This is a hike with a history lesson. It’s an ultra-family friendly hike to a historic homestead. Four generations of Swedish-Americans lived at the Tallman Ranch in Forgotten Valley in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Take a picnic and fishing poles. There’s a pond stocked with trout. It’s a wonderful fall hike and easy to add additional mileage. There are over 35 miles of hiking trails in the park. Twelve trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park are named after an animal and marked with the animal’s footprint.
For a 2.6 round trip hike, I started at the Brodge Creek Trailhead immediately crossing over a little bridge and through some willows on the Burro Trail. Then I headed through a forest of aspens, alders and pines on a pretty easy gradual incline getting some great views fairly quickly on this trail. As the forest opens up to meadow, the trail flattens out. The Burro Trail intersects Mountain Lion Trail at the 0.6 mile mark. Turn left on Mountain Lion Trail and it is 0.7 miles to Forgotten Valley. I went in and out of forest and meadows on the trail and really enjoyed seeing some golden aspens.
Elevation gain is only 352′ if you only do the out and back to Forgotten Valley. If you add City Lights Ridge, you get a quick 500′ elevation in a half mile.
In 1995, the Tallman Ranch was added to the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. A daily park pass for Golden Gate Canyon State Park is $10. There is abundant wildlife in this state park, including the mountain Lion I saw cross the road in my rear view mirror as I was driving out of the park!
Jennifer Broome has hiked extensively in Colorado. Check out Castle Ruins Hike in Morrison and Two Hikes Along Colorado’s Front Range blogs for more hikes close to Denver.