Lake Pueblo is first known for boating. It is next known for fishing and mountain biking, with a web of trails on the south shore exploring rugged bluffs.
On this side of the lake, a high buttress represents Arkansas Point. The trail to it, while short, might best cater to the state park’s smaller population of hikers and runners, offering perhaps the best view in the entire preserve.
On a map courtesy of Southern Colorado Trail Builders, the trail is rated as advanced for riders. The route we’re spotlighting incorporates Staircase Trail, which bikers will find as unsuitable as the name suggests. A steep set of wooden ties ascends the ridge, which serves as the craggy spine out to the overlook. Riders will better enjoy the nearby singletrack through Skull and Rock canyons.
We started on foot from Arkansas Point Campground. Facing the kiosk displaying a trail map, see the thin path to the left. We came to a split, one path trending left, more south than the southwesterly other, appearing to lead straight to the ridge. Take it through the meadow bursting with sunflowers in the summer.
The trail rises to a “T.” Turn left, soon coming to the right turn that we found marked for Staircase Trail.
The trail meanders up around juniper trees and rock shelves, higher to views of the water and Pikes Peak far north. The trail reaches the flat top, leading straight out to Arkansas Point, a panorama with sweeping views of the valley and Wet Mountains.
You’ll want to watch your step as you admire. The overlook is a narrow pinnacle, with loose rock and steep dropoffs on either side.
Trip log: 1.3 miles round trip (out and back), 360 feet elevation gain, 5,162 feet max
Getting there: Going south on Interstate 25 in Pueblo, take exit 99A onto Sixth Street. After a half-mile, turn left onto Elizabeth Street, then right onto Fourth Street and continue straight for Colorado 96/Thatcher Avenue. After about 6 miles, turn right onto South Marina Road into the park and follow signs to Arkansas Point Campground.
FYI: Daily vehicle pass $10. Dogs on leash.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE