OverviewThis is a longer but more isolated alternative to the Englemann Canyon route.
Getting ThereTake Cheyenne Boulevard west out of southern Colorado Springs, and drive up North Cheyenne Cañon as far as you can, just past Helen Hunt Falls.
Route DescriptionStart at the “4-Way” parking lot where Gold Camp Road is closed off just above Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Cañon. Hike west up the road for roughly ½ mile to the start of the Seven Bridges Trail. This is easy to see, on your right, just before the hairpin turn where the road crosses the North Cheyenne Creek.
Follow the trail, steep and rough in places, west, as it crosses and re-crosses the creek. After a couple of miles, reach the T-junction where the trail heads north to Jones Park. There is actually a trail on both sides of the creek to the hiker’s right, and if you cross the stream before turning right, you will find a metal sign pointing the way to Jones Park.
Follow the trail generally north and west until it meets another trail at another T-junction. Turn left (west) at this junction. Soon thereafter, the trail turns north and begins to climb gently. Follow it over two gentle ridges until it descends into an open meadow area. On the north side of the meadow, you meet a trail coming up from the east. You might not notice it because of the angle at which the two trails join, but beware: On the return trip, this trail will look like the main route. But if you take it, you will find yourself going down Bear Creek Cañon instead of retracing your steps.
Finally, after crossing an east-running stream at a hairpin turn, the trail delivers you to a crossing of the main stream running south along the west slopes of Mt. Garfield. Cross the stream and turn left (northwest).
Follow this trail for a mile or so. When it comes out in a relatively open, flat area, back on the east side of the stream, leave the trail on your right when the trail heads west, and proceed roughly northeast up the slope to a saddle between Tuckaway Mountain (on your left) and Mt. Garfield (on your right).
Now the bushwhacking begins; there is no trail from this point on.
Drop into the Willow Creek drainage and cross Willow Creek, while keeping to the left (west) of the long ridge running down from Mt. Garfield. It is hard to see where you are going, and you will be constantly negotiating either rocks or downed timber and brush.
After skirting the ridge, it should only require a little climbing (100 feet or less) to reach the broad flat area directly south of Cameron Cone. From here you will finally have a decent view of most of your remaining route. The final leg is much easier: Simply make your way north and up, through relatively open forest on the south-facing slopes. Then do some light scrambling through the rocks at the very top, to come out in the small level summit area. The summit is marked with a pole secured in a pile of rocks. As of July 2007, there is an informal register in the rocks.
Return by retracing, as best you can, your ascent route. Alternatively, you could descend the north side back to the Barr trailhead, if you have a car there or a partner to pick you up. Round trip distance: 12 to 14 miles, depending on your navigational skills. Elevation gain: 3,400 to 3,700 feet, depending on the same thing.