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Lots of snow after the storm a couple days ago. You could see an indent in the snow where the trail was, but it wasn’t clear enough after a bit and we ended up blazing our own trail up to the ridge just below Devils Playground. I was moving slower than the other two guys I went with so we agreed on a turn-around time and they went up to the ridge just over the road for a glimpse of Colorado Springs. Probably they would have made it to the summit if it weren’t for blazing a new trail through the snow. We ran out of time and came back down disappointed to not summit, but the day was beautiful and you can’t complain whenever you get to spend time up at those altitudes. Reminds you of the beauty and wildness of this place, even if there is a road and shop at the very top (closed today due to ice and wind). Advice for other hikers, if there’s been a snow storm within the last few days, don’t assume the trail will be packed down- take snowshoes. Only reason for only 4 stars is because some trail markers would be helpful.

for being closed there sure were alot of people out there.

Excellent canyon countryside. Not a well-marked trail. I ended up on several false trail branches, but that kind of added to the fun of exploration. Took several attempts to find the right trailhead due to closed roads, private roads, and lack of accurate coordinates. Almost zero cell coverage, so be prepared to be out of contact. I did the loop clockwise as recommended by several who said it was better to accomplish the sketchy/rougher parts of trail near the start when fresh. There were two places where landslips had mostly taken out the trail, but there’s been some rudimentary work at making the trail passable. Plenty of evidence of bears and coyotes. Several creek crossing made keep dry feet a bit of a challenge.

Awesome trail. Wear good shoes as some areas are quite steep. Bring plenty of water. Takes approximately 8 hours.

Did this hike Jan.5 ,2019 pleasant hike for this time of year, easy beginning hike up until climbing the saddle which has some deep snow to deal with afterwards a nice view of the summit and a very easy hike starts to get more strenuous once you start rock hopping near the top well worth all the work beautiful views all the way

Really enjoyed this trail. Did the Mountain Loop at the top and finished a little bit over 17 miles for the round trip distance. This trail is no joke so make sure to bring enough water and food. Snow at the top is knee deep in places right now. The views are incredible. Would absolutely recommend!

hiking
15 days ago

Not bad for a quick hike close to the city. You're close to roads and can hear traffic through a good part of it.

Great trail. Remember to bring cash for the entry fee.

The lower part of the trail is snow covered in shaded areas. The upper couple miles are pretty deep snow. I postholed to my knees in a few spots at the end of December.

I would avoid the Dragon Edge part of the upper loop until May. It has lots of exposure, was poorly marked, and was pretty icy. I regret not turning around on this loop. If you do Dragons Edge I would recommend starting it from the bottom at the first junction with this trail.

Love this trail and have hiked it several times over the years and seasons. Hiked this today 12/23/18 and the trail was covered in snow. Still a fantastic hike with great views at the top - lots of up hill so also a great whole body workout. If you hike this for the first time in the winter I highly recommend dressing accordingly with the right gear: Shoes that are insulated and waterproof, crampons/metal claws for your shoes (this really helps w/ ice!), wool socks, warm layered clothing, coat, gloves, beanie etc. having the right gear has made a world of difference for me with winter hikes, and makes it way more enjoyable.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 12/9/18 - Conditions were great. a few sections of ice/snow on The Incline as well as the trail but both are mostly dry. Maybe an inch of snow (but not icy) near the summit. No traction needed as long as your careful. Summit views are fantastic. Great little hike and summit especially when you combine it with the very fun Manitou Incline!

off road driving
1 month ago

It’s been a couple months since we visited this trail and I am just now getting around to writing a review.

Much of this trail is now closed and what remains is now uneventful. In an almost stock 1995 Jeep YJ, only a 2” lift, we were able to complete the trail without needing 4wd except for the few “play areas” that we found.

Like most of the Rampart Range area, it’s just not a great place for Jeeps and views are sporadic.

Great hike! Was a little icy in many spots so you’ll need yaxtrax if you’re doing it soon. The trail is really tough to follow when you near pikes peak highway. We got yelled at by the trail dude when we were crossing the highway. Otherwise it was a great hike.

Be aware that pretty much the entire trail is covered with almost a foot of snow. While awesome and beautiful, make sure you bring appropriate gear.

