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Dome Rock Trail

HARD 34 reviews
#28 of 124 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.

11.2 miles
1935 feet



nature trips


horseback riding



wild flowers


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. I recommend that for your first trip, you allow plenty of time. I also recommend you 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). You'll note in the Points of Interest that I have marked the stream crossing locations as X-1, X-2, etc., numbering them from the dome back toward the trailhead. 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.

7 days ago

awesome hike but wish I could take the dogs with

15 days ago

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

23 days ago

1 month 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.

2 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. We did a decent 8 mile hike that was lovely. we went off trail and had lunch way up in the sky. All the water and birds were so wonderful. Low traffic, only saw 1 group and 2 single hikers. The 8 miles took us 4 hours with a 25 minute lunch. I would rate as easy, no steep inclines.

2 months ago

5 months ago

6 months ago

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.

7 months ago

moderate. Amazing scenery.

7 months ago

8 months ago

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 .

9 months ago

Bring waterproof shoes and if doing loop, go clockwise

10 months ago

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!

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

11 months ago

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Monday, October 05, 2015

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

One of the prettiest hikes I've been on. Did it clockwise on a very sunny morning. After an extended, but moderate, uphill climb thru several groves of aspen, there was a mile or two of bushwhacking thru the undergrowth to get down to the valley floor. Appeared that this portion of the trail was not heavily used. Hard to keep to the trail in places but simply followed the stream down to the bottom without too much difficulty. Suggest waterproof boots and either waterproof pants or gaiters - there was lots of dew on the foliage which resulted in a good soaking as I passed. Once on the valley floor it was smooth sailing all the way around the rock and back around to the trailhead. The fordings of Four Mile Creek were really no big deal. Had waterproof boots and just waded across.
Gradients were pretty moderate except for that one stretch heading down into the valley - would prefer not to do it in the other direction.
Saw a few critters - elk, deer, rabbits, but no sheep.
Worth doing again and again. Must be spectacular in October when the aspens light up.