Buckhorn Loop (Captain Jack's Frontside) Trail

MODERATE 49 reviews
#10 of 18 trails in

Buckhorn Loop (Captain Jack's Frontside) Trail is a 7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from May until November.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1604 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

forest

views

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

scramble

washed out

no dogs

The peak of buckhorn isn't where it seems. The first boulders you come across are so impressive, you think you've made it, but keep following the trail. You'll pass a giant fire pit (seriously it looks like a meteor crater), a huge log you have to climb over, then when you get to a giant boulder the size of a 2 story house with a cave underneath, you've finally made the peak. There are quite a few giant boulders to climb on with amazing views, and a gnarly pine tree that has made the perfect hangout and sitting spot with its curves.There's also some great views and photo ops just down the trail from the peak trailhead. If you're doing the buckhorn loop, take the trail up to the peak, you won't regret it.

10 days ago

Had to take stars off for all the motorcycles

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Wrote a whole blog post on the trail :)
http://www.traillatte.com/2017/05/09/mt-buckhorn-and-captain-jacks-loop/

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

Have to give this only three stars because no dogs are allowed on any of the trails in this section of trails for north Cheyenne.

hiking
3 months ago

Great for hiking and mountain biking. Stellar views of Garden of the Gods and Cheyenne. Well manicured trail made for limited, if any, turn arounds. Awesome little morning/evening hike.

4 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Took the kids this time. 2 13 yr olds, a 9 yr old, and carried the 7m old.
A few spots on the loop that need some work. Skree and washouts make the trail a bit tricky in spots. Mountain bikes have loosened the gravel a lot in places. I almost slipped a few times. My 9 yr old slipped a few times and it made her pretty nervous. We just went slower and let her pick the pace after that.

The peak of buckhorn isn't where it seems. The first boulders you come across are so impressive, you think you've made it, but keep following the trail. You'll pass a giant fire pit (seriously it looks like a meteor crater), a huge log you have to climb over, a rock we call the Moses rock BC it's split like the Red Sea (lol), then when you get to a giant boulder the size of a 2 story house with a cave underneath, you've finally made the peak. There are quite a few giant boulders to climb on with amazing views, and a gnarly pine tree that has made the perfect hangout and sitting spot with its curves. We usually stop for lunch or snacks at the peak and play around for a while before starting back down. There's also some great views and photo ops just down the trail from the peak trailhead. If you're doing the buckhorn loop, take the trail up to the peak, you won't regret it.

hiking
6 months ago

Definitely a workout but SOOOOO worth it.
Took the main trail (west on the high road) from the parking lot towards 7 bridges trail. Got off a bit too early (the breakout for Buckhorn loop is after you exit the trailhead for 7 bridges. But I saw a trail and thought that was it. Turns out that trial leads to a homeless camp in some boulders. It was a mess. Lots of trash and evidence of fires that weren't properly made or watched.

I didn't want to go back down to the main trail after climbing so far and my gps showed Buckhorn trail not far above me so I kept going, super steep, super sketchy, but finally made it to Buckhorn trail.

Buckhorn loop is a more narrow trail with a few sketchy spots of skree and washouts that need to be repaired. I'd say moderate only because the incline is quite the workout on your legs. You get breaks though, it'll be a good incline then a relatively flat stretch. Lots of bikes and they come out of nowhere so keep an ear out. There's not a lot of room to move off the trail for them.

The trail for Buckhorn peak is on the southern switchback where the trail starts to decline. Either direction it's the same spot. From seven bridges, you'll go about 100' down the trail before the split. It'a close to a big rocky outcropping with amazing views of the canyon and mountains to the west.

The trail to peak Buckhorn is directly north. A lighter path so may be hard to see in winter but clearly visible now. You'll pass a few big and awesome looking out-croppings and a big crater someone used as a fire pit. The peak itself is a gigantic rock with space underneath it making a cave. The views for the entire ridge line are spectacular in all direction: the springs, the mountain ranges to the north and west, and Cheyenne mountain to the south. Stopped and fed the baby a bottle while I ate lunch then began the trek down.

The trail down to high road has a lot of switchbacks and a couple easier inclines. They've maintained this trail a bit more but higher up had some skree and washout areas that were a bit more nerve racking. Once you reach the main trailhead at high road, it's an easy decline back to the parking lot.

I've tried this trail going up high drive first and wouldn't recommend it unless you're in great shape. It's all incline with no breaks at all. I turned back after reaching the trailhead the first time I tried it. Hiking from 7 bridges is a lot more manageable and the hike down is easy and scenic.

Not a lot of traffic today. It's a Tuesday and I hiked between 10 & 3. I'm out of shape and it took me over 3 hours in and out. Quite a workout but totally worth it. Buckhorn peak is magical.

hiking
7 months ago

Views, views, views. But you will work for them. Only made it to where captain jack breaks off by the high drive monument/sign. I'm mostly adjusted to the altitude but completely out of shape so getting there took some major self-pep-talking. He entire trail is uphill and I mean uphill. About 600' gain in a mile. Took lots of breaks on the way up for water and to catch my breath. I had a 10lb backpack behind me and a 15lb baby in a carrier in front of me so that made it tough. Stopped at the trail split for a sack lunch and a diaper change and bottle for baby. Decided to head back down due to time but lots of easy, moderate, and difficult trails I could've picked from there. Main trail up is gravel and smoothed out. Wide enough to share with hikers, mountain bikers and even horses. A few good drop-offs on the edge but plenty of room to stay away if
That makes you nervous. Saw a few mountain lion tracks so be aware of that. Overall a nice hike and the baby enjoyed being outside too. Really wanted to hike up to the peak of buckhorn but too dangerous of a trail when carrying a baby.

8 months ago

Super fun trail- single track, good elevation, not crowded, very nice view at the top. I liked it a lot!

hiking
9 months ago

We had a lot of fun hiking up high drive and then to mount buckhorn. Great views! Very windy today. Highly recommend for new hikers!

hiking
9 months ago

Love this for a quick/moderate-length hike. Make sure you go to the summit of Buckhorn and see the giant boulder. It's amazing!

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail, esp. for a quick hike. You don't have to worry about scree fields like above Seven Bridges/622. Safer for young kids, but watch out for bikers.