Waterton Canyon and Chatfield Gravel Route

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Ken Caryl, Colorado
Date Published:
October 19, 2019
Gravel Ratio:
70% G / 30% P
Difficulty Rating:
Enjoyability Rating:
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It doesn’t get much better than Waterton Canyon and Chatfield State Park on a fall day! The fall colors were impressive, and seeing herds of big horn sheep, antelope, deer and wild turkeys never gets old!

The trail surface of Waterton Canyon is non-technical, hardened, packed dirt. Because of this, any beginner can feel comfortable on the trail and easily pick up some speed.

The High Line Canal Trail in this area around Chatfield is a nice, winding, double track dirt trail. In addition, there are great views of the city of Denver and Deer Creek Canyon in the distance.

Chatfield State Park construction is finally done! After a year of waiting, all the major roads are finally open and newly paved. Other upgrades include many new bathroom facilities and lots of open space to play.


We are officially on record that bulls are one of the scariest animals out there! On Roxborough Park Road, there was the biggest, angriest, horniest bull (pun intended) trying to charge out of his side of the fence to get to the cows on the other side of the road. The little wire fence, didn’t seem like it was going to hold him and we sped past as fast as we could!

Although the High Line Canal trail is generally quite lovely, some chunky, black rock has been added to the trail in certain spots that wasn’t fun to negotiate. The trail is frequently used for horseback riding which meant we had to dodge many of piles of poop.

Do this ride if you’re a beginner-level gravel rider who wants to do a fair amount of mileage but with minimal elevation gain with easy non-technical surfaces. Expect to see plenty of Colorado wildlife along the way!

Other Notes:

There are many public bathrooms/port-a-potties all throughout Chatfield State Park as well as in Waterton Canyon.

We spotted a place to fill up water bottles at the start of the Waterton Canyon trail. There are no places along the way to pick up any fuel, however, so make sure your pockets are stocked with a few snacks!

We parked near the intersection of South Wadsworth and Deer Creek Canyon. There is plenty parallel street parking available along Deer Creek Canyon Road.

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Laura & Rose

Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.

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