BUCKHORN LOOP

North Cheyenne Cañon Park’s premier loop is the one that skirts Mount Buckhorn. That’s no secret. But if you weren’t one of the hikers, mountain bikers or dirt bikers in the know, it might be hard to find that loop with the lack of signage. We’re here to help, plus point you to Buckhorn’s unofficial summit.

Cyclists love this route for the heart-pumping uphill and smile- inducing downhill. Colorado Springs motos treasure it for the closest singletrack to town where they’re allowed. No matter your mode of travel, you’ll learn to share here.

From the park’s uppermost “hub” parking lot, where Gold Camp Road meets High Drive, go west on the wide path behind the gate. Our tracker read 0.65 miles when we came to the trail bending into the woods; if you pass the post for North Cheyenne Creek, you’ve gone too far. Soon, at an unmarked switchback where you could go straight, turn right.

A hiker takes in the view from the boulders at the unofficial summit of Mount Buckhorn in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo Credit: Seth Boster, The Gazette.

Higher up, the plains and city glimmer between the evergreen mouth of the canyon. The antenna-topped Cheyenne Mountain looms large. At about 2 miles, the path meets a four-way with a handy map posted, illustrating the Jones Park trail system that was realigned in recent years. The loop follows Trail 667 to the right.

About a quarter-mile on 667, look left for a wide path going up to a rock outcrop. This is the well-defined way to Buckhorn’s unofficial summit, ending at an overlook with house-sized boulders.

Return to 667 and proceed for the trip’s best vistas. At the bottom junction, go right, opposite the green gate, taking High Drive back to the parking lot.

Trip log: 5 miles (loop), 1,066 feet elevation gain

Difficulty: Easy-moderate

Getting there: Off Interstate 25, exit for Tejon Street going south. Take slight right onto Cheyenne Boulevard and keep right on Cheyenne Canyon Road to the park entrance. Drive up the road, past Helen Hunt Falls to the parking “hub.”

FYI: Park opens at 5 a.m., closes at 9 p.m. Nov. 1-April 30; 10 p.m. May 1-Oct. 31. Trail 667 motorized, multi-use. Dogs on leash. Lock car and don’t leave valuables. Icy in winter.

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