Sentinel Point Trail

HARD 38 reviews
#46 of 171 trails in

Sentinel Point Trail is a 6.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Florissant, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,732 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Beaver Ponds, views, alpine tundra, waterfalls, solitude. Great hike. The trail starts on the SE end of the parking lot. Follow this trail to Horsethief Park. Just after the terrain levels out look for a left turn marked with a ring-the-peak signpost. Take this trail that immediately crosses a stream. Follow this trail North through a small valley with several beaver ponds. The trail will make a Y where the valley begins to veer right. Take the right leg of the Y that continues in this small valley. The trail will soon reach an area where it follows an old stream bed. When the trail fades head right and up to the ridge to Sentinel Point Then descend south from Sentinel Point staying on the East side of the ridge. Look for an opening in the rocky ridge at a small saddle and descend there. Head down until you reach the stream, follow the stream until you reach Horsetheif Falls trail. Follow this trail downhill and it will lead you back to the Trailhead.

1 month ago

this trail was amazing! we took some extra time close to the summit and hiked near to a mile out of our way to see the views . However after summiting the trail back down was not marked at all and we ended up bushwhacking our way back down to Horsethief Falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this with my 12 year old son and really enjoyed it. Quite a challenge and we didn't quite find the USGS marker for the top on account of the rocks becoming a bit too technical and risky for the two of us. The route up was fairly well-marked but once you leave the trees you have to keep an eye out for cairns to guide your way. The route down was basically non-existent if you do the loop but the ground cover isn't too thick and if you keep a close eye on the topography and use your compass getting down isn't too tough.

Views from the top were good, but another set of hikers recommended the view from just east of the summit in the saddle towards Pikes Peak. Next time we go up we'll probably head that way to see what we can see.

No snow or ice on June 2nd, 2018.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike on 5/23. Did the full loop. Trail is mostly dry with a few isolated snow drifts and occasional mud at higher elevations. I brought traction with me but never found it necessary all the way to the summit or on the descent. I would only recommend attempting the summit from the north approach (Left at the marker - walk through Horsethief Park). This section is fairly well established and the trail has a number of cairns to aid in way finding. This will eventually take you to a large boulder field as others mentioned. There are multiple cairned routes through the boulder field. As others have stated, it seems best to try to stay left. I originally started taking one of the routes more to the right side which seemed more direct and eventually had to make my way left anyway to get to an easier route. Staying left initially would have saved time. Summit requires some class 3 moves. USGS summit marker is in the top of a rock slightly north and slightly below the highest rocks at the summit. The southern part of the loop which descends into Horsethief Park near the falls is much less clearly marked. I didn’t see any cairns or tape or anything else to denote a route on the descent so I was happy to have GPS with me. This part of the trail gets very vertical in some spots but is generally doable with caution. Some class 3 down climbing over rock formations I found necessary sticking to the GPS track, YMMV. Overall beautiful hike and the views are well worth the effort. If I were to do this trail again I might consider backtracking the way I came after summiting rather than doing the loop as it seems this section is both much more clearly marked as well as less vertical.

2 months ago

Still too snowy. Made it 500' below the top but had to turn back. The snow made it dangerous going down, even with spikes. I wouldn't recommend this trail except in the summer with no snow.

hiking
4 months ago

We did the loop about seven months ago. The late post is kind of to defend this beautiful hike. No there are no signs. No it’s not super easy. Myself, a 55 year old and my guy, a 56 year old managed it pretty well. I tore my MCL in June and did that “kill me now” descent in August. Not super smart but at the time we had no idea how steep the descent would be. That said I would do it again, healthy in a minute. It’s beautiful and peaceful and an awesome workout for people our age to prepare for some bigger longer hikes. We took our flat lander 25 year old daughter with us and she did that boulder field in half the time we did. It was fun and I would recommend it to anyone for a day hike with a pick your path trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this on December 18th. Not a large amount of snow yet. However, spikes are definitely necessary. It is very slick when you descend the mountain. The boulder field is avoidable if you stick to the left, there are Cairnes for multiple routes, so stick to the farthest left. However, the boulder field was very fun to navigate and is doable with spikes, there is ample opportunity to get off route. The final push to the summit has some class 3 moves. There was no one else on the trail that day. Probably the best summit experience in the Pikes Peak region.

