providing outstanding fit and unrestricted movement when wearing the pack.

Load Range 30-50lbs

2. Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 2 Tent

Straightforward, weight-saving design features a single vestibule and D-shaped door, stormflaps on the vestibule zipper, and reflective guylines and corner webbing
Waterproof, silicone-treated nylon ripstop fly and floor; all seams are taped with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape (no PVC or VOCs)
Ultralight DAC Featherlite NSL pole system features Pressfit connectors and lightweight hubs; plastic clips make it easy to attach the tent body to the pole frame
I also bring the Footprint for this.

3. Mummy 20F degree sleeping bag. Don’t know much about this, bought it at flee market for $20.00! Works great! 4 + years.

  • Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite® Mummy Liner—the first to use Thermolite® insulation from Invista.
  • Thermolite® insulation is a hollow-core fiber that provides extraordinary warmth for its weight and remains extremely breathable
  • It’s very comfortable, more compact and warmer for its weight than fleece liners
  • Adds up to 15°F degrees of warmth to a sleeping bag, or can be used on its own as the ideal warm-weather bag
  • Thin drawcord with tiny cord-lock around the hood
  • Very light and compact. (Now a big fan of liners!)

4. Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow. (This year’s favorite new backpacking gear!)
You’d never expect such a lightweight pillow to provide such luxurious comfort. The regular-size Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium weighs only 2.8 oz. and inflates to a plush 5 in. thick.

  • High-strength thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) bladder has a brushed, 50-denier polyester stretch-knit outer surface that is very soft and durable
  • Synthetic fill between pillow case and TPU bladder increases comfort and wicks away perspiration
  • Curved internal baffles create contours that cradle your head
  • Scalloped bottom edge centers the pillow around your shoulders whether you’re sleeping on your back, side or upright in a chair
  • Inflate the Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium in just a couple of breaths with the multifunctional valve
  • Includes a stuff sack

5. The Klymit Static V is a lightweight camping pad using body mapping technology at an entry level price. It features the v-chamber design which limits air movement and heat loss while offering a uniquely ergonomic body map which is optimzed for performance and comfort. While inflating in approximately 10-15 breaths it will save you time and energy wherever you are.

  • Most Popular Lightweight Sleeping Pad
  • Packs to the size of a water bottle
  • V Chamber body map optimized for comfort
  • Dynamic side rails keep you on the pad all night
  • Great for ground, cot, or hammock sleeping
    1.2 lbs. (never any trouble with this sleeping pad… Have tried many and this one is unbearable especially for the price!)

6. Cook Set

  • TOAKS Titanium 750ml Pot only weights 3.9oz. It comes with a lid with lockable grip and a mesh storage sack. (Makes plenty of hot water for backpacking meals, super lite and easy.)
  • Titanium bowl bought at REI for larger meals (oatmeal etc.) super lite.
  • Portable Outdoor Gas-Powered Butane Propane Steel Camping Picnic Stove with box
  • This is a high-quality mini gas-powered camping stove,It’s an ideal product for camping,hiking or outdoor living
    • Automatic strike fire
    • Light weight and durable design
    • Fits diversified pot gas
    • It’s very small,Thermal efficiency is very high,pocket,very convenient
    • Rated Power:3500w
    • Dimension(L x W x H):5.5 x 3.8 x 7.8cm
    • Package included
    • 1x Camping Picnic Stove
    • 1x Box. (This little guy rocks!!!! So easy! The strike lighter included makes it so you don’t even need a lighter or secondary source of fire, just screw on, turn on and click to lite! Fits right inside my titanium cup.) really easy cook set.
  • Titanium spoon and fork combo but will probably just bring a plastic camp spoon next time.
  • The best vacuum sealer to preserve food from home
  • And of course fuel can which you can get anywhere that sells camping gear.

7. Water and water purifying

  • Platypus collapsible 3-liter reservoir with drinking tube assembly. Will also bring another 2or 3 liter plastic bottle of water.
  • Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System is the most technologically advanced and durable, yet incredibly simple to use water filtration solution on the market.
    Winner of BACKPACKER Magazine’s highly sought after Editors’ Choice Award in 2012.
  • My backup/safety measure SteriPEN Traveler “is designed to fit perfectly into commercial water bottles, a key benefit when traveling to countries with questionable water quality, where sometimes even the quality of bottled water is unknown.”

In 48 seconds, you’ll disinfect a half liter (16 oz.) of water or in 90 seconds a full liter (32 oz.).

