Beaver Creek Loop Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Wonderful Wilderness Close to Home The Beaver Creek Wilderness Study Area covers 40,000 acres of uninhabited, road-free wild country. According to the Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition, "bighorn sheep and elk find winter and summer range in Beaver Creek. Mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, beaver, golden and bald eagle, and ring-tailed cats and the threatened Mexican spotted owl and peregrine falcon utilize the area. Vegetation includes Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, Limber pine, aspen, pinon-juniper woodlands, and wetlands streams." Beaver Creek is in the Pike National Forest, 13 miles northeast of Canon City and 10 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. Its boundaries are within El Paso, Fremont, and Teller Counties, and it lies on the south slope of Pikes Peak between Phantom Canyon Road and Hwy 115. The Beaver Creek Loop hike begins at the trailhead at the end of CR 132, but the loop itself starts about .75 miles from the trailhead. During this hike you'll experience creek bottom jungle, quadriceps burning ascents, breathtaking views of vertical splendor and evergreen carpets, and the magical sights and sounds of a rushing Rocky Mountain river. You will not be the first to make this trip because some of the trail was engineered during Gold Rush days. You will discover that this 7.3 mile trek is truly an "E-Ticket ride" that will make you want to get in line again and again. Go south on Hwy 115 out of Colorado Springs for 32 miles. Turn right at the Brush Hollow Reservoir turnoff onto Fremont County Road 123. Follow this road 5 miles to CR 132. Turn right and travel 11 miles to the parking area. CR 132 is a dirt road, graded every spring. Some of its is quite rutted, but I've seen all kinds of vehicles in the trailhead parking area. If you want a really FULL day, drive down Hwy 67 from Divide. This becomes Phantom Canyon Road (24 miles of Colorado beauty), which parallels Beaver Creek (but not within view). Turn east on CR 123 until you reach CR 132.
This was a great hike, and a spot-on guide. When given the choice, we tended to veer toward the creek...today was very hot and dry. Hit 100 degrees at least. The creek was really wonderful and we just hiked along in it for a ways and didn't mind a few crossings either.
It's Sunday and we didn't see a single other person, just one truck at the trailhead. It was a bit smoky today because of the Waldo Canyon fire going on; this may have kept traffic down, but I suspect this is a quiet loop anyways. As we pulled into the parking lot at 8 a.m. we saw a fox; that was the only wildlife all day I think. Speaking of Waldo Canyon, this hike reminded me very much of the W.C. loop. Similar terrain, but Beaver Creek is a tad longer, perhaps steeper/hillier (can't remember), and the creek has more water and is easily accessible.
Today was very tough on our dog (who normally does great on hikes). I agree booties would have made a huge difference - the ground and rocks were so hot, and sometimes sharp. She loved the creek (despite not being a water dog), and we gave her plenty of water, but she did slow us down and we even carried her (45 lbs!) a few times. She is happy to be home now.
The hike took us about 5.5 hours with a lunch break, some creek time, and a sore-pawed dog. Would certainly recommend it, especially if you are familiar with and like the Waldo Canyon loop. Not the most amazing views, but a very diverse trail with water and the potential for wildlife. Wear sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring a lot of water. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the loop.