It’s closed so obviously it is an absolutely terrible lack of a hike and you must definitely not do it. Or do it but don’t tell anyone, because then everyone will know you did a hike that nobody does because it’s absolutely terrible and it is closed. My dog tried to say she likes it but I wouldn’t let her.

Very challenging hike, especially with 6+ inches of snow on the ground. With all the snow, trails aren’t marked that well, just follow everyone else’s footprints and hope they go in the right direction. Great views on top of Horsethief and Pancake. Overall for me was 8 mile round trip.

2 months ago

Did this hike 8/22/18...for my friends 70 b’day challenge. Very enjoyable hike with wonderful views . We started st 5am to avoid afternoon showers. Trail well marked and thank goodness for the carens as we traversed the boulder field at the top. The donuts tasted soooo good when we reached the top... and yes, lots of people st the summit!

hiking
2 months ago

I completed a night hike of this loop counterclockwise within the past 2 weeks. I don't recommend hiking at night here for 2 reasons: first it is closed after dark, and second, I was watched and probably stalked by a mountain lion somewhere in the last 2 miles. I had a staring contest with him for a good minute or so.
lastly, I would recommend the right hand section of this trail(during the day) up to the point where you summit the peak. after that the trail is lost for several miles while crossing probably half a dozen small streams.

Loved this route, went up seven bridges and down st Mary’s. Loved the pipeline road such a nice break between going up. Views were excellent. Nearly no one on the trail!

Challenging hike but with a great reward once you get past all the incline! I started around 7:30am on Saturday and didn’t see another person on the trail until my way back down. Highly recommend this one!

This trail was definitely hard! It is uphill the whole way up and continues to get steeper as you reach the top. The views are absolutely amazing. It got extremely cold and windy towards the last stretch of the trail so wear warm clothes! I would also recommend hiking boots and poles. There are some parts with gravel that were slippery. There was some snow up there but not a lot. Would definitely do it again!

Tough but beautiful!!! worth the work!!

2 months ago

Has a little bit of everything!

In my opinion, this trail is a lot harder than moderate for a relatively “in shape” adult. It is a steady incline the entire way to D.P. with some very steep portions that are rock/gravel. Trail is relatively easy to follow.

Of course, the views along the way are priceless and 100% worth the journey. Approximately 8-9 miles round trip, depending how much wandering you do once at the top. We averaged around 1 hour per mile. We are from Illinois and the altitude had our lungs working pretty hard!

Overall 4/5. Would try again with better preparation.

I’ll definitely go again. Easy and enjoyable loop. Not a lot of traffic. I was thankful for the downloadable maps as there are no trail markers and I would have gone off the trail if not for having it available. Would recommend to friends and family. I’m looking forward to taking my dogs next time.

Amazing hike! Very up hill, lots of stoping points.

The views and areas are great but I question the person who designated this trail as moderate. There were maybe two trail signs, both at the beginning of the trail. If it weren’t for this app I’m sure we would still be in the mountains trying to find our way back, including when we were on the sheer face of the mountain staring down death convinced the trail led us there. Download the app and check it often!!! We did the trail counter clockwise. Going up and down the mountain was obviously the most difficult (very strenuous!) Best of luck to those who are brave enough to tackle this one!

off road driving
3 months ago

Great trail for stock 4x4, views were excellent. There was a fair amount of traffic Saturday morning going up stage coach and gold rush... once we got up to almagre trail we felt pretty secluded! Our stock Jeep Grand Cherokee did excellent we had no problems, had a blast.

hiking
3 months ago

I agree this terrain is hard. Views are quite fantastic. This is bear country and saw a clear set of tracks on the trail at about mile 4. Bring your bear protection. 6 hour round trip with about an hour on the peak to enjoy the views and relax. Not your normal quick decent because of very loose footing.

walking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail. Takes you all the way to Roxborough State Park. Very lightly used.

Easy to find, good parking and the views driving to this hike were stunning at this time of year. Only wish there was a trail marker closer to the top. The end view is beautiful and yesterday the fog was still on some of the mountains, so we had aspens, pancake rocks, fog, sunshine and beautiful blue skies. I really enjoyed this hike.

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