Hikers in the Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs area don’t need to travel far to spot Colorado’s iconic aspen displays in the fall. Here are some favorites:
The Seven Bridges Trail, just over 1.5 miles one way, follows North Cheyenne Creek through shady forest. Once you reach the seventh bridge you can continue to Jones Park where you will find meadows filled with aspen trees.
If you are going to: Park at the top of North Cheyenne CaÃ±on Park, above Helen Hunt Falls. The trail, marked # 622, begins just over half a mile west of the parking lot.
The beautiful rock formations of The Crags for which this trail is named aren’t the only reason to bring your camera. The approximately 4-mile round-trip hike offers stunning views of Pikes Peak, distant mountain ranges, and an abundance of colorful foliage.
If you are going to: Heading south on Colorado 67 from US 24, watch for the dirt road sign on your left.
Mueller State Park
Explore the park’s 55 miles of trails and over 5,000 acres of meadows and forests. For the best aspen views, hike the 5Â½ mile Cheesman Ranch Loop.
Pikes Peak looms between aspens on a perfect fall day along the Cheesman Ranch Loop in Mueller State Park.
If you are going to: Head south on Colorado 67 from US 24 and turn right into the park. Daily admission is $ 9 per vehicle. No dogs.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Another sprawling state park, with a spectacular new destination to see. If you take the 15 mile round trip hike on the Dixon Trail to the top of the mountain you will be rewarded with a seemingly endless grove of aspen trees. Blackmer and Sundance curls are much softer options.
If you are going to: Take Colorado 115 south after South Academy Boulevard and turn right into the park. Daily admission is $ 9 per vehicle. No dogs.
Residents of Woodland Park are spoiled for choice with this 5 mile loop of Lovell Gulch, starting pretty much straight out of town. The trail winds through quiet meadows and climbs up to spectacular views of Pikes Peak. Aspens accompany you all the way.
If you are going to: Going west on US 24 through Woodland Park, turn right onto Baldwin Street at McDonald’s. Continue straight on to the town maintenance buildings; turn left for the trailhead parking lot.
Open space of the Catamount ranch
This Teller County Preserve is a piece of paradise at the end of Edlowe Road, turn left westbound onto US 24. Explorers have several loop options, including a route to the North Catamount Reservoir. On the last visit, we observed the leaves along the Elder-Fehn trail, making it about a 6 mile round trip.
If you are going to: Going west on US 24 through Woodland Park, before reaching Divide, see the left turn for Edlowe Road (also County Road 28). The sidewalk ends at the dirt parking lot of the open space.
Reached from Rampart Road, Rainbow Gulch is an easy 4 mile round trip trail high in the Pike National Forest – with extra mileage if you decide to continue along the banks of the Rampart Reservoir.
If you are going to: In Woodland Park, turn north on Baldwin Street to McDonald’s. After approximately 3 miles, turn right on Loy Creek Road. After 2.5 km turn right onto Rampart Range Road. In 2 miles, see the trailhead and the parking lot to your left.
Lost Creek Wilderness Area
For something more adventurous, head to Lost Creek and the closest Springs wilderness area. The reader alone will take your breath away. Then there are the aspen spattered trails. The Goose Creek trailhead is a good starting point.
If you are going to: On US 24 West, continue through Florissant and Lake George. Turn right onto County Road 77. After approximately 7 miles turn right onto Matukat Road, which becomes Forest Road 77, which becomes Forest Road 211. Another 11Â½ miles to trailhead. High clearance / four wheel drive vehicle recommended but not required.