I strongly recommend using the Pikes Peak Atlas for this route. This can be found at the Colorado Springs REI and many local bookstores. I think it is much better than the National Geo. Topo map. Take I-25 from either the north or south to Exit 140. Go south on Rt. 115, which is Nevada Ave. Get off at the westbound Lake Ave exit. Take your second left onto Cheyenne Mt. Rd. and follow this until you come to the sign for the Cheyenne Mt. Zoo, which will be to the left. Go straight through this intersection and take Old Stage Road into the mountains. I strongly recommend using the Pikes Peak Atlas Map from this point. 6.3 miles from the point that Old Stage Road goes from pavement to dirt you will come upon the sign for Bear Trap Ranch. About 0.5 miles prior to this point Gold Camp Road will merge from the right. Take a left into Bear Trap Ranch and follow it’s road past the main entrance sign. Proceed down a hill until the road ends. You will see a “parking” sign to the right, but follow the sign for “registration” to the left. Pass the main office, which will be to your left, and bear to the right at a fork in the road. At the next junction you will see the large and attractive Worden Wrangler’s Lodge to your right. The trailhead is to the right and behind the lodge.
The trailhead for San Luis Peak can be found behind the Worden Wrangler’s Lodge in Bear Trap Ranch (see “Getting There” for directions to this point.) For the first 0.16 miles this is shared with the trail for Vigil Peak. Overall, this trail is very well maintained and difficult to lose until the final 200 vertical feet. Go to the right (behind) the lodge to find an obvious trailhead. You will quickly find a large rock formation to your left and the trail will continue to the right. Go .16 miles to a fork in the trail at 9500 ft. A very nice hand carved wood sign marks the junction with the Vigil Peak trail going to the left and the San Luis Peak trail to the right. Follow the fork to the right. The summit of San Luis will be in view for the beginning of the route then quickly go behind the trees. From this point the trail is marked well with countless cairns. If you lose the trail it is worth finding, unless you prefer bushwhacking through dense forest. Just keep a sharp eye out for cairns and the occasional sign for San Luis and it is difficult to lose, even with light snow on the ground. The trail works it’s way up the northeast face of the peak and then around the east face to the south ridge of the mountain. It will remain well cairned all the way up to this ridge. Once you have reached the south ridge scramble along the ridgeline to the north. There is not a set route over this class 3 and low class 4 scramble, but it is best to find your route carefully and stick to the path of least resistance until you reach the summit near the northernmost point of the ridge.
Appropriate seasonal hiking gear, trekking poles, ample food and water.
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