The Plymouth Creek, and the Meadowlark Denver trails are best combined
This might seem like a challenge but it’s not. In combining the Plymouth Creek and Meadowlark Denver trails you will find an easy to moderate hike up a 10% gradient. There aren’t any steep or tricky parts, it’s a consistent gradual slope. Overall, this is only a 1.7 mile loop.
Recommended trail: Begin at parking lot and take the Plymouth Creek Trail to the Meadow Lark trail. The loop has a pleasant elevation gain, trail composition, distance and views.
The Plymouth Creek trail begins by taking you up red, rocky slopes through scrub oak. There are constant views of the huge red rock formations and the Hogback layered rocks. Gradually you will pass into pine forests where the trail follows a trickling creek. This area is shady and cool: very pleasant uphill trek.
The Meadowlark trail branches off of the Plymouth trail on the right taking you up and out of the trees onto a hill covered in scrub oak, yucca plants, and small cactus. As you reach the top of the hill, you will have nice scenic views of the Plymouth Creek trail below, the surrounding foothills, the eastern plains, and Deer Creek Canyon.
When you reach the highest point on this loop trail, there is a small grassy area (possible picnic/resting area). The trail begins to descend on the rim of the canyon, through scrub oak where you may see some deer.
This is a good hike in the foothills – close to Denver, and also good for early spring hiking or late season hiking. Obviously, there is less snow in early spring and in late fall at this elevation. One caution in early spring is mud along ¼ of the trail. Restrooms available at parking lot/trailhead.
Picnic spot recommendations:
There are two recommended sites for a family picnic. If you prefer to eat your lunch out of a backpack, then you will probably want to eat at the top of the Meadowlark trail in the grassy clearing. From there you have great views of the Hogback and Denver. If you prefer to eat your lunch from a cooler, there are several picnic pavilions at the trailhead near the parking area.
A short drive from Littleton. Take the Wadsworth exit to Deer Creek Canyon Rd. and then two miles further is the trailhead.