Kings Crown Road, Woodland Park, CO
Just a Wal-Mart's parking lot length southeast of Woodland Park, this little-used loop,along a limestone ridge hides choice views of Pikes Peak's fierce north face.
Where to meet: Let's meet in the parking lot at the end of Kings Crown Road (see directions below). Call me if you are late/lost or need to cancel last minute: Sandy[masked]
To get there: Drive up U.S. Highway 24 to the outskirts of Woodland Park. Right onto Morning Sun Lane (which is across the street from Walmart). In two blocks, turn left onto Sun Valley Drive. Follow it up a winding hill to its end. Turn right onto Kings Crown Road. Follow it less than a mile to its end. Park here.
Hike: This hike explores a two-mile-long island of national forest land surrounded by private property,
so it has more of an open space flavor than most trails in Teller County. Don't be surprised to see houses through the trees. Even so, this is a worthwhile spring jaunt. The southwestfacing slopes are almost always free of snow, even when glimpses through the trees of Pikes Peak's icy cap show winter still has a firm grip on much of the region.
Start at the end of the road, heading south on a clear track through ponderosas and meadows just starting to flower. Stay right, avoiding trails climbing the hill. After about a half-mile, the trail will begin to drop toward the valley. Here, braids of path spread out, but they all lead to the same point, so follow your favorite.
The trail bottoms out near some houses before shooting up again into the woods. After a few hundred feet of climbing, the trail comes to a T at an old road. Turn left.
A longer variation along the ridge crest lies to the right. Hikers wanting to explore this route should take a good map and sturdy shoes.
Following the easier left arm, the road gradually climbs along a slope of Manitou Limestone formed about 450 million years ago when this area was a shallow sea, then pushed up by the mountains about 80 million years ago.
At the end of the road, which was built to explore the limestone for a possible quarry, pick up a trail continuing north. It contours for about a quarter of a mile, then comes to a fork. Turn left.
This fork is easy to miss. If you encounter steady climbing, tending to the east, you?ve passed it. The correct turn quickly loops back to the original trail. Turn right and continue to the trailhead.
Details: Dogs and bikes allowed. Limited parking.
Trip log: 2.75 miles, 400-foot elevation gain, with longer variations.
* If this is your first hike/event with our group for 2013, please bring the $5 annual dues with you. It will be collected before the event starts.*
Call/text me if your are late, lost, or need to cancel last minute: Sandy. [masked]