The Centennial Cone Trail System is entirely within Centennial Cone Open Space Park, and lies west of our featured CCLC trail map, but is included in the CCLC Land Preservation Map. Extensive information about Centennial Cone is available from JeffCo Open Space.
The Centennial Cone (CC) trail system can be accessed from trailheads on Centennial Cone Road (off Douglas Mountain Drive above Hwy. 119), on Camino Perdido off Robinson Hill Road, and from the Mayhem Gulch trailhead off U.S. Highway 6 in Clear Creek Canyon above Tunnel 3. Centennial Cone Park is on the north side of Clear Creek Canyon and the trails are mainly through open woods or grassy slopes and can be a little hot on summer afternoons.
On weekdays the park is open to both mountain bikes and hikers, but on odd weekend days it is hiker only and on even weekend days it is biker only. There are generally few mountain bikes on the trails on weekdays before about 3PM, but after that bike activity increases. The park centers on Centennial Cone, an 8879-foot-high peak which has deep drainage systems (filled with Narrow Leaf cottonwoods and willows) to the west (Mayhem Gulch) and east (Elk Creek) that drain down into Clear Creek Canyon. South of Centennial Cone, steep slopes, covered with grass, junipers and Mountain Mahogany brush, plunge 2000 feet down to Clear Creek. North, and especially northeast, the terrain is gentle grassland with large willow trees in the drainages. The varied terrain and excellent views make for excellent, entertaining hiking. The park is seasonal home to a large elk herd and the Elk Range trail may be closed in spring when calving is at its height, so check before planning to do the main loop trail. Maps of the park should be available at the trailheads.
THE CHALLENGING 12-MILE LOOP TRAIL
The premiere hike (and challenge) of Centennial Cone is the 12-mile-long main loop trail, which winds completely around Centennial Cone and descends into the canyons of both Elk Creek and Mayhem Gulch. The loop is made by linking the Elk Range trail with the Travois trail and is a full day event with significant elevation gain. You should allow at least 6 hours for the hike and should be sure to bring along 2 liters of water per person and something to eat. The loop trail can be started at the Centennial Cone Road trailhead or at the Camino Perdido trailhead. Starting the loop from Mayhem Gulch trailhead adds about 4.6 miles and about 900 feet of elevation gain to the hike. This hike is especially beautiful in the late spring when the flowers are out and the grass is green.
SHORTER SCENIC LOOPS
Shorter hikes are also possible You can hike up from Mayhem Gulch trailhead and make a 3.2 mile loop on the utilizing both the Mahem Gulch and Juniper trails. Out and back hikes are good from either the Centennial Cone or Camino Perdido trailheads. The south slopes of Centennial Cone along the Travois trail are especially spectacular and can be reached from The Centennial Cone trailhead. For the best out and back hike from Camino Perdido, follow the Travois trail to where it overlooks Tunnels 2 and 3, about a 6-mile round trip. The flowers are amazing on this hike, as are the views east down Clear Creek Canyon to Lookout Mountain and Denver beyond.
A detailed map, including the Centennial Cone trailheads, is available through JeffCo Open Space. The Mayhem Gulch trailhead is along U.S. Highway 6 in the bottom of Clear Creek Canyon a few miles east of the junction of U.S. 6 and Colorado Highway 119 to Blackhawk. There is a safe turnout here and plenty of parking.
The Centennial Cone Road trailhead is reached by taking U.S. Highway 6 to its junction with Colorado Highway 119 (to Blackhawk). Turn north and follow 119 for about half a mile, then turn right (east) onto Douglas Mountain Road which is good dirt. Follow this up the hill for a few miles through houses and several switchbacks, until you reach a divide and road junction. Continue straight her onto paved Centennial Cone Road, which ends about a mile further at the trailhead.
The Camino Perdido trailhead is reached via Golden Gate Canyon Road. Turn off Golden Gate Canyon Road where it descends into Guy Gulch onto Robinson Hill Road, which you follow a few miles up out of Guy Gulch to where it intersects Camino Perdido at the top of the hill. Follow Camino Perdido a mile or so to its end at the trail head.