Staunton State Park
As promised, I am going to take you all on a tour of the the various trails we have hiked in Staunton State Park, starting with Mason Creek Trial. We hiked this in July, but we were lucky to have gone on a cooler day. The trail is mostly in the trees, but much of it is also wide open.
The 7.4 mile out and back stretch we took is a mix of easy to a more moderate incline with a few little rocky scrambles. You can reach this trail from any of the parking lots by staying to the right of the trails that lead out. We parked in the Mason Creek lot and went from there. If you want to stick to the easy portion, only go as far as The Raven Climbing area right at the Mason Creek Cascades. This is a pretty spot for a creekside picnic and there are usually climbers here to watch.
From here the trail is a steady incline through the woods and open spaces with plenty of opportunities for vista viewing. There are a number of horses that use this portion of the trail system along with bikes so keep an eye out and share the trail.
We called our hike once we reached Catamount Overlook. From here you can continue onward for another four miles to reach Old Mill Site. There is a cut through from Old Mill back down to the main Staunton Ranch Trail.
To get to Staunton State Park take Hwy 285 south to Shaffers crossing (it’s about 6 miles west of Conifer). There is a sign right on the highway so you can’t miss it. You turn right onto Elk Creek Road and go about 1.5 miles to the entrance of the park. There is an entry fee of $9.00, but if you visit Colorado’s state parks with any frequency, their annual pass is the best choice.