hiking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Terrific adventure. The summit is worth it. Thank you to whomever provided the GPS waypoints provided in the main route description here. They definitely made for a more confident ascent and descent. A couple of learnings to pass along: 1) the boulderfield everyone references is sort of shaped like an hourglass. We found it easier to skirt the bottom half of the boulder field to the north (climber's left), then at the narrowest point of the "hour gass" crossing south (climber's right) and accessing a steep but solid grassy slope to get to the ridge. Opting for this grassy slope--as opposed to the lower angle grassy slope and rocks featured in many pics that climbs east-northeast--saves time and aggravation. 2) On the descent from "South Saddle" to "Horse Thief Falls" we followed the direct route on our GPS. It's steep, hard on the knees and completely doable. The route pictured in red on the main route description looks as though the person angled west-southwest. I'll try that next time. Does anyone have any intel for a less steep descent? Thank you to whomever placed the colorful rock near the summit--you know who you are!--what a great landmark during the scrambling downclimb off the summit.

hiking
Monday, June 26, 2017

That loop was intense! Very enjoyable, but getting the peak itself was almost all class 3 scrambling with a couple class 4 moves sprinkled here and there. I made the mistake of downclimbing the peak on the West side and trying to head West-Southwest from there back to the trail but that was not a good call. I ended up climbing back up to the rocks, making my way to the east side then heading south (much, much easier) until I found a good break in the rocks, like this guide says. This loop was 7.75 miles, 3110 ft. elevation gain for me, and close to half of it was off-trail. Challenging, but rewarding!

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

The time is right- not hardly any snow now. When you get to tree line on accent, skirt the bottom edge of the big boulder field while heading south (to your right) and it will take you to a steady uphill below the actual point. Just keep heading south and the point will peak over the hill. Be prepared to climb to get to the top- no walking path at all.
Very steep in both directions- lots of leg and knee strength required- great adventure though!

My suggestion on way down- follow the little creek that starts up there above tree line all the way down and it will intersect with another creek which will then turn into horse thief falls. switchback down for easier decent. Have a great summer everyone!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Snow pack is still to deep, lost the trail about 1500ft or so before tree line. Decided to bag it at this point as I did not want to have to find my bush wacked trail back down to where the last visible point of the trails is.

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

This trail is definitely NOT accessible year round. Could've used a pair of snowshoes today but even that might've been a struggle. Went as far up as I could before turning around. There are no signs unless they were buried under the 3-4 feet of snow. Beautiful views! Can't wait to go back in the summer time but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone this time of year.

Monday, October 31, 2016

This hike was well marked until the top. After reaching the summit and walking around the peak to the back side, no more trail or marker. According to the map on All Trails, we stayed pretty close to the "trail", but did not see one until the last mile. The backside was very steep, slid on my butt a lot, so did my Border Collie. Plan on forging your own trail down. I had my camelback full of water and a Nalgene full and I ran out between myself and my dog. We went a total of 10.1 miles, hit the trail at 8:30, back to the car at 3:15, and we did not stop. It was the toughest hike I've done. Did Mt. Esther last week, it was a piece of cake. Should have back tracked from the peak, but wanted to do the loop.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Tried to do the loop but no trail and had to backtrack out which sucked . Challenging hike like others have said but not well marked . Large Boulder field-- headed on the grassy incline to the left instead . Good luck!!

hiking
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Completed this hike yesterday, it was fun. Definitely challenging but worth it at the top. Had to make my own trail down though. Still was worth it.

Monday, August 22, 2016

This hike is not for the light-hearted. Just make sure you follow the cairns and you will find the top. The final ascent involves scrambling and bouldering. Nice challenging hike for sure!

hiking
Thursday, August 11, 2016

This trail is challenging, but worth it. Starting out at trailhead for Horsethief and Pancake Rocks, take the first left and follow the flat trail around and then take a right at the split (704C). Shortly after this point it is all up. Look for the cairns and you should be fine. I recommend coming prepared with a plenty of calorie replenishment, water, and trekking poles for the descent down. Also, sun protection. Once you get above the tree line you will bake pretty well even on cooler days.

