hiking

views

walking

nature trips

forest

birding

wild flowers

wildlife

dogs on leash

trail running

dog friendly

mountain biking

kid friendly

camping

lake

river

off road driving

horseback riding

snowshoeing

backpacking

waterfall

fishing

rock climbing

cross country skiing

scenic driving

no dogs

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.

I loved this hike! Started with Democrat around 6:45am, then went to Cameron, Lincoln, and finished with Bross, back to the car about 6 hours later. My dad and I were worried after reading reviews about the descent down Bross, and made a game time decision to go ahead and go for it. In my opinion, it wasn’t as bad as a lot of people describe- definitely lots of loose rocks and prepare to slide a lot- but it wasn’t dangerous or life-threatening in terms of sending you off the mountain. I had my heart set on bagging all 4 peaks so for me doing Bross was worth the tough descent. My dad thinks maybe he would have just skipped Bross altogether. The rest of it we absolutely loved. Definitely the toughest hike up Democrat so I’m glad we got that out of the way first. My favorite view was on top of Lincoln.

Great parking at trail head. Good hike with views.

hiking
12 hours ago

Hiked it on a weekend and was not very crowded. We parked just past the point where the stream crossed the road and the hike was 7.5 miles round trip (from car to the lake and back). Very pretty hike, very challenging. Would recommend it.

hiking
19 hours ago

Loved this hike. Did it on a Saturday afternoon. On the portion of the trail along the creek, I came across 4 or 5 groups camping by the river. Once the trail left the creek side and started heading uphill, I didn’t see another person on the way up or down.

The trail is physically challenging for a relatively short hike, and in places the trail is slippery due to a bit of gravel on hardpack in steep sections. Even though the trail is in an area with a lot of burned terrain, the trail itself is probably 90% in the shade, so not a bad option for a hot day.

Finding the arch is slightly tricky. They key is knowing that you have to go over the summit and down the dome a few hundred yards.

Follow the cairns once you leave the creek side trail and you should be fine.

Great combination of open field and shade from the trees. Path was well marked and the sand was good for the dogs. Not busy at all Sunday afternoon. Great easy trail.

Excellent day hike! Did this with my father who is in his 60’s and my son who is 13. Make sure to check the weather before going and pack a jacket, it can be cooler in certain areas even in July when we went. Great views!

A perfect hike for a time period of about 2 hours! Amazing views at the top! Have hiked this trail multiple times and it never disappoints!

Walked this on the way down from the Incline. A bit steep in spots with beautiful scenery.

We didn't make it all the way around - also couldn't find the left (southern) fork at the beginning! It was very steel for about 1.5 miles, the kids were dying (I blame video games.) But we found some great rocks to jump on and will go back for a second attempt.

Rocked out this hike yesterday 8/11. Awesome hike! Highly recommend camping at trailhead the night before. Actual parking lot was already full by 10pm! If you dont camp you still will want to get there as early as possible, Getting stuck parking down the road will just add miles to your already tough hike! Took our jetta almost all the way to the trailhead but theres one large bump that our car could not clear so we stopped and camped there. only a couple hundred feet from the parking lot. Hit the trail at 445am done at 1215p with breaks and summit stops. I believe doing Democrat first is by far the way to go. Not only do I think going up bross in the dark would be terrible. Having to go up Democrat last would be a tough climb after bagging the other 3. Also another reason would be that by the time u would get to the democrat climb it will be packed. By 10am there looked like there was a line all the way up democrat. Going down bross was def tough and took a lot of concentration watching where you step and keeping balance. Poles for sure a must. Not sure what my fav was. Being almost to the top of democrat for sunrise was amazing, but being atop bross and being able to see all of what you just did was awesome too! Bross' summit is huge but lincoln and democrat's a lot smaller. Took our dog whose used to hiking and is a larger dog. She was very tired at the end and I got a little worried about her paws coming down bross as it is very lose rock but she made it down without any cuts and passed out the whole way home.
Overall amazing hike. Very fulfilling finishing all 4.

