Dome Rock Trail

HARD 54 reviews
#30 of 144 trails in

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

DISTANCE
11.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1778 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

washed out

no dogs

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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
2 months ago

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
2 months ago

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
3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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!

6 months ago

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.

6 months ago

awesome hike but wish I could take the dogs with

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful! We hiked up both the ridge and along the creek. Two totally different hikes but both equally as rewarding and picturesque.

8 months ago

Great trail, most of park is closed for lambing season. Beautiful views. Only did 8.77 miles of trail. I recommend deet, since we brought back 3 ticks crawling on our clothing.

8 months ago

NO dogs allowed on this trail but dogs are allowed on the Briar creek trail to the 4 mile overlook to the hammerton trail located north of the bathrooms. 8 mile hike was lovely. All the water and birds were so wonderful. No steep inclines, only saw 1 group and 2 single hikers. Took us about 4 hours with a 25 minute lunch.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

We did the loop, logged in at 11.7 miles, taking a total of 5.5 hours including breaking for lunch. (We did go off trail a couple of times for a moment.) We went clockwise starting from the south lot. The majority of the elevation gain was in the first two miles. This trail has river crossings. Even late November there was a significant amount of water at the crossings. (mid-shin level) Once north of the dome, and heading back east, we were able to stay north of the river and avoid any further crossings. (Taking the hiking trail and not the bridle trail.)

This hike was nice. There were moments of beautiful scenery. The dome was impressive. The Jack Rabbit Cabin ruins were cool. On the north side, the hiking trail (not the bridle trail) can be a little technical in spots, and has more gain than the bridle trail but has more river crossings.

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

moderate. Amazing scenery.

Friday, September 16, 2016

I love this trail. horseback it is hard , switch backs , hairpin turns .... Deadfall your horse will have to be ok jumping or trudging through it. It is my favorite ride but again it is intense!!!!! 10-13 water crossings some deep some very shallow. You will see hiker At the start of the trail and at the end . Hikers can not make it all the way in where the horses are . So in the middle of the ride it will be pretty quiet. A valley of aspen trees is where we stop and eat lunch always same spot let the horses rest and I believe that is "dome rock" we stop at .

hiking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bring waterproof shoes and if doing loop, go clockwise

backpacking
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This was a great training hike for a longer backpacking trip I'm doing next month. It had a variety of views, great rock formations, small waterfalls, wild flowers, pine, and aspen forest habitats, and of course plenty of stream crossings- don't forget your water shoes!

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

I did the whole loop counterclockwise. It is a beautiful hike with plenty of creek crossings. Expect shin to knee high water. The trail access is from the upper parking lot or from the lower parking area depending on which way you would like to go. The elevation map is from a clockwise perspective (easier route). There is an incredible overlook if you wonder off trail before you reach dome rock (clockwise) or after you pass dome rock (counter clockwise). Saw an eagle.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Very scenic. Little elevation gain but a beautiful area and the Dome is spectacular.

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