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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Hiking Roxborough State Park

Henry S. Persse built a stone house in Roxborough State Park in 1903 with the intention of making the red rock area a resort. It never came to be, and I’m not sure why, but it’s definitely for the best. Now it’s a glorious area that can easily be enjoyed by all.

I was interested in seeing this park for the beauty and wildlife I was told it contained; it is one of the reasons why I purchased my annual Colorado State Parks pass. I certainly was not disappointed by this either. Roxborough State Park is a beautiful area with fine trails and wonderful opportunities to see all kinds of animals, particularly mule deer and black bears.
I realized immediately that I made a mistake as I overshot the entrance to the park. My map shows that Rampart Range Road deadends into the park entrance, but there’s actually a turn to be made there. Instead of driving right into the park I ended up heading towards an exclusive neighborhood that sits on the west side of the park.
This neighborhood turned out to be a bother to me for much of the day. My hypocritical side certainly wouldn’t mind living there, but it was a blight on the landscape all day as homes were constantly visible. This made it quite difficult to get good panoramic shots from most any spot in the park, but particularly from the beautiful three-mile-long South Rim Trail.
I enjoyed my time at the park nonetheless. It’s difficult not to and it’s easy to see why Roxborough is also a National Natural Landmark. It’s spectacular from ever vantage point, despite the houses, and worth the time to explore as many of the five trails as possible. I was able to do three of them and was awarded with a gem at the end.
All day I was hopeful of seeing some wildlife. It’s difficult to say I was unlucky since there were plenty of birds in the sky, but I wanted some animals on the ground. A bear, or mountain lion even, would’ve been spectacular, but I would’ve been more than pleased with a deer. Heck, I think I would’ve been fine with most anything so long as it wasn’t a rattlesnake. I was more than thankful as I left the park that I never saw one after having a frightening conversation with a park ranger before setting out.
I had given up most hope as I made my way back to the parking lot to leave for the day that I would see any animals at all, and then this deer popped up. Well, it didn’t so much as pop up as I walked around a bend and noticed it having an afternoon snack to be truthful. Still though, I was extremely excited with the great opportunity that appeared before me.
I snapped photo after photo to make sure I got a shot that I liked and even took plenty of time to just stand there and enjoy the occasion for what it was. And then, like a bolt of lightning it struck me: the deer is standing on the trail and there’s no way I can walk around it in the tall grass due to rattlesnakes.
I took a few minutes to contemplate what to do and I concluded that it would be best to cautiously approach the animal and hope that it would become startled and trot off on its own accord. Of course this didn’t happen though as I got within five feet of it before it reacted to the clicking noise on my camera phone.
The deer moved off a couple of steps but still stood there, totally and completely unfazed by my presence. Well, that’s not totally true either; the deer was unfased by my presence until I slipped while walking backwards on the trail trying to get another good photo. I went down a small embankment on the trail, scraping up my shin pretty good as I went, and scared the deer off with several well-used expletives.
The leg is healed and the memories of a great visit to Roxborough State Park remain. It’s a beautiful area that I’m thankful didn’t come to fruition for Henry Persse’s vision. The 3,339 acre park would’ve been a grand place for a resort during all seasons, but is well maintained as it is now.

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  1. Hiking in Colorado’s Roxborough State Park | Jason's Travels - April 5, 2013

    […] in Colorado’s Roxborough State Park amongst the big, red […]

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