Sawmill Trail, White Ranch Park in Golden, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado

Sawmill Trail - 2.95 miles

White Ranch Park in Golden

The Sawmill Trail

The Sawmill Trail

Round-Trip Length: 2.95 miles
Start-End Elevation: 7,510' - 7,608' (7,625' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +98' net elevation gain (+297' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Sawmill Trail - 2.95 Miles Round-Trip

White Ranch Park supports nearly 20 miles of well-maintained multi-use trails that stretch through open grasslands and mixed pine forests. The Sawmill Trail begins at the West Access Trailhead and leads to the Sourdough Campground, continuing a short distance to its abrupt conclusion at the Mustang Trail.

Though primarily used for campground access, the Sawmill Trail offers convenient connections to the Rawhide, Belcher Hill, and Mustang trails for lengthier routes through the Park.

The Sawmill Trail begins on the south side of the parking lot and glides gently down a grassy meadow on narrow singletrack. It merges with a graded service road (.42 miles : 7,425') and continues south to a ridge and the Belcher Hill Trail split (.65 miles : 7,462').

The Sawmill bends sharply west and levels across a hillside to the Sourdough Campground and spur for Campsites 11-14 (1.05 miles : 7,570'); a few steps ahead is the spur for Campsites 15-20 (1.15 miles : 7,590').

The Sawmill Trail narrows once more beyond the campground and undulates with greater intensity above a deep ravine to the south. The hillside above is busy with an attractive collection of wildflowers, rocky outcrops, felled logs, and tree stumps. Views south and west improve as the trail nears its end at the Mustang Trail junction (1.47 miles : 7,608'). For a longer more varied trip, consider returning via the Mustang and Belcher Hill trails. These form a nice loop through varied terrain with excellent northerly views on the return.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N39 49.105 W105 17.216 — Sawmill Trailhead
  • N39 48.896 W105 16.962 — .4 miles : Merge onto service road
  • N39 48.712 W105 16.840 — .65 miles : Belcher Hill Trail junction
  • N39 48.636 W105 17.216 — 1.05 miles : Spur to Campsites 11-14
  • N39 48.624 W105 17.286 — 1.15 miles : Spur to Campsites 15-20
  • N39 48.767 W105 17.577 — 1.47 miles : End of trail at Mustang Trail junction

Worth Noting

  • Take advantage of free Park Maps at the West Access Trailhead and consider improvising longer routes through White Ranch Park's extensive trail network.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • White Ranch Park has two camping areas: Sawmill Hiker Camp and Sourdough Springs Equestrian Camp. Both grounds have restrooms, water, and bear-proof food storage.

  • Camping permits (advance or on-site) are free, valid for a maximum stay of up to three consecutive nights.

  • Campground stays are limited to no more than a total of 12 nights within a 30-day period. Campers are asked to use the west parking area.

  • Sourdough Springs Equestrian Campground
  • 10 campsites, each with picnic table, metal fire ring, horse hitching rail and horse watering trough.

  • Restrooms, firewood, bear-proof trash cans and food storage poles are provided.

  • Maximum of three tents and eight people per site (erect tents within 30' of post and metal fire ring).

  • A drinking water hand pump is seasonally available (check for status prior to arrival).

  • Reservations are taken a minimum of 3 days prior to arrival. All others sites may be secured on a first come, first-served basis. 3 day maximum stay.

  • Sawmill Hikers Campground
  • The Sawmill Hikers Campground is located 1 mile from the parking lot.

  • There are 10 campsites, each with a picnic table, metal fire ring, and food storage poles. Sites have access to a restroom, bear-proof trash cans, and a hand pump for drinking water (closed in winter).

  • Maximum of three tents and eight people per site (erect tents within 30' of post and metal fire ring).

Directions to Trailhead

The Sawmill Trail begins from the West Access Trailhead in White Ranch Park, 9.3 miles from Highway 93 in Golden, Colorado:

Take Colorado Highway 93 north from Golden approximately 1 mile to Golden Gate Canyon Road. Turn west on Golden Gate Canyon Road. Travel west 3.7 miles to Crawford Gulch Road. Bear right onto Crawford Gulch Road and travel 3.9 miles to Belcher Hill Road. Turn right on Belcher Hill Road and travel 1.7 miles to the main West Access Trailhead. The Sawmill Trail begins across Belcher Hill Road from the parking area's south side. If parking is full you may backtrack several hundred yards on Belcher Hill Road to an auxillary parking area on the side of the road.

Contact Information

Jefferson County Open Space
700 Jefferson County Pkwy
Suite 100
Golden, Colorado 80401
Information Line: 303.271.5925
Office Hours:
7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Trip Reports

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