- Did these four yesterday. great hike with amazing views from each summit. There is a lot of small rocks and loose slag, especially on Bross and Democrat. Like other climbers i would highly recommend starting with Bross. It is a pretty good climb up and around to the summit but it's a good warm-up for the other three and the descent of Bross is much harder on the knees of you do it last. Mt. Democrat is probably the steepest climb but its worth it when you get to the top. Do yourself and your knees a favor and please invest in poles. You won't regret it, especially the descent of Democrat.

Hard? What is listed isn’t hard at all. Apparently you can get to harder areas to navigate but we couldn’t find them. The first part of the ride was awesome. It was super easy but the views made up for it. The last 15 mins or so were obnoxious. It was all bumpy washout. No challenge- just annoying.

Quick and fun. Did it with my nephews - both 7 years old. They enjoyed the Tower and talking with the Ranger at the top. The views are fantastic.

on Gray Back Peak Trail

hiking
1 day ago

Pretty hike with very good views from the top (particularly given the short length of the trail), appropriately rated as moderate. My GPS tracked closer to 4 miles though.

Checked this one off 8/11/18. We left the trailhead at 5:20 and hit the summit at 9:20. The bike race up the Peak was today. I don’t know if they delayed opening the road to vehicle traffic because of that, but when we hit the top, the only folks there were the cyclists (including two unicyclists, you maniacs), and a couple other hikers who got there before us. But the tour busses started showing up while we were milling about the summit house (note: I ate a donut because I think you have to the first time, but it’s kind of a garbage donut). As others have said, you have to understand there are going to be a lot of people in the summit, but it was certainly a lot more pleasant before the Devil’s Playground parking lot filled up. So, I guess I’m saying that if you take off early enough, and move at a decent pace, you can avoid most or all of the crowds. The downshot there is you’ll be waking through a gorgeous pine forest in the dark when you first set out. But you’ll see it on the way back.

I made a mistake regarding the weather. I expected temps to stay steady in the mid-40s all the way up, which is what I dressed for (shorts and a pullover). I would have been fine, except I didn’t account for how long it would take the sun to get over the top of the mountain. We were well above tree line before the sun finally appeared, and I was freezing my ass off. But, I’m a pretty cool moment, the sun topped the mountain, the trail leveled out a little, and the summit came into view, all within seconds of each other. I should note, I had more layers in my bag, but I was being stubborn and didn’t want everyone to stop so I could put some pants on.

It’s an easy route to follow. We had (almost) no trouble with wayfinding. Right before treeline, we somehow started following a social path that switchbacked through some gravelly scree, but it led us right back to the main trail. Probably no more than 3 minutes off trail. We had no trouble with route finding coming down. The steepest sections below Devil’s Playground and above tree line was a bit loose in spots. Trekking poles would have probably come in handy, but it was fine.

All in all, a good hike. Good physical challenge, great views looking west, with the Sawatch at the far end of the horizon.

Beautiful hike, mostly uphill going in with a few flat breaks. Reservoirs are lovely. Kids ages 4-7 and grandparents age 60 had a great time.

This review really goes for all of the trails that start at Deer Creek Canyon. I'll echo someone else who said this is a good late start trail, it's my go-to "hangover hike" ;) There are lots of options if you get going and decide you don't have it today or if you want to add on some extra distance. Today I did Plymouth Creek to Plymouth Mountain to the Homesteader trail and I had lots of shade and solitude on PM and Homesteader. I think I was the only person on Homesteader actually, which is pretty bonkers for a trail this close Denver on a Saturday!

PM and Meadowlark both offer great views of the red rocks range and PM has a stunning view of the city framed with trees. It's also a very moderate trail so it's great for dogs and visitors.

