Quick solo trip up Eagle PeakTRAIL DESCRIPTION
Eagle Peak is a legal trail that rivals the Manitou Springs incline. If you are looking for a legal alternative to the Manitou Springs incline, it doesn't get much better than this.
It is a tough climb, along a pretty rugged trail. You go up the trail through the woods, and soon leave Air Force grounds. After ascending the trail along Goat Camp Creek, you'll top out briefly in beautiful aspen filled meadow. The trail then turns south. You'll want to follow the a series of white spray painted arrows and yellow spray painted dots as you go south and UP the steep ascent to the summit. You'll be boulder hoping for this last part, so be careful.
The climb ascends 1900 feet in 1.25 miles. The peak stands at 9368 feet and has dangerous cliffs on the east side. You don't want to get too close to that eastern edge. A cadet fell 200 feet there in 2006. (The cadet actually survived.)
MY FIRST ASCENT
I made a solo trip up Eagles Peak for the first time and boy was it cool. The trails starts off fairly gentle through pine trees and then starts shooting up pretty quick and stays steep until close to the summit when you go through a meadow of Aspen trees. Then the final climb to the summit up loose scree is very steep as well. This being my first time I wanted to warn others about my bad experience in finding the trail head. The SP page does a great job of saying where to park and describes the actual hike fairly well but doesn't actually give any details on how to get FROM the parking area(s) TO the actual trailhead. It is NOT straight forward at all. I ended up walking down the road to the south and looking for a trail off the main road that runs in front of the Visitor's Center. Bad idea. I saw what appeared to be a faint trail and within 5 minutes it petered out and I was bushwacking. I kept going and for the next 20 mins was hopping over fallen trees and trying to avoid huge bushes and thickets as I headed towards the peak. Eventually I found the correct trail and on the hike out I found the correct trailhead.
HERE IS HOW TO GET FROM THE VISITORS CENTER PARKING AREA TO THE TRAILHEAD:
Walk directly across (west) from the parking area at the Air Force Visitors Center to Academy Dr. road. Turn right (north) and walk maybe 50-100 ft on the road until you see a little paved side street on the left that has a sign that reads something like: Authorized Vehicles Only. Walk up this street (or drive if you prefer as I saw several non-USAFA cars parked up this road) and continue up the hill and around a bend (maybe an 1/8 mile) to the sign/map that marks the Eagles Peak trailhead. The power lines meet here as well. If you drove, park along the dirt road.