OverviewLegault Mountain is a minor peak about 25 miles southwest of Denver. The short hike to the summit involves merely 1200 feet of elevation gain over a horizontal distance of around 1.5 miles. Much of the access to the peak is over a network of maintained trails in Meyer Ranch Park. The final 1/4 mile to the summit, outside Meyer Ranch Park, involves cross-country bushwhacking and mild scrambling. While the approach is thickly forested, the foliage clears around the summit area, revealing nice views to the south and east, up the Turkey Creek drainage, and also to the west. Steep Berrian Mountain (9147') is a prominent landmark to the northwest.
Getting ThereUS-285 southwest from Denver. Take US-285 to the third of three Turkey Creek Canyon exits about a mile before reaching the town of Aspen Park. You will exit US-285 to the right and loop underneath the highway. After going under US-285 take an immediate right and then an immediate left into the parking lot.
Alternatively, from Wadsworth take W Deer Creek Canyon Rd until it T's into S Turkey Creek Canyon Rd. Take a left on S Turkey Creek Canyon Rd and follow it until it intersects with US-285.
Utilizing the trail map, select your approach to the summit. Using the USGS map, pick an appropriate cross-country line of attack to the summit. The terrain over the last section is steep, alternately wooded and rocky, and apparently trailless.
Red TapeThere are no fees at Meyer Ranch. The area is a Jefferson County Open Space so observe the Jefferson County Open Space Rules. Some of these rules include: no fires, no camping, and all Open Spaces are closed from sunset to sunrise.
When To ClimbDue to proximity of US-285, access is easy year-around. Trails generally snow-covered to some extent between November and May. Given sufficient fresh snow, this area could provide some fun cross-country skiing possibilities.
Meyer Ranch Jefferson County Open SpaceMeyer Ranch Park Map
Meyer Ranch Park provides the perfect setting for an enjoyable hike or family picnic. The large, grassy meadows and heavily forested slopes have been a community landmark for many years.
The park is named after Norman F. and Ethel E. Meyer, former owners of the park site. The Meyers purchased the ranch in 1950 and used it mainly for grazing and haying. The park site has a rich and colorful history. Duncan McIntyre and his family homesteaded the land by 1870. Louis Ramboz bought the McIntyre property in 1883 and had the present ranch house built in 1889. He worked the ranch for hay, timber and cattle until 1912. Legend has it that the ranch served as the winter quarters for animals of the P. T. Barnum Circus for several years in the late 1880's. Interestingly, when Norman Meyer was remodeling the house in 1995, he found a board with this inscription, "Circus Town, 1889". A portion of what is now Meyer Ranch was used in the early 1940's for a ski hill. Remnants of the ski area are still visible at the upper end of the park, which is now a forested aspen grove. Visitors to Meyer Ranch Park can enjoy picnicking, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. The trail system features a series of loops to accommodate all hiking abilities. The outer loop goes to the top overlook and appeals to hardy hikers, while the easier lower loops are ideal for novices. The lush meadows and aspen groves support a myriad of colorful wildflowers, such as columbine, wood lily, shooting star, lady slippers, Indian paintbrush, larkspur, showy daisy and iris. Meyer Ranch Park also is home to abundant wildlife, including deer and elk. Hunting and overnight camping are not permitted in the park.
Please note: The Meyers still own and reside in the historic Victorian home adjacent to the park on the north side of Highway 285. Please respect their privacy.
Contact Jefferson County Open SpacePhone: 303-271-5925
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
Address: 700 Jefferson County Parkway, Suite 100 Golden, Colorado 80401
Mountain BikingMeyer Ranch is a popular destination for mountain bikers. Due to it's wide open trails, relatively few technical sections, and not very steep trails, mountain bikers really tend to open it up here when descending. If you're a hiker, be aware of speeding mountain bikes. If you're a mountain biker, stay in control and remember that hikers always have the right-of-way.
External LinksList of all Jefferson County Open Spaces
Meyer Ranch Open Space Home Page
Lists of John
The Mountain Connection is a monthly community publication serving the mountain area of Conifer, Pine, Bailey, Evergreen, and Bergen Park, Colorado. Their website contains lots of good information concerning recreation in the area.