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Dome Rock Trail is a 11.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Divide, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, bird watching, and horses and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 11.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,778 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

washed out

fee

no dogs

NOTE: Public access is prohibited from December 1 to July 15 in the area bounded on the east by the Sand Creek Trail, on the north by the Dome Rock Trail, and on the west and south by the property boundaries. The Dome Rock Trail west of the Jack Rabbit Lodge is closed from December 1 to July 15. Starting summer of 2020 Colorado Parks and Wildlife will require you to have a fishing or hunting license plus a habitat stamp to enter Dome Rock Area. Year permits plus the required habitat stamp are $45 per person. A day pass plus the required habitat stamp will be $25.09 per person. The CPW claim that the area is intended only for fishing and hunting, so hikers must have such permits. Rising 800 ft above the 4 Mile Creek valley floor, Dome Rock is the quintessential Colorado destination. Adjacent to Meuller State Park, just south of Divide and north of Cripple Creek, you can hike here from mid-July to the end of November. This area is restricted because it is one of the few areas where Big Horn Sheep drop and nurture their lambs. You can travel this area on foot (with or without snowshoes, depending on the weather) or on horseback. No mountain bikes and no DOGS. If you like variety, you'll find it on this hike: wild flowers (in late July/early August), Aspen forests, beaver ponds, massive granite rock formations, views of the central Rocky Mountains, quiet streams and rushing creeks. Because it takes 5-6 hours to complete the 11 mile loop (depending on how often you stop for pictures, or how much exploring you do along the way), you may have the opportunity to experience the delight of Colorado blue skies and the drama of roiling clouds in one glorious day. Begin your loop from the south parking lot trailhead. Most of the UP is on the way out to the dome, especially if you take the side trail up to the lookout via the Twisted Pine Nature Trail. If you don't want to do the loop, you can begin from the north parking lot, hiking out and back. This would shorten the hike by about a mile and reduce the amount of climbing involved (but it will also reduce your ability to see the panorama of the central Rockies). For this out and back hike, cross the bridge and then stay on the north side of 4 Mile Creek (unless you're on horse back; horses must use the stream crossings and the trail engineered for them). Note: There are no bridges. So if you don't want to get your feet wet, watch for the small trails leading off into the brush along the creek. These will keep you on the north and west side of the creek all the way out to the dome, or all the way back from the dome. If do the loop, you must cross the creek just west of the dome. Again, no bridge here; take off your shoes and wade across - the bottom is sandy.

1 month ago

Please respect this closure per CO State Parks and Wildlife: "Public access is prohibited from December 1 to July 15 in the area bounded on the east by the Sand Creek Trail, on the north by the Dome Rock Trail, and on the west and south by the property boundaries. The Dome Rock Trail west of the Jack Rabbit Lodge is closed from December 1 to July 15."

hiking
2 months ago

Starting summer of 2020 Colorado Parks and Wildlife will require you to have a fishing or hunting license plus a habitat stamp to enter Dome Rock Area. Year permits plus the required habitat stamp are $45 per person. A day pass plus the required habitat stamp will be $25.09 per person. The CPW claim that the area is intended only for fishing and hunting, so hikers must have such permits. That's too bad because this was a good hike.

hiking
icy
3 months ago

It’s a beautiful 11 mile long trail but most of the notable parts are on the back 5 miles by Dome Rock and the burned down lodge Teddy Roosevelt once stayed in. The full trail necessitates crossing a small creek once. Prepare to take off your boots or get them wet. Do not plan on Mario hopping over on rocks as it will not end well.

horseback riding
8 months ago

Attention horseback riders: this trail is SPECTACULAR -- a must for autumn leaf lovers! It's not easy, but it's well worth the loop. Get there early to score good trailer parking in the lot just to the left of the entrance. It's a tight squeeze for bigger rigs; I'm glad I came in a two-horse. We went counter clockwise/north and west first. This left the hard part for the end, but it also meant it was uphill. My friend and I agreed we'd much rather ride up the tough inclines than down. Our horses are unshod; we use Scoot boots on their front feet. For the most part, we didn't really need them, but we were happy to have them on a few rocky parts. Lots of beautiful water crossings. An easier route is out and back from the trail head (top of the loop), but the tougher part on the bottom of the loop was the most beautiful. We went slowly and took lots of breaks; the full loop took us about four hours.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful aspens.

