hiking

views

wild flowers

walking

nature trips

birding

forest

wildlife

dogs on leash

trail running

mountain biking

dog friendly

kid friendly

river

lake

camping

horseback riding

off road driving

snowshoeing

waterfall

backpacking

fishing

fly fishing

scenic driving

cross country skiing

rock climbing

The Pike National Forest is located in the Front Range of Colorado, United States, west of Colorado Springs and including Pikes Peak. The forest encompasses 1,106,604 acres within Clear Creek, Teller, Park, Jefferson, Douglas and El Paso counties.

Nice easy trail, I like running this on a recovery day or to loosen up during your tapering time before a race.

trail running
6 hours ago

Ran the loop today with the addition of the M to N loop on the far East side. Going clockwise, it's a gnarly little hill coming back up. Also, if your looking far a longer run at the bottom of the M to N loop there is a pedestrian bridge that connects to the Phillip S Miller park trails. There is a trail race " Castle Rock Trail Festival" that will include this trail - Oct 7. Good trail for training and easy to get to.

Did this trail today for the first time... nice easy hike up to the falls for some great pictures and a good spot to relax. Not too busy, and most groups had friendly dogs with them. Nice shaded forest hike most of the way up. On the way back down the trail we stopped at Horsethief Park (the prairie area off to the right) and spotted a large young bull moose in the tall grass about 80-100 yards away... incredible sight... wish I could have got my camera out before he spotted us and trotted off down into the valley.

hiking
10 hours ago

Did the loop counter-clockwise and echo the sentiment below about wishing I'd brought a little more water (or a water filter). What a beautiful and varied loop hike though! There are five or six creek crossings that require a removal of your boots, unless you want them to be soaked! Dome Rock wouldn't be out of place in Yosemite. Very striking feature. The aspens were changing color in a lot of places on September 18, not quite turning in others. Overall, a very peaceful and beautiful outing with not too many people on the trail.

hiking
10 hours ago

Holy crap. Bring enough water to do the entire loop. I've done it previously on horseback...consider myself a pretty experienced hiker.. moderate hike. I went through the canyon first and went counter-clockwise for a bigger challenge. I got it!! Beautiful aspen/rock photos.

hiking
12 hours ago

Check out a 4K 360 view of this whole trail on YouTube. https://youtu.be/bb_vS86D8sE
Know what to expect before you head out to the trailhead; including where to park, how steep of a climb, and where are the best spots for a great view.
-Trail 360

All we could ask for!!

hiking
14 hours ago

Great trail! Some interesting rock formations also by the trail. The parking lot is nearly full even on Monday so if you have a choice, avoid weekends or get there early. Driving up there is a bit hassle. Some of the unpaved road is like long stretch of speed bumps.

hiking
18 hours ago

GORGEOUS hike! Lakes are incredible. Easy to traverse. One of my favorites.

hiking
19 hours ago

The hike is challenging, beautiful, and will push most hikers. The summit moment is a bit compromised when you have to share it with people who took the train or just drove to the top, but it's nothing donuts and coffee at the Summit House can't alleviate. I took the hike in mid-September when several aspen stands were already in full Fall colors, which was nice. Many people complete the full 23 mile round-trip in one day. There are even scary-fit people who treat it as a marathon run and finish in just a few hours. I'm not one of them. I'm slow. So here are a few suggestions for slow rookie hikers like me:

1. The hike can be 1-way! The Pikes Peak Cog Railway offers hikers' fares on the first and last trains of the day (http://www.cograilway.com/rates.asp#hiker-rates). In my case, going down is hard on my joints, so for $25 I was able to take a train down. I'd highly recommend having a reservation in advance even if you plan on the round trip just in case. Think of it as a $25 insurance policy.

2. I did the trail over 2 days stopping off at Barr Camp (www.barrcamp.com) for the night. The camp is a not-for-profit cabin that's about 6 miles up the trail at about 10,200 feet. I was able to sleep in the bunk house, out of the elements, for about $43 which included dinner, breakfast, and complimentary ibuprofen (all of which I took full advantage). They also sell some beverages and snacks including Gatoraid and some wonderful energy brownies. Cheaper overnight options are available (tent sites and lean-to's) but the bunk house allowed me to only carry a light sleeping bag in addition to my normal day-pack.

3. The stated parking fee of $20 is no longer current. Fees are now closer to $40 a day. Moreover, the only way to pay is through the ParkMobile app. Setting up the app is time consuming and reception can be spotty at the lot so get it set up in advance. Additionally, there is a free shuttle service from a central lot (https://manitousprings.org/manitou-springs-free-shuttle-service/) but it may not be operating as early as someone would need for a 23 mile day. Schedule accordingly.

4. Speaking of parking, booking a night at Barr Camp entitles you to a voucher for reduced parking. I paid $25 for essentially two-days on the lot (normally this would be about $80). Make sure you display the voucher on your dash though, I got a ticket despite having paid (I'll update the review once the City of Manitou Springs determines my appeal.)

5. As with any Fourteener, be prepared for a 30 degree temperature drop between the base and the summit. Plan for windy conditions and remember that most everything you wear will be damp with sweat. I was glad I had kept a dry shirt and change of pants in a plastic bag in my pack. I was able to change once I got to the Summit House and start the process of warming up.

Overall, it's a challenging trail with the hardest and most technical portion (the Golden Stairs) saved for the very last part when your body is exhausted and the air is the thinnest. Not a good Fourteener to start with, but certainly worth training up for.

off road driving
19 hours ago

hiking
20 hours ago

Check out a 4K 360 view of this whole trail on YouTube. https://youtu.be/mqu0wTxEqjM
Know what to expect before you head out to the trailhead; including where to park, how steep of a climb, and where are the best spots for a great view.
-Trail 360

Check out a 4K 360 view of this whole trail on YouTube. https://youtu.be/OHkmc0FdLgQ
Know what to expect before you head out to the trailhead; including where to park, how steep of a climb, and where are the best spots for a great view.
-Trail 360