Explore the most popular scenic driving trails in Pike National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

great hike...Billy the Ranger was a treat!

This was my third time doing this hike, it is one of my Colorado favorites! Mellow hike with 143 stairs to get to the tower. Panoramic views, similar to 14er views without the difficulty. Not a lot of aspens for fall colors, but the view at the top makes up for it.
To get to the trail there’s 10 miles of dirt road, manageable in all cars. The tower will be closed for the winter starting this Monday 10/8/18.

It’s a pretty hike with some really cool overlooks. The trail is super well maintained so, aside from the elevation gain, I’d put this as an easier hike. Not a ton of aspens out there but the ones that are were really pretty today! (10/4/18)

hiking
16 days ago

9-29-2018:
Pluses - Some fall color, no idea if it's peak or past, seemed mixed depending on the area. Not crowded. Well marked. Well maintained trails. Dedicated parking lot. Some good views.
Minuses - Power lines. Road. Generally not far enough from civilization. A motorcycle passed us on the trail.

One of my favorite trails. An uphill climb with lots of rock formations and overlooks.

awesome views are well worth the climb!

hiking
22 days ago

Enjoyed the trail overall. The first mile or so was a little boring and the Aspens near the trailhead were mostly all green (9-23-18). The entire trail had a bunch of Aspens and it wasn’t until about the halfway point that we started seeing color. The hike was pretty easy - only a few parts with a decent incline. It took my wife, 4 year old and I about 3 hours to complete the loop with lots of stopping for pictures and lunch. I’m not a trail runner but this would be a nice trail for that. The only major bummer about the trail was following the power lines, but that was expected. Really enjoyed seeing views of Pikes Peak for the majority of the hike.

This was on the top of my daughters hike I visited her from Connecticut she lives in Boulder we were staying in Deckers co where my husband did some fantastic fly fishing. So when I looked into Altrails for close places to hike near Deckers and this trail popped up. Being what I consider myself a flat lander and noticed it was rated moderate I said why not for those of you that live below sea level should be aware that when it says moderate it is for us hard. But I was here and I was determined and let me tell you it was the one of the most breath taking views I ever saw and from the top we saw a Forrest fire which believe it or not was close to Deckers what are the odds. I am disappointed I didn’t have a chance to speak to Billy because I was pressed for time.

Great places to see the aspens in the fall! Also a great place to bring visitors to Colorado who are looking for a rewarding hike and view.

hiking
23 days ago

Small parking lot/trailhead was tucked behind some houses. Turn L into the parking lot with a city maintenance building (looks like a fire station) and the trailhead is just beyond it. Trail was nice and pretty well marked. Some beautiful views and the aspen trees were turning (some full yellow, others almost there). There were some steep climbs but they leveled off and most of the 5 miles was a pleasant level hike (we went clockwise) There is cell coverage so we were able to check the AllTrails app about 1/2 way through the hike to make sure we were on the right track.

off road driving
23 days ago

Metberry Gulch is a cool trail with lots to look at. The rock formations are endless and the mix of red dirt makes it a cool area. The trail has been nerf'd so the notch area I drove past and almost missed it. The giant rut at the bottom of the slab has been filled in as well making it more like coming out of a parking garage than a major obstacle. Even when this trail was "bad" my buddy did it in his stock Frontier, never been offroad before. If you'd like to see a video of the run I have one up at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-CwxL1FEHQ

2nd gen Xterra, 33" tires, 2" lift, no sway bars.

Been hiking this trail for 35 years. Always fun and beautiful! Great for kids and dogs.

Good short hike, great views including Denver 30+ miles away. I did this hike on a Thursday late afternoon and only past 4-8 hikers heading up for sunset as I was heading down.

Traveling to trail head is a decent trek on a dirt road which doesn't require 4WD/AWD but does have washboard segments which keeps the speeds slow.

Good quick sub 2 hour trip.

This is my go-to hike for all my out of town visitors. Typically it is very crowded, but most people are courteous and friendly. Get an early start to get parking and be sure to bring water for the pup. Great views and a fun experience climbing the 143 stairs to the fire lookout tower and of course meeting Billy Ellis who has been stationed at the tower for over 33 summers!

Loved this hike! Amazing views!
Only issue was our gps took us down a county road that was full of rocks and we had off road for 5 miles. We took another way out and it was fine. If your gps tries to take you down a county road and it looks rough don’t go down it, it only gets worse unless you have a Jeep or 4 wheel drive. We were coming from Colorado Springs.

hiking
1 month ago

very nice trail. some great views and the aspens are beautiful. In a few days they will be glowing!!

Nice! Uphill 1st half then down way back. Plenty of shade along the way but no water for the doggo so bring some for them too! Great views from the lookout tower.

i really love the app, but you really need to give me the option of downloading maps when a wifi is not available. 9 times out of 10, I'm out of wifi range when I decide to plan a hike.

Spectacular views! Had a great time on this hike. Short and sweet.

off road driving
1 month ago

Pretty mild at first just zig zagging through the trees and some ruts to go through. Then once you get on 313 gets real fun and a little challenging for a stock vehicle. There is a trail that wasn’t on the map by the air force over look, so went and checked it out. The trail was pretty fun at first but then it gets real difficult at a rutted out turn between two trees, then goes onto being a steep v notched road that leads to a camp spot on a deadend. Probably not the best for the stock rig but made it none the less. But other than that sticking to the main trail on the map makes for a fun little trip, definitely again.

Bone Stock Cherokee

Nice short hike with moderate elevation gain.
Beautiful / awesome views.
Yes, lots of hikers, but what the heck! They are all doing what we love, and introducing kids and “newbies” to the joys of “getting out there”.
Easy access. Give it a try!

Wonderful hike but most days busy with crowds hiking up. Easy hike although parking can be a challenge.

Beautiful hike! Fun for the whole family, though difficult in certain areas. Be prepared for the steep step climb at the end to reach the lookout itself.

Recommend going during the day on a weekday, as it is pretty popular.

Great hike! Path was well maintained with lots of great photo ops along the way.

Good hike. No big “wow” factors, but a good hike to get away from city life and enjoy some fresh mountain air. Few good views of pikes peak. Little slippery going down hill on the gravel/rocks but not too bad. Trail is marked well along the whole trail. Definitely a horse trail...

hiking
1 month ago

Did this trail with my wife and (adult) daughter on September 1, 2018 and overall it's a fun trail. We clocked it a 6.3 miles on both phones. Note that while there is water on the trail, calling it a creek is an somewhat of an exaggeration. It's mostly stagnant and is running very slightly at the beginning of the fork.

Very nice short hike. I made the hike from the parking lot to the site one about 90 minutes. Spectacular views!

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