Parmalee Trail
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Parmalee Trail

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Parmalee Trail

Parmalee Trail

Distance: 3.0mi
Elevation: 554ft
Time: 1.5-2h

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The Parmalee Trail is an awesome hike up to Mount Falcon that boasts similar views and more seclusion than the eastern summit route, the Castle Trail. The Parmalee Hike is a wonderful excursion that guides intrepid adventurers through grassy meadowlands, through woodlands, and up rocky terrain to the summit of a Front Range Mountain, which exhibits vistas of the Mount Evans Wilderness, Front Range peaks, and views of the Denver skyline.

Parmalee Trail Map

Getting there

The Parmalee Trail departs from the trailhead off Mount Falcon Road.

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Yes - On Leash

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Parmalee Trail
Elevation Graph

Parmalee Trail Description

The Parmalee Hike is a scenic adventure in Mount Falcon Park near Morrison, Colorado. The Parmalee Trail is a moderately trafficked route that tracks up to the summit of Mount Falcon. Perfect for those seeking a more secluded adventure, the trail is the lesser-frequented path off all the trails in Mount Falcon Park. Hike through the grassy meadowlands and tree coverage off old-growth pines as you trek the rocky route. This scenic adventure does pass through technical sections, so be mindful and watch your step on loose rocks! Rattlesnakes are also abundant in the area, so keep an eye and ear out for them as you trek!

The Parmalee Trail is a wonderful adventure that boasts epic views of the Front Range Foothills, the Mount Evans Wilderness, and distant views of the Denver cityscape. Whether you are an introductory hiker or an experienced adventurer, you will enjoy this scenic excursion just outside of the city. Exhibiting the diversity of the Colorado terrain, the Parmalee Trail is the perfect escape into the wilderness to reconnect with nature and get your blood pumping. We love a good summit hike, and the trail’s proximity to Denver boasts an impressive ascent to the peak. If you are anything like us, you too will enjoy this expedition along the Parmalee Trail, so what are you waiting for? Lace up those hiking shoes and let’s go!

Embark on your adventure from the western trailhead off Mount Falcon Road. From here, track the Castle Trail to the junction. At the junction, veer right, and you will be diverted onto the Parmalee Trail. The initial segment of the hike will guide adventurers down into a forested valley. Enjoy the sight of the verdant pine trees towering above as you descend the rocky route. From the trailhead, the path will trek south before heading east before ascending the rocky terrain. Once the Parmalee Trail begins to climb, the route will become increasingly exposed as you hike through grasslands. You will confront the steepest section of the path when you summit a rocky ridge directly south of Mount Falcon.

At this point, the trail will briefly plateau as it guides adventurers’ northeast. Continue hiking the Parmalee, navigating a switchback up to the granite mountain. After you ridge the summit, you will confront an intersection, keep straight here, merging onto the Meadow Trail. If you want to visit the peak’s overlook and Eagle Eye picnic shelter, then turn left onto the Tower Trail for an epic view of the surrounding wilderness and the snow-capped peaks that line the horizon (we highly recommend the extra few steps). If you visit the true summit, then the Towers Trail will reconnect you back onto the Meadow Trail, easy peasy!

Hike along the Meadow Trail through, you guessed it, the meadowland. Hike the exposed terrain west, and you will soon encounter a junction. From here you can turn right onto the Castle Trail to explore the ruins of the Walker Mansion, or you can keep left, hiking the Castle Trail back to the trailhead, marking the end of your Parmalee Hike experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed on the Parmalee Trail?

Yes, dogs are permitted on the Parmalee Trail if they remain on-leash.

Does the Parmalee Trail lead to the castle ruins?

No, the Parmalee Trail does not lead directly to the castle, but you can easily adventure to the ruins from the trail.

Insider Hints

  • Wear sunscreen and a hat to avoid burning on the exposed terrain

  • Use microspikes or snowshoes when you venture this trail in the winter months

  • Keep an eye and ear out for rattlesnakes as you trek the route



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