032520-tlg-mtherman

The town of Monument is seen from the top of Mount Herman in this file photo

Mount Herman is the hulkish backdrop to Monument, like a mound suddenly rising from the flats where the town sits and Interstate 25 runs onward. If you're a savvy hiker and keep skipping the mountain between Colorado Springs and Denver, it's time to change that.

The most-trafficked trail to the top of Herman is a delight, offering slices of wilds classic to Colorado's great outdoors.

The trip is a good warm-up for ventures at higher elevations. That's for the demanding ascent over a short distance. And that's for the ruggedness.

If you're only comfortable on clearly-marked trails, this one probably isn't for you. Don't expect anything more than down timber and cairns marking the steep way at times. If you go during busy hours on weekends, don't expect parking either.

Space is at a premium along the dirt road where the trail begins. It starts by climbing beside a sometimes-cascading creek, one spoil within the first half-mile, along with a butterfly meadow, ancient rock outcrops and tall pine and Douglas fir.

Atop a ridge, the route continues left up a hillside with eroded gullies and strewn with rocks and roots. The path seems to disappear here; at last visit, we kept an eye upward to spot an orange windsock, marking the popular launch point for paragliders.

They take flight while most stay put and take it all in: Pikes Peak above the vast forest; the Air Force Academy and waters spotting towns stretching east; and, on a clear day, Denver and Mount Evans.

Trip log: 2.1 miles round trip (out and back), 1,018 feet elevation gain, 9,060 feet max

Difficulty: Moderate-difficult

Getting there: Off Interstate 25, take exit 161 and continue through downtown Monument on 2nd Street. Cross the railroad tracks, and at the Mitchell Avenue stop sign, turn left. Follow for a half-mile to right turn for Mount Herman Road. When the pavement ends, continue about 3 1/2 miles to the trailhead marked 716.

FYI: Road manageable by passenger car, but conditions worsen in rainy weather. Hiking only recommended. Dogs on leash.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

Newsletters

Get OutThere

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.

(2) comments

northsixty

The Telluride airport is no big deal-if you had flown into Lukla airport (Nepal Himalayas about 7,500’) where, until recently there was only a dirt runway, that went uphill, hewn into the side of a mountain with 2000’ drop off at one end and a wall 2500’ high at the other, and pieces of wrecked aircraft scattered alongside the runway, and twin otter aircraft pilots had to be able to actually see in between clouds to weave the to have visual contact with the runway; now, that 𝐖𝐰𝐰.Pays99.𝐜𝐨𝐦

NEYMARS

The Telluride airport is no big deal-if you had flown into Lukla airport (Nepal Himalayas about 7,500’) where, until recently there was only a dirt runway, that went uphill, hewn into the side of a mountain with 2000’ drop off at one end and a wall 2500’ high at the other, and pieces of wrecked aircraft scattered alongside the runway, and twin otter aircraft pilots had to be able to actually see in between clouds to weave between the foothills to have visual contact with te runway; now, that was terrifying! 𝐖𝐰𝐰.Pays99.𝐜𝐨𝐦

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.