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Western Slopes

 
Western Slopes

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.74930°N / 105.0032°W

Object Title: Western Slopes

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Less than two hours

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Apr 11, 2011 / Apr 11, 2011

Object ID: 709509

Hits: 617 

Page Score: 77.48%  - 8 Votes 

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Overview

 
Few hundred feet below the summit
Few hundred feet below the summit


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


Getting There

 
Last few steps to summit
Last few steps to summit


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.

Route Description

 
West Slopes Route Map
 

 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.

Essential Gear

 
Ascending the western slopes
Ascending the western slopes
 
Descending the western slopes
Descending the western slopes


 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

Images

Few hundred feet below the summitAscending the western slopesLast few steps to summitDescending the western slopesMiddle Beaver Creek ValleyWest Slopes Route MapUSGS Benchmark