hiking
9 months ago

Excellent hike with amazing variety of scenery, mostly in terms of splendid outcrops of Pikes Peak granite, including the Dome. We went hoping for good aspen colors; they are a mixed bag at this point but there were plenty of good colors. We did the loop counter clockwise and encountered only 2 others doing the same. Completed in 8 hours, including plenty of breaks for snacks and photos. If going the traditional clockwise direction, there are lovely aspen stands for the first 1 1/2 miles, then again between miles 4 and 6. Colors should be peak in about a week. Bring plenty of water and/or filter as we did.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail! Hiked it clockwise to get vertical done early. Stream crossings were no big deal; very shallow with steppingstones at most. Hiked on a Tuesday. Only saw one other hiker and three folks on horseback. Do this Trail now before it closes for Big Horn sheep habitat! My favorite trail now! Way better than Crags, Pancake, etc.

hiking
over grown
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful, easier trail. Plenty of parking. Follows a stream. Didn't see any bighorn this time.

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
10 months ago

great loop very pleasant. beautiful flowers and views (early August) not sure how to avoid the ~6 stream crossings as the guide says you only need one. water nice to cool off in however

hiking
10 months ago

Wish I would’ve heeded the waterproof pants advice! Early morning dew will leave you soaked for the duration especially if you go clockwise. But my goodness what a payoff, dome rock is simply spectacular and one of my new favorites ever as far as solitude hikes go. Must see!

hiking
11 months ago

Hermosa ruta. Disfruta de una agradable caminata en donde tendrás que cruzar varios valles, arroyos y disfrutar de mucho verde y flores silvestres. El punto central del trayecto es el dome rock. Recomiendo llevar una pequeña toalla para mantener los pies secos.

hiking
closed
Sun Jun 30 2019

I give this 5 stars only because I have done this hike before. But I have to say shame on the people who have done this loop in the last month. There is no hiking Dome Rock loop from December 1st - July 15th. We were pretty disappointed because it sounded like it was open from the last couple ratings. Oh well we will come back.

hiking
rocky
Thu May 16 2019

hiking
Sun Oct 07 2018

Lovely hike. I went clockwise but next time will go counter clockwise as I think this is the more scenic approach. Beautiful Aspen forests on the south side of the loop, lovely meadows, streams, and peaks to see on the northern side. Lots of stream crossings. Fresh scat on trail just northeast of Dome Rock. Not sure if it was cougar or coyote. Be smart and safe when hiking.

hiking
Sun Sep 09 2018

I'm a very experienced hiker in good shape and my wife is in good shape as well. We did this hike after having seen it on AllTrails. This trail was absolutely beautiful this time of year, very green, lots of small creeks, and we even picked some wild strawberries right off the trail. For whatever reasons we decided to do the hike in reverse. If you decide to do that, make sure you bring plenty of water. I usually carry less water and bring a filtration kit to resupply from streams. Most of the streams you cross are in the beginning, which means that is your only opportunity to fill up if you hike in reverse. Also, plan on crossing some streams, they were roughly knee height during ours.

Sun Aug 26 2018

This was one of my favorite hikes. Echo what others have said about it having it all. Amazing views and the Dome Rock is spectacular. Saw a bear walking along Dome Rock which was an added bonus. Be careful of the notes in the last couple wayfair markers on the All Trails Map, just follow the map rather than the notes. This was a GREAT hike, it’s long, but worth every mile. There is nothing to technical about the trail, the Hard rating I’m sure comes more from the distance. The stream crossings are easy, but bring sandals or water shoes. Look forward to doing this one again as the Aspens change colors in the fall.

