About an hour west of Denver is another one of Jefferson County, Colorado’s terrific parks – Pine Valley Ranch. The park features beautiful trails into the foothills with mountain views, a gorgeous meadow walk, a lake and a flat hiking/biking trails that follows along the edge of the north fork of the south branch of the Platte River.
On my recent visit, I made the maximum loop by adding the steeper Park View & Buck Gulch trails with a loop around the meadow using the North Fork View trail and then back to the lower parking area on the Narrow Gauge Trail. All combined it is a comfortable 2 hour walk with great views.
If you work up an appetite, you are only a few minutes from the Bucksnort Saloon. It wasn’t open at the time I was there, but enough people had recommended the experience that it is worth the extra (very insanely narrow, perilous) mile of driving.