8. Weapons, defense ( If wondering, I’m a martial arts teacher and also do armed security full time so accustomed to having a weapon or weapons on my person at all times)

  • Ruger LC9 (standing for “Lightweight Compact 9mm”) is a 9mm caliber, recoil-operated, locked breech, double action only, semi-automatic pistol with LaserMax Laser Sight.
  • Cold Steel BUSHMAN knife
  • Sheath: NEW Secure-Ex® Sheath With Ferrocerium Fire Steel the money, the Bushman® knives might be the strongest survival/outdoor knives in the world! Unlike most hollow handled survival knives, there is no joint or seam between the blades and handles that requires a mechanical fastener. Instead, the Bushman’s® blades and integral handles are each expertly cold forged out of a single piece of 2.5mm thick SK-5 high carbon steel. The resulting knives are expertly heat-treated and tempered to RC54 and, when subjected to our tests, have withstood over two tons of pressure on their blade/handle transitionEvery Bushman® blade has been carefully ground to an extra thin edge, and then honed and buffed by hand until razor sharp. The Bushman® knives are versatile too! Their hollow handles will accept survival supplies or a variety of handle extensions which can maximize reach, leverage or ease of throwing. They are available in two blade styles (standard and our new Bowie point). Both feature continuously curved blades that are ideal for skinning, and will pierce, cut, slash, slice and shear like you Secure-Ex™ sheath which features a Ferrocerium Fire Steel; strike it on the spine of the blade and start a roaring campfire in no time!.
  • Bullwhip, simple 4 plait leather Mexico style bullwhip. Have been using whips since I was a kid and then had formal training, I can crack one like a gunshot every time in seconds. I’ve scared off bears and Cougars more than once out of doors. Does no harm and wastes no amo. I’ve used it for cordage, rope pull, etc. almost always have one with me on hikes and backpacking. Eventually I plan to get a nicer nylon one that lasts better under wet conditions.
  • SOG Jungle Primitive knife:
    Hardcased black coating, the Jungle Primitive is durable and comfortable with a molded Kraton handle that features Digi-Grip™, a way to guarantee gripping power where you need it. One can instantly turn the Primitive into a small machete, limb saw, or hammer. Includes a Nylon sheath with utility pouch. (Why? Because my katana is too bulky)
  • Camp ice axe. Wicked weapon, useful pry,digging, climbing or multi tool. Amazingly Lightweight for its size.

9. -Miscellaneous –

Rain jacket, head lamp, pain meds, first aid kit, Gerber multi tool, camp saw, trash bag, sunscreen, insect repellant, batteries, duct tape, second fire source lighter, 550 cord, hygiene moist towels (a must!!!). Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, small tent camp lantern, camp meals, pack able binoculars.

10. DISTANCE CARBON Z TREKKING POLES. (Awesome, multiuse, folds up really easy and no space, can fit on or in pack, super super lite, can save knees, and trips/falls on rough terrain.

– Clothing- typically light Carhardts pants, rugged, mossy oak jacket, pants for warmth or backup, underarm or cold gear shirt for sleeping or cold days. Pack able large brimmed cloth hat, extra hiking socks, underwear.

Trip Planning Guide


I see a lot of Posting on “where to go…” – when I am searching for somewhere to go this is kind of the flowchart of my mind and actions…

The the research is the most important part. I never stop at just one site and say that is the trip for me… I google it and search images … mapping it out both on google and hillmap are important steps also … as you can get a feel for the hike or the camp site.

Often I am after a “location driven trip”… (i.e. my recent Keet Seel, Crater Lake, or Snowy Range ) – trips where I know where and what – so it moved right into research and mapping. (Is it for me?!)

When I am heading towards an area new for me and want to find a hike or backpack… I go thru the whole process : i.e. Westcliffe – heading there soon for a trip….wanted to find a hike, I started at the NFS site for the Rio Grande NF,… Recreation….Hiking… then looked at each trail, ruled out 60 % from their descriptions of how long or short the trip was, Found a few trails to research and then between googling and looking at different trail reports and images And THEN mapping it out found a few which had no water available, others had no draw (just a walk in the woods) and a couple which met all my requirements…. Millset Trail about 3.5 miles each way… water at the end… mining cabins, nice meadows… total time to research and decide about 3 hours… but also have 4 other hikes in the area I have data on for the future….





Common Questions:

I’ve spent countless hours researching almost exactly as you’ve described, but I’ve never heard of hillmap.

Route finding for my adventures is almost as much fun (in a different way) for me as the adventure as I start to envision the terrain and surrounding scenery. Google Earth is invaluable for this aspect of my planning. is the best free map program I have ever use… switch between road and topo then over to satellite to get a full picture of a trail and camp site… Also download GPS waypoints, check on a point then to peak finder to see what peaks you can see at that Point… or click weather and get a forecast for that exact point not the nearest town! I lay out my trips then cut and paste it into word docs with additional info…. Once you have downloaded the GPX you can open it in google earth… use with overlays to see snow depth …

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