Deer Creek Canyon Park: Golden Eagle to Bill Couch

Distance7.11 mi
Elevation Gain1352 ft
My Time2 hr 51 min
DifficultyModerate
Closes TownLittleton
Food NearbyQ’s Pub

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park is located in Littleton, Colorado and has several trails. The Golden Eagle to Bill Couch Mountain trail was a good challenge with some nice views of the front range and surrounding canyon.

Meadowlark Trail

There are a couple of trails that will get you into the hills from the parking lot. I took Meadowlark and started to walk past some picnic area’s and through a bit of a field. After the field you will begin a gradual incline up the first set of hills. Over the first mile you will gain about 500 feet of elevation and have a couple of grades as high as 25%.

The view from the Meadowlark trail before you get into the hills.
The view from Meadowlark trail leading into the hills

Once you hit the one mile mark the trail will flatten out as you walk around a hill. You will have a little bit of a decline before coming to the junction with the Plymouth Creek Trail. You will want to take this to the southwest (right) to continue to Bill Couch Mountain.

Plymouth Creek Trail

Plymouth Creek will be your longest section of trail and also the prettiest in my opinion. Right off the bat though you are going to have to deal with some steep elevation gain. Over the next .8 miles you will gain about 500 feet of elevation. There is even a section that has some stairs built on the trail that have an incline of about 30%

The surrounding area on this trail is nice. A lot of tall pine trees line the path to take your mind off the incline. There are also some nice stone features higher above the trail. I really enjoyed the walk through this area…at least when I caught my breath.

The snow covered Plymouth Creek Trail surrounded by tall pine trees

Around the 2.2 mile spot you will come to a junction with the Plymouth Mountain trail. You can take that to get to the top of that mountain or stay and make a hard right turn to stay heading to Bill Couch.

A half mile past that junction you will come to another, this one for Red Mesa. You will want to take Red Mesa to the north (right). This is a quick .1 mile before you come to the Golden Eagle Trail that will take you to Bill Couch Mountain. The trail is to your right and a bit below you so make sure you are looking out.

The Bill Couch Mountain in the distance as seen from the Red Mesa Trail.
Bill Couch Mountain from the Red Mesa trail

Bill Couch Mountain

Golden Eagle will start with a decline from Red Mesa as soon as you get on it. You will drop about 200 feet in a third of a mile as you make your way towards the mountain top. One nice thing is that the mountain will be in front of you so you can see where you are headed.

The climb up to the top of Bill Couch is easier than most of the inclines that you have done to that point. The trail circles around the north face of the hill before winding up to the top. At the top there is a small area that provides views in all directions. You can see the surrounding hills and most of the way back to Denver.

The view of the Deer Creek Canyon from the top of Bill Couch Mountain.

Personally I think the best view is the one that looks back down the canyon. The trip back is pretty easy with the most challenging part is getting back up the hill at the Meadowlark and Plymouth Junction.

This is also a very busy trail with lots of hikers and runners so make sure you keep an eye out for them.

Elevation and Distance

If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 7.11 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 1,352 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 7,129 feet. I was also moving for a total of 2 hours and 51 minutes.

Effort

This was nice mix of moving up and down hills. The center section gets pretty steep and challenging. Here is the step count from my Fitbit.

My step count from my Fitbit was 17,852 steps.

Terrain

The trails are very well defined although they do get narrow at times. This can become a bit of a problem with as crowded as the park can get. The trails were covered in snow on my visit. The sections that weren’t covered showed to be solid dirt trails with the occasional rock or root.

Access

Deer Creek Canyon Park is located very close to a neighborhood on Grizzly Drive in Littleton. It is fairly close to C-470. There is space for about 60 cars in the parking area and there are restrooms at the trailhead.

Wrap up

I really enjoyed this hike. It is close to Denver and has sufficient parking so getting there isn’t too tough. The hike has some challenging elevation gain but also some nice flat area’s. There are also several options at the park so you should be able to find a trail that is right for you.

The views of the canyon are nice and it is cool being able to see all the way to Denver in the distance. It can get a bit crowded. There are also picnic areas and I’m sure it is even more busy on a nice summer day. I can’t wait to get back to try some of the other trails around.

I have added this hike and all of my hikes to my interactive map page you can find here. If you have a suggestion or comment feel free to email me at fatmanlittletrails@gmail.com. You can also follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!

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