hiking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

This trail should be marked hard. It is much longer than 5.6 mi round trip - more like 11 mi. (I went up and down the same route along the stream.) I had difficulty following the trail once I got above tree line, so I blazed my own trail. I ended up doing a lot more boulder scampering than I think was necessary. However, it was a rewarding hike with the tundra flowers and awesome views at the top.

backpacking
Saturday, June 04, 2016

This is not an easy trail, no idea how it got rated that way. The last half mile goes up 1000 ft in elevation and the trail isn't recognizable. You'll have to rock scramble in many parts and most of the trail is unmarked. I thought this was gonna be a nice relaxing hike, from from not. After you pass the stream and beaver dams it goes straight up. It's early in the season, so a few hundred feet up I ran into nothing but snow. Some was waist deep and and the last few hundred feet was almost impossible to climb due to snow and no markings. There is no clearly defined trail in the last few hundred feet. I'd skip this trail until mid summer and not underestimate the climb over the last half mile.

birding
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Should have read the reviews first... I completely lost the path after the falls, and ended up failing to get to the top because I was dead set on finding a trail. Oh well. It was really pretty, and I went in early September. Bird watching was great, I saw several warblers, a vireo, and then the usual crowd. I'll be back to get to the top sometime.

hiking
Thursday, December 11, 2014

When we hiked this trail we veered to the right and decided to take the steeper incline from the start and slowly wind our way down. The trail was easy to see and follow all the way to the waterfall and past it a ways, when suddenly, it became almost impossible to find. At that point we took out my phone with this app and followed the topographical map and purple line to treeline. It very much felt as if we were making our own trail, even when according to the map we were on it. The views however were remarkable and made it worth it and then some.

Once we hit the boulder field on our descent we saw the piles of rocks that someone had placed to mark the trail and followed these back to tree line where they continued to help us out. Once a bit inside treeline the trail becomes totally recognizable again and easy to follow.

Our daughter hiked with us and was wearing her fit bit, which calculated the distance at 8.75 miles.

I want to hike this again in the summer, and see the difference. If you plan to take the route I would not recommend someone hike this without bringing some kind of map you can reference through various points of the hike, and be prepared for some steep climbing if you follow the way we took. It was amazing at the top though, and I highly recommend it as a lovely challenging hike.

hiking
Monday, September 08, 2014

Great and challenging hike, and overnight in the valley is a nice option.
Re: the previous reviews:
1. It's longer if you take the valley route back rather than loop past falls - ~6 mi. is loop distance.
2. It is dog friendly. The path to the boulder field is cairn marked, and then passes through a gap in the boulder field before continuing inside the trees to the right of the boulder field. You can stay in the trees and off the boulders all the way above tree line and into the saddle meadows for the final push. Only the last few boulders on the summit is beyond dog access.

hiking
Saturday, June 14, 2014

I hiked this trail? yesterday and I have to agree with some of the others who have reviewed this route. The route is pretty easy until you get to about 11000 feet. At that point the trail markings become sporadic and difficult to find. It seems the whoever marked the trail was using blaze orange tape but must have ran out. There are also rock piles along the path, but again some of those are few and far between, making staying on the trail difficult. After passing through the tree line it was a guessing game as to how to get to the peak. I chose a direct route to the top where as I was reaching the top it started to sleet. Instead of taking the loop as indicated I chose to go down the way I went up since I wasn't sure how the weather was going to hold out. Also, whoever said it was a 6 mile loop was a little off. I ended up at 8.09 miles.

hiking
Sunday, November 04, 2012

This hike started out great. When we got to the trail head we went left, or north west. The path takes you by some beaver ponds that are pretty impressive. You will pass isolated camp grounds and the remains of old cabins from the mining days. The valley is beautiful. When you start into the woods you also begin your incline. It's pretty much up the rest of the way to the peak. We had brought out black lab with us - when I reviewed the trail info it said dog friendly - but when we got near tree line the boulders were just too big and difficult for her to follow us. We tried to find an easier trail and use this app to find the actual trail path (you follow a rocky path with little man-made rock piles) but it was confusing. I read through all the other reviews and it seems you have to climb the boulders. So we sat and took a nice break near tree line on a boulder pile. The western views are amazing and it wasn't too windy though a bit chilly (it is November). We headed down after our break and returned after about five 1/2 hours of hiking. I am disappointed that we didn't summit but still enjoyed the adventure. I recommend - don't take your dog. :-)

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