Centennial Cone Trail

#2 of 3 trails in Jefferson County Open Space
Centennial Cone Trail is a 11.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Golden, CO that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

11.7 miles 1833 feet Loop
dogs on leash kid friendly hiking mountain biking trail running horseback riding river views wild flowers wildlife bugs
Hide Map

This trail is a great mix of open meadows with rocky strenuous areas. There are only three creeks for water for dogs so bring lots of water for the fourleggeds. Next time I will do this trail in true Camino style, with a big lunch and bottle of wine. Centennial Cone Park is one of the largest parks in the Jefferson County Open Space system. The park offers visitors a vast, back country-type experience. When setting out to enjoy this expansive park, plan accordingly for your own health and safety. * Have adequate water -there is no drinking water available on the park * Be prepared for changing weather conditions; a cool, overcast morning could rapidly change into a beating sun and warm temperatures by mid-day. Afternoon thunderstorms are frequent from spring into fall, and there could even be snow in July. * Limited shade exists; wear a hat and use sunscreen. Many of the trails have little or no shade. This is good to melt snow and dry out trails in the late fall and early spring, but it can make your trail experience more intense. Another reason to have adequate water. * Travel with a friend. Because of the size of the park, it is recommended that you visit Centennial Cone Park with a trail buddy. Or at least let someone know when you are leaving and expect to return. * Carry a cell phone; always a good tip whenever you are enjoying a Jefferson County Open Space park, however realize that reception may not be available in all areas. * Understand what to do if you encounter a bear or mountain lion. Taking part in trail activities in a natural setting, you assume liability for all risks associated with visiting this Open Space area. Be aware that bears and mountain lions live in this area. Wildlife Encounter Information is provided by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Open Space.

Ryan Lederman
8 days ago

5 Completed3 Reviews

We did traverse for about 5 miles then came back. Elk ridge was shut down unfortunately or else we would do the full loop. We will probably go back when that opens

Sen Subramaniam
6 months ago

29 Completed6 Reviews

Jesse P.
7 months ago

I did this trail with my girlfriend the second week of October, on a weekday. We started off at the west entrance, i.e. Douglas Mtn Road, and did the Elk Range to Travois loop. My watch registered 12.4 miles total, with 1900 ft of elevation gain. It took us about 4.5 hours, which included a stop for lunch.

The trail was great and very quiet, we saw 4 people total. There were views of beautiful wide open meadows, steep canyons, and some creek crossings. I would definitely recommend this hike as a metro area day trip.

As far as difficulty goes, it was an easy 12.4 mile hike, not an easy hike. Realize that the distance is on the long side for a day hike, set aside 4+ hours, and take it easy and enjoy the solitude and views. The elevation gain was minimal and spread out, I enjoyed the gradual ups and downs. It was a hike I would take my ambitious sea level friends on.

Lastly, I think this is a great trail for a runners to get in some long slow distance. I definitely will head back out to run it.

Joshua Colky
8 months ago

21 Completed9 Reviews

Did the first mile and a half of the loop today - the weather was perfect and the views were excellent. Amazing outcroppings of rock and foothills surround this winding, steady, easy trail. Definitely a fun one to take first-timers who want a good view of the foothills! We had fun!

Cassie Jones
9 months ago

8 Completed5 Reviews

I did the 12.4 mile loop today parking at the Douglas Mountain Rd. parking lot. I left at 8 am and started clockwise. The Elk Range trail which I started on was basically 3.5 miles of a dirt road, which I don't always love hiking on but the views were pretty. Once I reached Traver's trail I was very pleased. It was beautiful and I could not have picked a better day. The weather never got too hot. I would rate this trail as easy. I never had to climb very much but due to it being 12 miles I guess I didn't mind. I completed the loop by 12:15. All in all it was a rewarding hike and great for beginners looking to get in some miles

Z. Dombrowski
9 months ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

Ashley Coffey
10 months ago

21 Completed3 Reviews

My husband and I did the Elk Range to Travois Trail loop on Sunday, July 19, for a total of 12.4 miles. It rained most of the day, especially since we got a late start (my husband is not a "morning person," to say the least), but it was a beautiful, very rewarding hike. The section of the Travois Trail overlooking Clear Creek Canyon is absolutely breathtaking, and the wildflowers were in full bloom! We saw many asters, daisies, succulents, paintbrushes, phlox, and thistles. For a very short drive (less than an hour) from Denver, we felt some distance from the city and encountered a pretty wide variety of ecosystems, from a deep pine forest to rolling plains brimming with flowers to a rocky incline. This hike was easy, but made more difficult by the mileage: 12 miles is not THAT easy a feat for non-marathoners!

