Swallowtail Trail

Littleton, Colorado

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Starting in Roxborough State Park, this hike takes you southeast past the old Sundance Ranch. Nelson Ranch Open Space, situated between the hogback and the foothills, provides habitat protection for foxes, elk, bears, coyotes, spotted towhees, migratory birds, and, of course, swallowtail butter?ies. The butter?y shape of the Swallowtail Trail winds around a towering red rock of the Fountain Formation, up and over rimrock, passing by ponderosa pine, Douglas ?r, oakbrush, smooth sumac, hawthorn, chokecherry, and wild plum, with a touch of prairie full of rabbitbrush for good measure.
Best Hikes Near Denver and Boulder

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Best Hikes Near Denver and Boulder

by Sandy Heise and Maryann Gaug (Falcon Guides)

Starting in Roxborough State Park, this hike takes you southeast past the old Sundance Ranch. Nelson Ranch Open Space, situated between the hogback and the foothills, provides habitat protection for foxes, elk, bears, coyotes, spotted towhees, migratory birds, and, of course, swallowtail butter?ies.

The butter?y shape of the Swallowtail Trail winds around a towering red rock of the Fountain Formation, up and over rimrock, passing by ponderosa pine, Douglas ?r, oakbrush, smooth sumac, hawthorn, chokecherry, and wild plum, with a touch of prairie full of rabbitbrush for good measure.

© 2017 Sandy Heise and Maryann Gaug/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Littleton
Distance: 6.7
Elevation Gain: 520 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2.75 to 3 hours
Season: April through November. Open year-round, day-use only.
Local Contacts: Douglas County Open Space, 100 Third Street, Castle Rock; 303-660-7495; douglas.co.us/openspace. Roxborough State Park, 4751 East Roxborough Drive, Littleton; 303-973-3959; cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/roxborough
Local Maps: USGS Kassler; National Geographic Trails Illustrated 135, Deckers/Rampart Range
Driving Directions: Directions to Swallowtail Trail

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May 2018