hiking
Sun Aug 19 2018

Today was a perfect day for this 10.7 mile hike around Dome Rock! This was my second time to hike the loop – beginning on the northside and continuing on around Dome Rock to the southside for completion of the hike in four hours and 30 minutes. The creek crossings were more fun this time with water shoes – last time simply had flip-flops! There were less blooming wildflowers on this trip compared to last time – two or three weeks ago I’m sure the valley was bursting with color. Still looking for a Big Horn sheep but again saw none. This is a great training hike in preparation for summeting a 14er. The elevation gain and multiples difficult accents make this a great cardio workout in preparation for low oxygen levels and muscle stamina – all required to comfortably summit a 14er. As stated in my previous post on this hike – I look forward to returning when the aspens are turning – it will be like a new hike!

hiking
Sat Jul 21 2018

Arrived at the parking area on a Saturday at 0630 and only one other car was there. Hiked the trail clockwise and it took right at 5 hrs and clocked in right at 11 miles. Plenty of creek crossings but water was low so no need to take boots off. I do wish I had brought long pants, you will be hiking through a lot of shrubs. Some of the trails were poorly marked and wasn’t sure what direction. Just pulled out my AllTrails app and made sure I was headed in the right direction. Unfortunately only animals I saw were turkey, woodpeckers and chipmunks. Beautiful hike though!!

hiking
Sun Oct 22 2017

Fantastic hike. I always pack a filter whenever I'm out, so glad to have had it on this hike!

hiking
Wed Oct 18 2017

Nicely marked trail this time of the year. If you're going in July when it first opens pay close attention as the trail gets overgrown and it's easy to miss a turn. Bring plenty of water and some snacks. The elevation gain is steep at parts but levels off for awhile.

hiking
Tue Sep 19 2017

Did the loop counter-clockwise and echo the sentiment below about wishing I'd brought a little more water (or a water filter). What a beautiful and varied loop hike though! There are five or six creek crossings that require a removal of your boots, unless you want them to be soaked! Dome Rock wouldn't be out of place in Yosemite. Very striking feature. The aspens were changing color in a lot of places on September 18, not quite turning in others. Overall, a very peaceful and beautiful outing with not too many people on the trail.

hiking
Tue Sep 19 2017

Holy crap. Bring enough water to do the entire loop. I've done it previously on horseback...consider myself a pretty experienced hiker.. moderate hike. I went through the canyon first and went counter-clockwise for a bigger challenge. I got it!! Beautiful aspen/rock photos.

hiking
Fri Sep 08 2017

Hiked 9/8/2017 First time hiking this from the south trail as a loop. There is a lot of uphill at the start through a beautiful aspen grove eventually flattening out on a ridge before turning into a steep descent into the dome rock canyon area. I spotted an adolescent black bear on the trail close to the dome rock, scared off easy. Starting at the dome there will be at least 5 water crossing, i slipped into flip flops each time but plan on getting wet. My gps had the trail around 9 miles as a loop. Spotted no big horns. Plan on going back in a couple weeks for the aspens.

Mon Aug 28 2017

Was tough for this flatlander. I need to acclimate a few more days, try again.

hiking
Fri Aug 18 2017

Loved it. Wildflowers were AMAZING. Did anyone see any Big Horn? We didn't.

hiking
Sun Aug 06 2017

This trail was all and more than expected! With a variety of terrain and level of difficulty- it has something for nearly anyone! The wild flowers were amazing and the stream crossings fun. This hike (the complete loop) is for anyone with good cardio fitness as the south half of the loop is nearly all incline- beautiful, but constant uphill. I arrived at 8am and finished at about 1:30pm with time to stop and photograph and have a quick lunch! I will do this trail again in September when the Aspens turn!

Mon May 29 2017

This trail is challenging, with five points along the trail where the creek runs across the path, sandal shoes are recommended for the first half of the Dome Rock trail loop. The return loop after passing Dome Rock will take you up a series of seven steep incline sections, and then offer a level northwesterly view of Pike's Peak from 10,000'. The return path to trailhead guides you along a birding valley before completing the loop.

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