Hiking Trails in Colorado | Highlands Point Trail

Trail Information

Trail Name: Highlands Point via East West Regional TrailHiking Trails in Colorado Highlands Point via East West Regional Trail

Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Date: August 19, 2019

Time at the Trail Head: 5:00pm

Trail Length: 2.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 52 feet

Elev. at Trail Head: 6,301 feet

# of Hikers Passed: 14

# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 7

# of Horses Passed: 0

Mosquitoes: 0

Trail Map

You can see the trailhead below, which is where a nice parking lot is located with a portable out house, for those of you who are brave enough to enter.Highlands Point Trail Map

Drive to the Trail

The trailhead is easily accessible but the last mile to the parking lot is on a gravel road, even though this trail is in the city. This is a well maintained gravel road though. Here is a photo of the parking lot and trailhead.

Highland Point Trailhead

My Day on the Trail

The trail starts at the parking lot and crosses the gravel road immediately. This is a wide gravel trail, approximately 10 feet wide and is well maintained. The trail connects from the Bluffs Regional Park Trail and goes all the way to the west where it also ties into the Colorado Trail which starts in Denver and winds its way through the mountains, all the way to southwest Colorado in Durango. Hiking the entire Colorado Trail is one of the things on my bucket list, but we’re not here to talk about that.

The nice thing about Highlands Point Trail is how close it is to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the great views you can see to the southwest, west and northwest. The Highlands Ranch community stops at the base of this bluff and there is a lot of open ranch land and homes with larger tracks of land to the south.

This photo is looking southwest from the Highlands Point Trail.

Denver Colorado Hiking Trails Highlands Point Trail

The mountain range farther in the background is near Buffalo Peak, Green Mountain and the Lost Creek Wilderness Area.

This next photo is looking directly to the south and you can see Pikes Peak way off in the distance to the middle left of the image and Devil’s Head is to the right side of the image.

Pikes Peak & Devil's Head

The image below is looking northwest towards the west side of Highlands Ranch towards Ken Caryl and the Rocky Mountain National Park off in the distance.Highlands Point Trail Looking Northwest

After about 1 mile on this well maintained trail, you have the option of taking some single track trails off either side of the trail. The trails to the west are longer and more extensive. These trails are private and owned and operated by Highlands Ranch. I have hiked here and no one has ever asked me any questions. Be respectful and you should be fine. You will see a lot of mountain bikers in this area so just keep an eye out for them. Every mountain biker I have come across has been very polite and are great about sharing the trail.

Highlands Point Single Track Trail

If you stay on the wide trail on the ridge line, you will eventually come across two great locations to relax and enjoy the Rocky Mountain view.

The first spot is bench with a covered roof that is a memorial to Zoe Anderson. It’s called Zoe’s Rest.

Zoe's Rest

A little farther down the trail to the northwest is viewing area of the Rocky Mountains. It has a concrete compass with arrows pointing to scenic points along the mountain range.

Highlands Point Trail Compass

I had arrived at the trailhead around 5pm and was heading back well before sunset but there were several people coming out to enjoy what would eventually be a spectacular sunset. One couple even brought some small lawn chairs with some cheese, crackers and wine. I was hoping they would ask me to join them. That was little wishful thinking. But on that point, the people in Colorado that I have met on the trails have all been incredibly friendly and willing to talk about the area and the things they love the most.

Trail Recommendations

This is not a hiking or backpacking trail. It is a walking, running and mountain biking trail for those who want some exercise and would like to enjoy the view of the Rockies while remaining in the city.

I use this trail and others like it to get away from work and the traffic, but mostly to relax and watch some beautiful sunsets over the Rocky Mountains.

Sunset over the Rocky Mountains

Put on your walking shoes and take some water or better yet, a picnic, and head out to enjoy some of the great views that Denver has to offer, and maybe start planning that bigger outdoor adventure farther into the mountains.

Make sure to check out my video of the trail at Hiking Trails in Colorado | Highlands Point Trail.

Please leave a Comment Below or Email me if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with this area.

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Highlands Point Trail

Free
3.4

Scenic Drive

2.5/5

Accessibility

5.0/5

Mountain Views

4.6/5

Lake or Stream Views

0.0/5

Well Maintained Trails

5.0/5

Pros

  • Grand Views
  • Easy Access
  • Well Maintained Trails
  • Stunning Sunsets
  • Great views to the Southwest

Cons

  • Not Really a Hike
  • It's More of a Great Walk

4 thoughts on “Hiking Trails in Colorado | Highlands Point Trail”

  1. Thanks for another great hiking trail story! Is 14 hikers and 7 mountain bikers a lot of people? I remember on your other one there seemed to be fewer people. Who is Zoe Andersen? 

    Sunsets over the rocky mountains sounds really cool. I will definitely have to check this out. What makes it not really a hike? The short length? How long does it have to be, to be a hike? 

    Great writing and I look forward to your next hiking story. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks for all of the questions. Let me start with the first one.

      14 hikers and 7 mountain bikers isn’t bad but it depends on the length of the trail and your personal preferences. This trail has a lot more action when it’s sunny outside. I like to go on hikes where I can feel a little more alone but that normally means I have to head farther into the mountains, and away from Denver.

      Zoe Anderson is a young girl who died in 2017. Zoe’s Rest is a memorial to her.

      A real hike? It depends on your opinion and vantage point I guess. To me, a real hike is longer, rougher terrain, more challenging, and one you have to wear boots, carry plenty of water and food and take a day pack at least. This trail is just like walking around your neighborhood but is on gravel and has some better scenery. The length of the hike is less important.

      Rick

      Reply
  2. Thank you for this post, thanks for also sharing your adventures in the trailhead with us, I find your ordeals interesting and nice, am always scared to go trailing on gravel road, what’s it like to you? Aside water and good sneakers, what other stuff will I need to bring along for the long walk?.

    Reply
    • This trail only cross the gravel road, but it does have some decent traffic to watch for. I have walked a mile down another gravel road when I couldn’t find the trail and let’s just say, that I won’t be going back to that trail.

      I always wear a hat, unless it is cloudy, and even then, I will wear it if my head feels a little cool. In Colorado, I always carry some lip balm. If I am going to be out a long time, I will bring sunscreen and maybe a few granola bars or trail mix.

      Here in Denver, I normally just have water, lip balm, sunscreen and a hat as I am normally not going more than 5 miles and it’s not a difficult hike like it would be in the mountains.

      Rick

      Reply

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