Dome Rock Trail

HARD 53 reviews
#31 of 140 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
1935 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
3 days 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
13 days ago

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19 days ago

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20 days ago

21 days ago

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28 days ago

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29 days ago

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 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!

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 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.

5 months ago

awesome hike but wish I could take the dogs with