DIRECTIONS: From I-25 south of Denver, exit onto Arapahoe Road and head east. Turn right onto Jordan Road. Head south on Jordan Road and turn east on Broncos Parkway, the park will be on your right.
Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space is a wonderful resource in Suburban Centennial. The large open space/natural area surrounds Cherry Creek and it's riparian habitat. Large swaths of Cottonwood Trees make this a terrific park to visit in the fall, wetlands provide opportunities for wildlife viewing, and the trail system provides a natural surface loop trail with various spurs and side trails.
There are many ways to enter the open space but the main parking area and trailhead is located at the northeastern corner off of Broncos Parkway.
From the parking lot and the main Cherry Creek Trail sign, head south following the park's eastern boundary. You have two choices for trail to follow; the paved Cherry Creek Trail and the natural surface Jordan Parker Centennial Trail parallels each other. As you head south pass by the trail that veers to the west, this is your return trail. After 1/4 mile of walking there will be a trail junction with a trail heading into the park's interior. Turn right and follow this trail.
This spur trail provides one of the more scenic parts of the open space. The trail leads you to four attractions: the Center of Wisdom, the Oxbow Amphitheater, the Eagles Nest Overlook, and sand point. Visiting these places provides a good exploration of Cherry Creek and the surrounding environment. After another 1/4 mile of trail, the spur trail reconnects to the Cherry Creek Trail. Continue south.
Cherry Creek heads south for 3 tenths of a mile where you turn right, cross a bridge and head north again along the Parker Jordan Centennial Trail. The trail back north explores the western portion of the park mostly traversing open lands. After a half a mile the trail enters a thick Cottonwood Forest, this is my favorite portion of this trail and should be amazing during peak fall color. Continue north, leaving the Cottonwood Forest and arriving at a junction. Turning right takes your directly back to the parking lot, turning left extends your hike by just a few minutes and takes in more of the park. At the northern end of the trail, turn right and return to the parking area.
Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space provides a great place to take a short hike while staying close to home. The Cherry Creek Trail and the various side and spur trail allow for many exploration options and options for longer excursions.
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Parker-Jordan Centennial Open Space Trail
Date Hiked: November 3, 2020
Distance: 2.2 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Elevation: 5,700 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39.57822, -104.79787
Managing Agency: Centennial Parks & Open Space