Hankins Pass Trail is a 13.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake George, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from May until October.
The trail is a steady climb and can be approached from either the Spruce Grove or Twin Eagles trailheads. It offers solitude and an occasional view of the higher peaks to the northwest. The trail is in good shape and the frequent rock formations are a nice added feature.
I took this from the east, starting at the Goose Creek TH. I walked to the high point in the pass, a little beyond, and then backtracked to the junction with 639, and hiked up it a bit before returning to the Goose Creek TH. total hiking, about five hours, with breaks along the way. I found the steady incline gentle, and was startled to see that the elevation gain was over 1,500'. Difficulties/inconveniences: a number of the log bridges over the creek are unstable, and long portions of the trail are very wet. Beauties: the changing forest-scape ... the shifts from Pondorosa to Aspen to Lodgewood are quite striking. Vistas are infrequent, but the sense of being deep in the forest is great ... this is a "the woods are lovely, dark, and deep" kind of hike.
Backpacked in from Goose Creek Trailhead. Early on, after getting through the burn scar and down to the creek, the trail reminded me of AT hiking. It was hot, humid, and green. There were some camping areas by the creek - probably too close to the creek, but established. This opened into a very cool mountain meadow with tall grass. I saw one camping area, but plenty of options. I only hiked to the pass (connecting to the Lake Park Trail.) There were camping spots around the pass on the south side of the trail. On a Tuesday/Wednesday, I saw a solo backpacker, two guys, and a small group. Someone or some group has recently cleared downed trees (THANK YOU!!)
A rugged trail that links a large loop within the Lost Creek Wilderness area starting at the Goose Creek TH. A nice start to a backpacking trip. Climbs steadily from Goose Creek to Hankins Pass.
If you are looking for something just a little different than the trails that circle Pikes Peak, this a great option. It was a nice hike that didn't require a constant elevation climb. And, you get some dense forest areas mixed with some nice wide open spaces with great veiws of some really nice rock formations. Lizard Rock offered a nice view to the West.
This is a lovely, secluded trail that can be used year round. It features approaches from the east and west side of the range, and can even be done as a longer loop on the west side. It goes through open meadows and forests with spectacular rock formations along the way and at the pass. It's especially lovely in the fall, but also provides hikes in the winter where many different kinds of animal tracks emerge in the snow. It is rare to run into other people any time of the year. It never disappoints, and provides a picturesque, steady climb to an interesting pass.