The 1.03-mile-long Zook Loop Trail at Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a wonderful hike for families, with minimal elevation gain and plenty of shade. The trail traverses grasslands, scrub oak woodlands, and ponderosa pine forest in Limekiln Valley. One of the trail highlights is the Rock Garden, a collection of granite boulders beneath tall pines at the hike’s halfway point. Cheyenne Mountain State Park, on the south edge of Colorado Springs, is a 2,700-acre parkland in the foothills below abrupt 9.565-foot Cheyenne Mountain. The park offers hiking and mountain biking trails, a visitor center, four campgrounds, picnic areas, guided hikes, and nature programs. It’s also a great spot to see wildlife, including mule deer, black bear, coyotes, and even mountain lions.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
–Stewart M. Green