The beauty of a Colorado trek is often in the quads of the beholder, but most hikers can agree that a few things are requisite: killer views, plenty of parking, the potential to hike without seeing anyone else, dog-friendly but not overrun, easy to navigate. The 10.8-mile out-and-back Elk Falls Trail in Staunton State Park near Pine has it all, including the chance to look out over the 3,828 acres that make up the property and see the highest waterfall closest to Denver, which is just 39 miles away. The going is pretty easy through stands of ponderosa pine until the last mile, when it climbs straight up and then straight down to the falls. Bring $8 for the daily fee along with your fly rod, because Elk Falls pond contains a lot of little brookies.
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