This is a super-short and pleasant route through a lovely forest to a rocky, semi-wooded summit. There is no trail to the summit and, at least in winter, no herd/use path is visible, but the navigation is straightforward enough for folks with basic mountain navigation skills to master with little effort. The lower reaches travel through mature fir forest with minimal downfall. The upper reaches of the route are rockier with more downfall, but the views begin to open up. This route serves as a shorter, more abrupt option to the more gradual eastern approach.
Roundtrip Distance: 1.25 miles
Elevation Gain: 830 feet
This trailhead is just a little way up FS 376 after turning off from (Upper) Gold Camp Road. The drive from behind the Broadmoor (southwest of Colorado Springs) is on graded dirt roads and suitable for passenger cars.
Exit #138 west from Highway I-25 on Lake Avenue/Circle Drive. Soon you will be looking at the front of the Broadmoor Hotel.
Follow signs to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, leading you to the right around the hotel until you get to the Old Stage Road.
Take Old Stage Road (FDR 368) into the mountains/uphill for 6.5 miles from this point where it runs into to Gold Camp Road (FDR 370).
Follow Gold Camp Road to the west for roughly ten miles, passing the Rosemont Reservoir SWA, the turnoff to Frosty Park and FS 370C (Gould Creek Road).
Turn right/north on FS 376.
Continue on FS 376 northbound for roughly 2 miles. In a broad sub-alpine park, note a parking area / spur roads to your left.
From the parking area, carefully cross the road to the east side.
Immediately begin ascending the western slopes of the mountain. The route starts moderately steep and stays that way to the summit.
Hike first through a lovely forest of mature trees, where the forest floor is nicely free of deadfall, before reaching the higher parts of the slope where rocks and downed trees emerge.
Reach the rocky summit area and push on just a bit further to the true summit.
The Rain Benchmark USGS marker will be found on top as well as a summit register. A great, sheltered rock-alcove sits on the east side of the summit area and is a dynamite place for lunch.
If visiting in winter, enjoy the all-too-brief powder bash back to the road on your descent.
Trail map (Trails Illustrated #137 (Pikes Peak, Cañon City) would meet most needs)
Compass and/or GPS
Sturdy hiking boots
Snowshoes after a heavy snowfall
Water and snacks
A camera to save memories of the high country views
First aid kit
Other standard backcountry essentials