Best trails in Pike National Forest, Colorado

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Looking for a great trail in Pike National Forest, Colorado? AllTrails has 254 great hiking trails, mountain biking trails, trail running trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 138 moderate trails in Pike National Forest ranging from 0.7 to 234.1 miles and from 6,099 to 14,117 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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.

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Map of trails in Pike National Forest, Colorado
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Top trails (253)
#1 - The Incline Trail
Pike National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(4190)
Length: 3.8 mi • Est. 2 h 31 m
The Incline Trail requires a free reservation to enter. Reservations can be made here: https://cityofcoloradosprings.aluvii.com/store/shop/productdetails?id=1&productId=1 The Incline Trail is the remains of a Cog railway that went to the top of Manitou Mountain. The trail gains about 2000 feet of elevation in about a mile with an average grade of 45%. Imagine climbing a rough uneven set of stairs that's a mile long. There are three bail out points, the last one is about half way up that will put you on Barr Trail. Beware of the false summit just past the last bail out. Once you're at the top it is recommended that you turn south and hike or run back down Barr Trail (hiking down the Incline is not encouraged). The view from the top over Colorado Springs is worth the effort. This is a great trail for training and it is what most people use it for. Please note that while dogs are allowed on other trails in the area, they are not allowed on the Incline Trail. All users are required to make a free reservation online before their hike. This system is in response to concerns by the Manitou Springs City Council regarding crowding during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reservations will help staff manage the volume of people on the Incline at any given time. Reservations are open seven days in advance. Be sure to bring your confirmation, either on your phone or printed. City of Colorado Springs Parks’ staff will greet you and check you in at the base of the Incline. Reservations are available 6 a.m.-6 p.m., April-October, and 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m., November-March. You can reserve more than one slot at a time, however, please only reserve days and times you plan to use. You may also reserve a time slot for another user, but please limit group reservations to four hikers per time slot. Up to 45 reservations are available for each 30-minute time slot. Reservations are for the time you will arrive at the Incline; you do not need to reserve sessions for the amount of time you will spend on the trail. **Please email InclineCancellation@coloradosprings.gov to cancel your reservation if you will not be able to make your scheduled time. Incline Parking Plan to arrive in time to find parking and allow plenty of time to get to the base on the Incline. Proof of parking from one of these locations must be presented during check-in at the base of the Incline. Where to park: Hiawatha Gardens Parking Lot located at 10 Old Man’s Trail. Parking at Hiawatha Gardens will cost $1/hour. Please remember to take a picture of your parking receipt to show the Incline Attendant. The free shuttle operates every day (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), starting at 6:00 am, every 10 minutes during the peak season weekends and every 20 minutes otherwise. Iron Springs Chateau Parking 444 Ruxton Ave. Reservations recommended. Where not to park: Incline users are not allowed to park in Barr Lot. Barr Lot is only available to users seeking access to the National Forest, via Barr Trail. You will not be granted access to the Incline if you park in Barr Lot. Parking along Ruxton Avenue and Winter St. is only for Residential Parking Permits (RPPs), which are issued by Manitou Springs. Parking on Ruxton Avenue and Winter St. without a Residential Parking Permit will result in a parking ticket.Show more
#2 - The Decalibron: Mounts Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross Trail
Pike National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1745)
Length: 8.0 mi • Est. 5 h
There is a $5 fee to park at the trailhead. The DeCaLiBron (Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross) Loop is a rite of passage for all Colorado hikers. Situated just a two-hour drive from downtown Denver, this route is challenging during summer and fall. In winter, this route should only be attempted by very experienced mountaineers. The road leading to the trailhead parking lot is fine until the end, where it gets steep and rocky. There is a ditch roughly a half mile short of the trailhead, where you can park if your car cannot continue. Upon arriving at the Kite Lake Trailhead, you'll find a gravel lot. Due to the altitude here, there is no tree cover. The hike is exposed the whole time, so be prepared. Don’t be fooled by the many false summits! The trail can get very windy, and the sun beats down in the summer. This route can be done in either direction, although a slight majority of people choose to go clockwise due to less elevation gain.Show more
#3 - The Crags Trail
Pike National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1345)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 29 m
The Crags Trail is a perfect hike for newcomers to the Colorado Springs area, since it is not too long and does not include too much elevation gain. Users can make the four miles out and back in less than two hours, but only if they don't succumb to the temptation to remain on the top of the mountain gawking at the scenery and marveling at the brazen Whisky Jack Jays that populate the wind twisted Bristle Cone Pines. Sometimes, the marvellous granite found throughout the area erodes horizontally into monumental slabs resembling stacks of gigantic red pancakes. Not too far away, the same kind of rock erodes vertically into colossal collections of cusps, ready to take a bite out of any clouds that venture too close to the earth. A few miles south of Divide, CO, this kind of rock formation is called "The Crags." The hike out to the granite dome - another kind of erosive pattern in this neck of the woods - from which users can view these stunning features is only two miles long. The trail is well marked (#664) and well travelled. In fact, this trek is so popular with area residents that the Forest Service just finished building a new trailhead parking area to accommodate the admiration for the Crags. Along the trail users will pass through forests of enormous quaking aspen, and they'll trace the track of the beginnings of Four Mile Creek. At the end of the trail, users will surmount a wind swept dome from which you can gaze at the Rampart Range, Ute Pass, and the whole of the Catamount Creeks drainage, including the blue reservoirs that capture and control their release. During winter, users should know that snowshoes are required and the route is two miles longer since parking is located beyond the Rocky Mountain Mennonite camp (on the right) before the gate that closes the road. There are tracks all the way to the top of the Crags but it requires some experience snowshoeing in steeper terrain. Once the snow gets more compacted users can do this with microspikes.Show more
