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Colorado Springs for the weekend

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby nikolai » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:06 pm

I will be in Colorado Springs this weekend for a mixed activity trip, and I will have time to get a hike in. What is the iconic close-to-town mountain that I should walk up-- the Colorado Springs version of Horsetooth Mountain or Green Mountain.

Thanks!

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby doggler » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:18 pm

nikolai wrote:I will be in Colorado Springs this weekend for a mixed activity trip, and I will have time to get a hike in. What is the iconic close-to-town mountain that I should walk up-- the Colorado Springs version of Horsetooth Mountain or Green Mountain.

Thanks!


11,499' Mt. Rosa is a decent climb, although a little meatier than Green or Horsetooth.

I'd say the Incline in Manitou Springs is the 719's "classic" - when the trail runners from COS go to Boulder, we run up Green. When the Boulder runners come down here, they do the Incline.

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby jrs1965 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:41 pm

I've not had any problems but I know a few folks that have had trouble with route finding on Rosa. Incline is the Colorado Springs classic but relatively short. Blodgett and Stanley Canyon are nice also but short and I think it's still closed due to the Waldo Canyon fire.

Can always go big and do Pikes Peak...

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby dmccool » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:38 pm

As of 2 weekends ago, both Blodgett and Stanley Canyon are still closed. Maybe Mt. Herman, Spruce Mtn, Mt. Muscoco, Mt. Cutler (very short)? A trek up to Barr Camp might be nice, too.

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby powhound » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:06 am

Eagles Peak (directly behind the Air Force Academy) is also still closed...since the Waldo fire.

I've done Rosa twice and Almagre once...both from the Rosemont resevoir trailhead...and 2 out of 3 times it has not been the most aesthetic route because near the trailhead...the valley that separates those two peaks is very popular with the ATV/ target shooting crowd. An i-pod to cover up the sounds of gunfire is recommended. Wear something bright and watch yer back!

I would recommend the Incline as that is iconic and now that it is legal, will only get more renowned. My wife climbs the Incline once a week and she highly recommends using traction (microspikes or similar) and poles. The recent snows are all stomped down, making it quite slippery. Since the Incline experience can sometimes seem more like going to the gym, than a hike in the great outdoors, what I have done is add on Rocky Mountain which is behind the top of the Incline. It might add another 500 verts (?) to the 2000 of the Incline. There is also an overlook called Eagles Nest (?) which is directly behind the top of the Incline, that is worth a scramble up...but that is not Rocky Mtn. This would give you more of a natural experience and you would leave the crowds behind and most likely have it to yourself. There is a route description on Summit Post, but it leaves something to be desired. We had to poke around a bit to get on the right track...and there is a very short class 3 scramble right up the summit block...but IMO these just add to the fun.
Rocky Mtn. summit block.JPG
Rocky Mtn. summit block.JPG (66.19 KiB) Viewed 286 times

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:10 am

I'd say Mount Cutler for a quick and high-reward hike. It's quite short (2 miles r/t, 500'), but close and has an overlook with best view of the Broadmoor area you'll get anywhere. The fork to the overlook is unmarked but intuitively obvious near the summit - head down a bit and then up to end of the east ridge.

Mount Rosa is likely a wallowfest right now without snowshoes. It's also pretty long (14 miles r/t from North Cheyenne Canyon 4-way TH).

The Incline is a good choice if you have 2-3 hours and want to push yourself more.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby KentonB » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:51 pm

There are several great options. Besides those mentioned above, I'd also throw out the following:

-Red Mountain (Manitou Springs)
-Mt. Manitou (right behind Rocky Mountain if you do the Incline)
-Mays Peak and/or Mt. Buckhorn (N. Cheyenne Canyon Park)
-Raspberry Mountain (on the back side of Pikes Peak south of Divide.

There are also many "high points" in city parks like Austin Bluffs, Popes Bluff (Ute Valley Park), and Pulpit Rock.

Of course there are many hiking trails that don't lead to peaks... Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks being among the best.

I do NOT recommend Rosa this time of year due to snowfall. And, as mentioned, this is a pretty long hike from the Springs. There are shorter routes from the south and west, but the 4WD roads they require may not be accessible. Also, as noted, Blodgett will be closed for a while yet due to the Waldo Canyon fire.

If you want details on any of these peaks (or others mentioned)... let me now. I have GPS Tracks of most of them too.

-Kent

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby YooperJonKornely » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:12 pm

This question might fit into this thread a bit... does anyone know when the Waldo Fire area will be reopened? One of my favorite things to do when I first moved out here was to drive Rampart Range Road from Garden of the Gods up to Woodland Park and find cool places to hike in that area. But the road is still closed, along with Waldo Canyon itself. I have not ever heard anything regarding the reopening of any of that area but I sure hope it opens again fairly soon.

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby Vermont Mike » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:29 pm

Here are my local favorites:

-- Mount Muscoco loop via Mt. Cutler/Daniel's Pass
-- Tenney Crags from Captain Jack's
-- Kineo Mountain loop via Seven Bridges/Captain Jack's
-- 8130 via Section 16 and Palmer/Red Rock loop

Of course, the Incline --> Rocky Mountain --> Barr Trail loop is classic

Basically I'd recommend something out of North Cheyenne Canyon (such as the first three listed above) if you're not going to do the Incline. Most other interesting options, although nearby as the crow flies, take a bit of driving to get to.

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby SES_17 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:52 pm

This question might fit into this thread a bit... does anyone know when the Waldo Fire area will be reopened? One of my favorite things to do when I first moved out here was to drive Rampart Range Road from Garden of the Gods up to Woodland Park and find cool places to hike in that area. But the road is still closed, along with Waldo Canyon itself. I have not ever heard anything regarding the reopening of any of that area but I sure hope it opens again fairly soon.


Looks like it's going to be a while before Blodegett Peak opens :(
http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=2101
If you can't fix it with duct tape... it's broke.

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:22 pm

Garden of the Gods is pretty nice this time of year, and definitely one of the local iconic areas. Connecting the Palmer, Siamese Twins, Strausenbach, Buckskin Charlie, Niobrara, and Bretag trails makes a loop of about 8 miles that shows you the whole park, pretty much. It's not as complicated as it sounds; basically you just hike around the perimeter of most of the park. Winter is the time to go, as the snow keeps the horses away, mostly.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Colorado Springs for the weekend

Postby KentonB » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:23 pm

Vermont Mike wrote:Here are my local favorites:

-- Mount Muscoco loop via Mt. Cutler/Daniel's Pass
-- Tenney Crags from Captain Jack's
-- Kineo Mountain loop via Seven Bridges/Captain Jack's
-- 8130 via Section 16 and Palmer/Red Rock loop

These are some great suggestions... but trailfinding can be a bit tough on some of them. For the OP, I have GPS tracks for all 4 if you'd like to give them a try. Tenney and Kineo are two of my favorite places near the Springs. Recent snow may make it a bit tough though and the final stretch of both are a bit of a bushwack.

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