Big Johnson Reservoir

EASY 19 reviews

Big Johnson Reservoir is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

4.7 miles
88 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


old growth

no shade

no dogs

6 months ago

I do not recommend this trail. It is over grown with weeds and we were attacked by bugs the entire run. There were so many crickets flying around it felt like we were getting pelted with pebbles. There are many very large animal burrows that are hidden and you can step in them and hurt yourself. The reservoir has been drained as well.

7 months ago

Reservoir has been drained :(

Sunday, January 15, 2017

No dogs allowed

Friday, August 19, 2016

The trail is a lonely prairie wilderness with great views of Pike's Peak and the Big Johnson Reservoir, an impressive body of water that's frustratingly far away from the actual trail for my taste. Traffic on Powers roars across a high ridge to the east, which disturbs the wilderness feeling and causes an awkward self-consciousness, as there are very few hikers. The park is near the airport and planes fly loudly overhead.

The trail is an out-and-back, not a loop. It's just shy of 4 miles. There's a slight incline, but otherwise easy. Despite being flanked by a major roadway, Blue Stem feels isolated and deserted, with neither shade nor shelter of any kind. There's generally only one or maybe two other cars at the trailhead, and often no one else. Because of rattlesnakes I am nervous to walk there alone.

In spring and early summer a profusion of wildflowers and cactus blossoms grow amongst the grasses. There's a super view of clouds and ever-changing sky. If others come to the park they are often photographers there for the birds and views.

The reservoir attracts Pelicans and the grassland has prairie dogs and antelope. I've often seen small groups of antelope fairly nearby, especially at the north and northwest where the trail doubles back.

Though it's technically inside the city of Colorado Springs and has some unpleasant urban features like the traffic and airport noise, Blue Stem is a true wilderness. I recommend bringing binoculars or a camera, water, a snake bite kit, a charged phone - just in case - and a friend.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Nice walk as long as you stay on trail.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Easy walk, saw a rattle snake and some owls.

trail running
Wednesday, June 01, 2016

This place is great for looking at birds, prairie dogs, and the occasional plane flying over. I was disappointed that the trail does not go all the way around the lake. It is 1.8 miles to the fence where you will turn around, my gps said 3.6 miles total.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Was a pretty easy hike. Saw two great horned owls which was an amazing sight. Other than that nothing too spectacular about this trail.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

It is a good starter trail, did not like that the trail did not go all the way around the lake.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

meh.....its OK. not sure why its fenced like property in California. lots of prairie dogs that will insult you as you walk.

trail running
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

If you love prairie dogs, this place is like heaven on earth. If you're not, it's pretty boring. It's great for running if you don't have any place better to go to.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Commonly known as the Big Johnson Reservoir. I've never completed the a circular trail-not actually sure the trail can be done as a loop. I've done it in and out. Be sure to bring enough water to make it back to the car! No shade anywhere. The reservoir is known as a destination for birders-a lot of shorebirds, gulls, bald eagles in part of the winter. My favorites are burrowing owls, which in turn means lots of prairie dogs. The lake level is quite low and completely fenced, which means those water birds are frustratingly far away. Rattlesnakes are common.

7 months ago

7 months ago

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturday, June 01, 2013