Great trail. Scenic, very challenging

Saturday Aug 4th. Great trail. Started at 4:30 am. Heard a mountain lion scream around 5 am...super scary but we pressed on. Made it to the summit at 10:30 am...the last section with scrambling was difficult but fun. enjoyed a donut at the top. We took the free shuttle to devils playground and then hiked the rest of the way down. Glad we took the shuttle because we got to the car just in time before it started storming! My tip for others is start early, bring headlamps, proper gear, cash for tips if you take the shuttle down and watch the skys.

hiking
2 days ago

Wheeler Lake is a great hike for the morning. Start early as Trailhead parking is unpredictable (there’s not a parking lot, just various intersecting roads you can park on the edge). There’s also no Trailhead sign but it’s correctly marked on AllTrails. There’s very little tree coverage and shade on the trail so I recommend sunscreen and a hat. There’s plenty of running water and streams throughout the hike and up to the lake which is great for canine companions. Keep an eye out for vehicles (we didn’t encounter any on our way up but we started at 8am). The lake had tons of wild flowers around it and a rushing waterfall from an upper lake. We sat up there and enjoyed the views and a snack. Keep an eye out for the many marmots near the lake.

on Manitou Park Lake Trail

walking
2 days ago

Kid friendly, easy walk. Not really worth paying $7 to park at the lake

I like to do the Peak at least once a year. It’s a nice challenge and worth it. The ascent took me 6 hours but I have done it in 4 1/2. Not my best time, obviously. I believe the average time for ascent is 8 hours. I did the ascent and descent for a total time of 11 hours. The last couple of miles are the hardest and my brain always says, “why am I doing this”! But, you just push through it and are happy to get to the top.

Make sure to dress in layers. The weather can change quickly. I like to take a camelback and I don’t bring much food. I’m just not real hungry.

The change in the terrain is always interesting It’s beautiful country. Thankful to have it as my backyard.

Total miles my app recorded was 23.85 miles.

hiking
2 days ago

This was a great hike with versatile scenery. You had meadows, mountain views, walking in the woods, open area. We saw wild turkey. It wasn’t difficult nor too easy to hike. There were log benches scattered on the trail and easy signs to follow. Yes there is horse poop along the trails but just step aside. We went on a Sunday midday and there were people but not crowded. We plan to make this a regular one.

hiking
2 days ago

Great little hike. We took the dog with us and he seemed to enjoy it as well. Some hard scramble spots but the dog and I made it through with no issues. Beautiful views of the river from every angle!! Would do it again.

Awesome hike! Was longer than listed! We saw sheep!!! That was awesome! The trail head at Waterton was closed which was stupid! But we didn’t let that stop up! The canyon was very hot but was fun along the river!

Longest hike I've ever done, beautiful view, abundant wildlife, very hot through Waterton canyon, overall, very tough 17 miles, extremely tired and sore, would not trade the experience.

hiking
3 days ago

Took us about 4 hours round trip. The trail is steep - it is pretty much park, cross the stream, and climb the mountain. The views at the top are very good, not great. We only did Bross, did not do the loop.

A very nice trail and when I went I didn’t see another soul. The only reason it was not as much fun as other hikes I go on is the fact that my pup can’t enjoy the water since it is a reservoir.

This was my 2nd 14’er (Bierstadt was the other) and the first for my son and sister who was visiting from sea level. We hit the trailhead at 9:00am on the first Sunday in August. There were quite a few others hiking, but most on their way down.

It took us a bit under 2.5 hours to summit with a number of pauses. The ridge was super windy, but it was quiet at the top with great views of Leadville, Turquoise lake in the distance as well as the surrounding mountains despite the fire haze. Hiking poles helped as there is plenty of loose rock and ankle twisters to hike across on the way up.

There are a lot of cool abandoned mines and mining equipment to look at right near the trailhead. That can make the bumpy drive worth taking even if you don’t complete the full summit.

It sprinkled a little on our hike and was cold near the top so we were happy to be prepared with rain and warmth layers. I saw a number of hikers who weren’t as prepared.

I agree it’s a great first 14er due to the short distance of the hike, but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a climb at altitude and my legs were complaining afterwards!

Ok for kids? Have twin 9 y/o’s not in climbing shape yet from move

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