Temple Canyon Park, just south of Cañon City, is a treasure for anyone looking to avoid crowds and explore a gorgeous, natural landscape.
The area has three campgrounds that are spread apart, so it’s easy to feel secluded. Next to one of the campgrounds is a trailhead for Redemption Trail. Follow this trail down into the canyon where Grape Creek runs along the floor. In the spring, the canyon is rich with green trees and grasses and the creek is perfect for wading.
Follow the trail and you’ll discover the “temple,” after which the canyon is named. This rock alcove was formed by the continual seepage of water into small fissures or cracks in the rock and may have been used by the Ute Indian Tribe as a ceremony site
History of Temple Canyon Park
With so much mining activity in the Wet Mountain Valley in the 1870s, there was a desire to directly connect Canon City to the Rosita and Silver Cliff communities. The only logical route was along Grape Creek, which had been described as a “boisterous and treacherous” stream, one that had washed out wagon roads and later a railroad which ran from 1881-1885. Grape Creek traverses wilderness on its path from Canon City to the Wet Mountain Valley, and the only road to cross it along this path is Temple Canyon Road.
During construction of Temple Canyon Road, workers noticed a natural amphitheater in the canyon. This amphitheater would come to be known as a temple and the area would become Temple Canyon. The canyon was a popular destination in the 1890s’s with residents traveling up Grape Creek by foot.
An act of Congress granted Temple Canyon to the City of Canon City in 1912. The road, park, trails, lookout points, and recreational areas are the result of work conducted during the Great Depression by workers under the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930’s.
Want to explore Temple Canyon Park? Check out our Temple Canyon Park map.
Temple Canyon Park