Profile image courtesy of SP member shknbke.
Not nearly as dramatic a peak as nearby neighbor Cedar Mountain, Hackett Mountain is a quiet, rounded mountain rising at the head of an apparently un-named drainage of the South Platte River. This poor little mountain was scorched by the 2002 Hayman Fire, and its blistered slopes are scarred by erosion and the charred remains of trees. The grim irony is that the fire opened up views through the timber, so enjoy this mountain sooner rather than later to enjoy better scenes from the slopes and summit area.
New life is springing forth from the burned ground, where thickets of aspen are overtaking sunny slopes sprinkled in wild flowers.
From near the summit, one can take in views of Pikes Peak and Cedar Mountain, plus the similarly-scorched Pilot Peak and Signal Butte. The rewards are considerable in light of the short skip to the top from FS 360.
Colorado Rank: 2654th highest peak
Prominence: 444 feet
YDS Rating: Class 1+
USGS Quad: Hackett Mountain
Trails Illustrated Map: #137 Pikes Peak Cañon City
Rank & Prominence Information Source: Lists of John
Hackett Mountain is in the far northwestern corner of Teller County near the border with Park, Douglas and Jefferson Counties. Major access roads are US Hwy 24 to the south and CO 67 to the east. Teller County Road 51 turns into Forest Service Road 360, which is Cedar Mountain Road.
Note: Regardless of approach, you will need a 4x4 to reach this peak. A high-clearance V8 truck, van or SUV may do in dry conditions, but if the skies open up and the dirt roads turn to soup, your stay will involuntarily extended. The roads approaching this peak go from relatively tame to steep, rutted and washed out and a 4x4 with descent clearance is the only sane option.
FS 360, for a dirt 4x4 road, is quite heavily used. As noted by the pictures here, use caution traveling this road. The reported cause of the accident you see here was excessive speed on the part of the little SUV driver. When he encountered a pair of quad runners, he slammed the breaks and attempted to avoid the OHVs, then sliding into the ditch. It's a minor miracle there were no injuries. It took 90 minutes to extract these vehicles (mostly waiting for the right volunteers with the right equipment and knowledge), completely blocking this narrow thoroughfare.
East Ridge Route
Ascending the east ridge is the most direct and sensible way to reach the summit of Hackett Mountain. From rustic parking off of FS 360, it is a simple, easily navigated bushwack through sparse timber (living and scorched by the 2002 Hayman Fire).
Distance: Less than 1 mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: Less than 400 vertical feet
Driving Directions: Your drive from Hwy 24 will take you significantly longer than your hike to the summit of Hackett Mountain.
• From Hwy 24 in Divide, head north very briefly on CR 5.
• Turn northwest on CR 51 (overlap with FS 359).
• Follow this road, which is initially paved but eventually turns into an excellent, graded gravel road, to the intersection with CR 3 / FS 300. Here you will take FS 360 / Cedar Mountain Road.
• Near a level highpoint in FS 360 at the eastern foot of Hackett Mountain, there will be rough parking for 1-2 4x4s.
There is very little red tape in this part of the Pike National Forest. Don’t burn anything down, don’t shoot anyone and keep your 4x4, ATV or dirt-bike on established motorized trails. This is a heavily used recreation area near major urban centers of the I-25 corridor. Do your part to tread lightly.
Camping & Lodging
Rustic camping in “unofficial” campsites is available throughout the Cedar Mountain Road (FS 360) area, right off the main road and spur dirt roads off of it. These campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis and provide no services (they are entirely rustic). Most are dry campsites and will require water to be hauled in for cooking, cleaning and bathing.
Be forewarned that the proximity of this area to the urban I-25 corridor means that crowding can be an issue, especially in the summer. Be prepared for heavy ATV use, large crowds, drunkenness and plenty of target shooting.
The National Forest Service operates three general-use campgrounds in its Manitou Park Recreation Area. The Manitou Park Recreation Area is located about 5 miles north of Woodland Park along Hwy 67. Below is information about these campgrounds as provided by the Forest Service.
South Meadows Campground: Site has 64 camp sites with parking areas up to 30' long within the 8,000' elevation. Camping season is year round with a user fee of $15.00/per night/per site. The camp-ground has paved roads. Limited sites are reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777. Reservations may be made 240 days prior to arrival and there is a reservation fee. There is also a 2-night minimum stay if your reservation is for Friday or Saturday nights.
Colorado Campground: Site has 81 campsites with parking areas up to 30' long within the 7800' elevation. Camping season usually begins late May and runs until early September. The user fee is $15.00 per night/per site. This campground has paved roads. Limited site reservations can be made 240 days prior to arrival by calling 1-877-444-6777. There is a reservation fee. There is also a 2-night minimum stay if your reservations are for Friday or Saturday night.
Painted Rocks Campground: Area has 18 campsites with parking areas up to 30' long within the 7800' elevation. Camping season usually begins in May and runs through early September. A user fee of $13.00 per night/per site is charged. Limited sites are reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777 and can be made 240 days prior to arrival. There is a reservation fee.
A few simple hotels (many family-run) are available in Woodland Park (elevation 8,465 feet) along with several RV sites and cabins.
For more information visit The Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information page.
Weather & Seasons
Hackett Mountain could be enjoyed year round, though accessibility would be an issue in the winter without a snow machine assist. Springtime will be muddy and sloppy and road closures or blockage by snow drifts may affect the total hiking distance. Summer can be hot and dusty and this area is extremely crowded with ATV traffic. Fall would be a cooler, more pleasant and less crowded time to pay Hackett Mountain a visit.