#4 - Devil's Head Lookout Trail
Pike National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1331)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 36 m
SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure. For more information, please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/psicc/recarea/?recid=78558 Devil's Head Lookout Trail takes you to a distinct granite rock outcropping in the front range west of Castle Rock. The outcropping is clearly visible from Castle Rock to Woodland Park. It is also home to the only fire lookout tower in Colorado that is staffed by the National Forest Service. This grants it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. It should also have a spot on your hiking list! The route offers historical significance, excellent views of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains for 100 miles in all directions from the lookout tower, as well as a whole lot of fun! The majority of this hike is shaded by mixed Aspen and Pine forest. This makes it a great autumnal hike featuring expansive views of the changing aspens during the right time of year. There are plenty of shaded benches where you can take a break to cool off, and catch your breath. A sign even marks the halfway point for you! The trail gains 950ft in elevation gain over 1.4 miles, and ends with a climb up 143 stairs so come prepared for a short and sweet challenge. The parking area is limited so it is suggested that you get there early to insure you get a spot!Show more
#5 - Catamount Falls Trail
Pike National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1143)
Length: 6.4 mi • Est. 3 h 35 m
Catamount Falls Trail is a beautiful loop that takes you past three scenic waterfalls stemming from Pikes Peak Mountain. Start this route at the parking area in the small town of Green Mountain Falls. From here, take Howard st, Foster Ave, and Mountain Ave to reach the Thomas Trail trailhead. This trail is marked by yellow blazes. The first half of this trail is mostly an incline but there are a few nice spots to enjoy the scenic views on the way up. Once you get to the "Garden of Eden", the second half of the hike flattens out except for the short and steep incline towards the South Catamount Reservoir. In the winter, users recommend wearing microspikes for the icy trail conditions. Also, make sure to check the road conditions before heading out at https://www.cotrip.org/map.htm#/roadConditions Show more
#6 - Pikes Peak via Barr Trail
Pike National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(879)
Length: 23.1 mi • Est. Multi-day
Pikes Peak via Barr Trail is one of the most popular trails in Pike National Forest. Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The top of Pikes Peak can be very stormy, it is recommended to start this hike very early and get to the peak by noon. The summer months are the best time of year to plan the summiting of Pikes Peak. The trail head starts at the Barr Trail parking area by Hydro Street. The trail begins with steep elevation gain immediately. For those who are not interested in hiking Pikes Peak, you can drive up Pikes Peak Highway for $15 per adult. Otherwise it is 12 miles to the summit from the trailhead. About 6.5 miles from the trailhead is Barr Camp where Manitou Springs, where the trail begins, is a nice resort town and a good option for lodging. There are shuttles available in Manitou Springs that will take you to the trail. Show more
#7 - Mount Sherman Trail via Four Mile Creek Road
Pike National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(875)
Length: 5.0 mi • Est. 3 h 2 m
Hiking to Mount Sherman via the southwest ridge along Four Mile Creek Road is the most common route to take. Mt. Sherman is one of the easiest 14ers and it is full of mining history. Although it is considered an easy 14er, it is still an alpine hike requiring preparation. It is among the Mosquito Range. To access this trail, take County Road 18 and, starting at the Leavick Site at around ten miles (16 km) in, there are numerous parking areas with signs. Depending on your car, you can choose to continue up the road, which gets more rugged as it goes. The road is rough, but doable if moving slowly. The hike itself begins at Fourmile Creek Trailhead. Do not attempt to climb the cornice blocking the trail. It’s safest to hike around it to avoid getting seriously injured. It should be fairly easy to identify. As you approach the large abandoned mine, stay climber’s right and then traverse left across the more mild snowfield to gain the ridge.Show more
#8 - Palmer Lake Reservoir via La Deux Reservoirs Trail
Pike National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1007)
Length: 4.1 mi • Est. 2 h 9 m
Additional public parking .5mi away on Lower Glenway Street at the baseball field.Show more
#9 - Cheesman Canyon
Pike National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(674)
Length: 5.3 mi • Est. 2 h 27 m
#10 - Pikes Peak from the Crags Trail
Pike National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(600)
Length: 14.5 mi • Est. 8 h 15 m
SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure. For more information, please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/psicc/about-forest/about-area From the parking lot you will see the sign for the Crags trailhead. Begin hiking down this trail. After a tenth of a mile you will see a sign on the right labeling trail 664A take this trail across a log bridge and begin your ascent. This trail will take you into a basin at the base of the peak, then it will aggressively gain elevation up to Devil's Playground. As you reach Devil's Playground the rest of the route to the summit comes into view. The ridge is a long and gradual hike. As you hike the ridge you must cross the Pikes Peak Tollway and stay on the Northeast side of the road. The road is regularly patrolled and you will be fined if caught hiking on it. The last bit of trail to the summit is a steep rocky section. Keep your eyes open for cairns that mark the trail. If you stay on the trial this section isn't bad, but if you lose the trail you're in for some tough rock scrambling. At the summit rest in the summit house and return the way you came.Show more
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