We did encounter a prairie rattlesnake during the last 2 miles on the ridgeline overlooking the canyon as the sun came out. I imagine he was tired of the rain as well and just wanted to sun himself on a nice rock, but we stomped and threw things on the ground next to him until he slithered away. Poor little guy.

Overall, I'd give this hike a very unexpected 6.5-7/10. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was not crowded like so many other parks in Jeffco on a weekend, and offers a lot of beautiful scenery for minimal effort/drivetime.

Matt Gardner
10 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

My wife and I hiked the 12+ mile loop Travois Trail/Elk Range Trail. Aside from the length, the trail was relatively easy. It was also one of the most beautiful ones. The wildflowers were gorgeous and the views (Rte 6 notwithstanding) were spectacular. You need to be aware of the alternate use weekend deal, but we were there on a hiker only Sunday and it seemed as if we had the whole park to ourselves. I am anxious to go back and do the trail the opposite way. Truly, a great hike and a great day.

Andy Benson
10 months ago

14 Completed1 Reviews

Jeff Martin
10 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Carissa Black
1 year ago

16 Completed11 Reviews

Ugh. The trails at this location are closed all of December and January for hunting. (Also, be aware that on weekends odd days are for hikers and even days are for bikers).

James Manuel
2 years ago

22 Completed1 Reviews

The Mayhem Gulch trail is nice, but if you're looking for pure nature, may not be that impressive as you can see and/or hear Hwy.6 for most of it. The Juniper Trail, however, is a beautiful hike through trees with solid views across Clear Creek Canyon toward James Peak and Mt. Bancroft. It meets up with the Travois Trail in a beautiful, quiet meadow with commanding views of Centennial Cone.
The Elk Range Trail offers a great walk through a large meadow. Didn't complete the whole thing, as the entire loop (including the whole Travois Trail) is over 12 miles. But I thoroughly enjoyed the roughly 1/4th of the park I hiked. The Travois Trail itself is over 7 miles long.
Watch out for mountain bikers during the week coming up behind you. Or, to avoid them altogether, hike on an odd-numbered weekend day. I went on a Monday, and saw a handful of hikers and mountain bikers. It's a pretty good park for solitude, at least on a Monday.

Susan Hutchinson
2 years ago

100 Completed58 Reviews

One of the last hikes I did w/puppy Mya. We hiked till it got dark. beautiful sunset. We both love this hike. Only ones on this trail that late. I will so miss her!

Cathy Cordova
2 years ago

11 Completed6 Reviews

This is great trail for running and strolling. Deceivingly challenging, because it appears to roll up and down. Good for endurance, but very little shade on the first part. Dang! It gets hot! Bring lots of water and sunscreen!

Michael Miller
2 years ago

8 Completed3 Reviews

I usually use this trail to get in shape. It works the legs mountain biking, but can be a bit long. 2 hours for the loop. I've been here many times before but it seems like part of the trail has been closed making me have to reverse the loop after riding 75% of it. There are only a few technical sections in this trail. Use it to practice for the hard stuff.

Tara Christman Robbins
3 years ago

14 Completed4 Reviews

The kiddos and I hiked this yesterday. We started wit the Travois Trail. My hubby has biked this before and told us if we were going to do the entire trail it was best to start here. But we also did a side loop of Juniper Trail and part of Mayhem Gulch. That adds an extra 1.6 miles to this already VERY long trail. I would say bring water, if you think you have enough bring more! Also, snacks were in order for the kids. We also took the Evening Sun Loop (another .7 miles) total it was 13.7 miles. It took us aprox 5.30 hours to hike this. we saw deer, lizards, a rabbit and heard lots of birds. The kids enjoyed it immensely from looking at all the bugs (my son who is 17 and my daughter who is 11 fell in love with these huge fuzzy caterpillars that were munching on leaves) The trail wasn't too hard but there were some steep parts and near the end the road is fairly rocky. We will hike this again...though only when kids are out of school

Sarah Law
3 years ago

27 Completed6 Reviews

Beautiful trail but too long for me to do as an after work ride. Had we started from the upper lot, we wouldn't have had to finish the ride in the dark.

Mindy Williford
3 years ago

37 Completed18 Reviews

Pretty awesome system of trails, I took the Travios Trail to the Elk Meadow Trail for an approximately 11 mile hiking loop. Fairly rewarding views but hot, hot, hot if taking a mid-day hike. Recommended for early morning or evening.

Jeff Fowler
3 years ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

This trail is a great trail. I ride it all the time from the Mayhem Gulch side. Its great for after work ride that you only have about and hour or so to ride. It is not a very technical trail at all but there can be some features if you look for them.

Wayne Smith
4 years ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

This is an alternate use trail, due to the popularity. On the weekends, hiker's can use the trail on even days and bikes on odd days. Use on the wrong day can lead to a fine. This rule is weekend only.