Gateway Mesa Open Space Park, near Castle Rock, offers an easy hike called Chuck’s Trail. The area offers a mesa-top trail with views of the the black forest area, Parker, Cherry Creek, Mitchell Gulch and the mountains from Pikes Peak all the way to Mt Elbert.
There is little shade on this trail so the best time to hike it is early in the day before it gets too hot. The openness of the trail allows you to see views of the cliffs near Castlewood Canyon.
A good route from the parking area is to go left on Chuck’s Trail. The terrain is flat with the trail crossing over packed dirt and large, flat rock. It leads out to a bluff where you have nice views of Franktown and Parker to the east. The trail has plenty of trail markers (stacked rocks) to guide you over the rocky areas. Pay attention so you don’t lose the trail.
When you get to the trail junction (marked with a large map), go right to head back to the parking lot to complete the Chuck’s Trail loop (1.8 miles).
Another option is to go straight on Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail for a short way until you reach the bluffs overlooking the lush gulch where the creek keeps the trees a brilliant green. You will have beautiful views of the cliffs, creek and pond below, and the hawks flying in this beautiful gully. If you follow Mitchell Creek Canyon trail to the end (.75 miles), it dead-ends at the head of the gulch. Turn around and go back the way you came until you reach the trail junction again. Go left back to the parking lot to complete a 3.3 mile hike. Below are Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail views: