Plymouth Mountain is located in Deer Creek Canyon Park, a Jefferson County open space park along the front range in southwest Denver. This area was homesteaded in 1872 by John Williamson, formerly of Plymouth, England. Alferd Packer, the infamous cannibal, spent his last years in Phillipsburg, just a few miles up the canyon from the park. If you're looking for solitude here, forget it. This park is very popular (but for good reasons, I would say), and there will be a lot of hikers, bikers and dogs on it's trails.
The shortest route to the top of Plymouth Mountain is about 3 miles one way, with about 1300 feet of elevation gain. From the parking lot, take the Plymouth Creek trail. This trail winds along the front of the mountains before joining up with Plymouth Creek. Watch for wildlife, for the abundant scrub oak in the area provides food and cover for birds, elk, bears and mountain lions.
The trail follows Plymouth Creek up its canyon, where the scrub oak gives way to evergreens. There's a very steep and rocky section just past the Meadowlark Trail junction (you'll know it when you see it), but wooden stairs have been installed to make that section a little easier.
A little further on the left is the junction for the Plymouth Mountain trail. This trail loops all the way around Plymouth Mountain, and will add nearly an extra mile to the hike. However, there are splendid views of Denver and mountains to the south on this route.
The Plymouth Creek Trail follows Plymouth Creek through the woods for another .4 miles until a junction with the south end of the Plymouth Mountain Trail. Follow the Plymouth Mountain Trail for a half mile to the Scenic View Trail.
The Scenic View Trail is a straightforward shot north to the Scenic View crags and a magnificent view of Denver. Right before the end, there's an obvious granite outcrop on the left. This appears to be the highest point of Plymouth Mountain, though there is no marker on the top of the outcrop. It's a pretty easy scramble to the top of this crag, and there are nice views of Warren Peak to the south, and Mount Evans to the west.
From C-470, take the Kipling exit and go south. Turn right on West Ute Avenue (there will be a sign for the park), and then right on Deer Creek Canyon Road. You will pass South Valley Park on the right. About 1/2 mile further, turn left on Grizzly Drive, and then turn right into the parking lot for the park.
The park is open from one hour before sunrise to one hour before sunset. The Meadowlark, Homesteader and Golden Eagle Trails are closed to mountain bikers. Camping is not permitted.
See here for more information.
Jeffco Open Space
700 Jefferson County Pkwy, Suite 100
Golden, CO 80401
Hours: 8AM-5PM Monday-Thursday