Things To Do

Cheyenne Mountain rises precipitously above the south side of Colorado Springs, known for the antenna farm visible on the top and the former NORAD military facility buried deep below. As of 2016, a trail to the summit from Cheyenne Mountain State Park was still being built, so this circuitous route from the west was also still under construction. Access to the McNeil-Swisher Trail (a route that skirts and then climbs Cheyenne Mountain) requires a long drive around the mountain on Old Stage Road, followed by a gentle hike back east on the Swisher Trail. Then hikers must trek steeply up the side of the hill on an unmarked spur, which leads to a pretty meadow. Once you reach this meadow, continue southwest and follow the ridge to the summit, really not much more than a collection of boulders slightly higher than the rest.

Pro Tips

  • Except in early spring, water is scarce along this route, so backpackers will want to carry their own.
  • Don’t stray into the antenna farm or other private property in the area. And be especially careful not to stray onto the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, where trespassing isn’t taken lightly.
  • The meadow that covers much of Cheyenne Mountain is full of aspens, making this a particularly delightful autumn hike.
  • Recommended season(s): Spring to fall.

    –R. Scott Rappold

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