Bill Couch Mountain is located in Deer Creek Canyon Park, a Jeffco Open Space Park in southwest Denver. Total hiking distance is about 3.4 miles one way, with about 1100 feet of elevation gain. The summit is treeless, so there are unobstructed views all around. This is a popular park, so you're apt to see lots of hikers, mountain bikers and dogs. However, the crowds thin out on the upper trails. When I hiked this mountain in May of 2008, I saw nobody at all on the Golden Eagle Trail, which is the last section of this hike. From the parking lot, follow the Plymouth Creek Trail all the way to its end at the Red Mesa loop junction. You will pass several trail junctions along the way, but they are well marked and easy to follow. Just before the Red Mesa junction, the trees give way to gambel oak, providing excellent views of Bill Couch Mountain, Plymouth Mountain and Denver. Go right at the Red Mesa junction, and go about a tenth of a mile to the Golden Eagle trail on the right. Golden Eagle is a hikers only trail. From here, you'll drop down about 200 feet to a saddle before circling 'round to the north side of the mountain and the summit. Another option is to take the Meadowlark trail instead of the lower Plymouth Creek trail. Meadowlark is a hikers only trail, and climbs higher up onto the bench, through willow and gambel oak, where there are nice views of south valley and the hogback. This option will add .5 one-way miles onto the hike.
From C-470, take the Kipling Avenue exit and go south. Turn right on West Ute Avenue, and then turn right on Deer Creek Canyon Road. You will pass South Valley Park, another Jeffco Open Space Park, on the right. Continue about 1/2 mile further, and turn left on Grizzly Drive, and then turn right into the park's parking lot.
The Meadowlark, Homesteader and Golden Eagle trails are off limits to bikers, so if you planning on hiking Bill Couch, you'll have to leave your bike at home. Camping is not permitted. See here for more information.
Jeffco Open Space
700 Jefferson County Pkwy, Suite 100
Golden, CO 80401 (303) 271-5925
Hours: 8AM-5PM Monday-Thursday