This family-friendly year-round hike is just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Colorado Springs. It offers scenic beauty and a great view of the city’s skyline. The trail starts in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, just 1.5 miles past the Starsmore Discovery Center, and climbs a ridge for a half-mile. Turn left at an unsigned junction and wind around Mount Cutler’s west side, a dramatic drop-off to your right. In the distance, you can see the tourist destination Seven Falls. The easy trail reaches the top after one mile of total hiking. Spend a little time wandering the hump and taking in the view of Cheyenne Mountain to the south, North Cheyenne Cañon to the north, and the city to the east. Return the way you came.
- The area is composed of loose decomposed granite so watch your step, especially while on the summit and the exposed sections of the trail. People have fallen and died here.
- To make a short, easy hike a more serious adventure, return to the unsigned junction on the saddle and head left (west) on the trail up Muscoco Mountain. This is a more serious endeavor, with some steep sections and some scrambling on loose rock. Turn left for the steep push to the top of that hill and enjoy the view. A loop can be made by returning to the trail from the top and following it downhill. Make a right turn to return to the road less than a half-mile above the Mount Cutler Trailhead. Walk down the road to your vehicle.
- The trailhead is small and can fill on busy days, so get an early start on summer weekends.
Recommended season(s): Year-round (traction may be needed in snowy winters).
–R. Scott Rappold