Sentinel Point is the highest mountain in the Pikes Peak region (except for Pikes Peak itself, of course). This aptly named peak stands like a sentinel on the western end of the Pikes Peak massif, and its aesthetic summit block is visible from many vantage points in the region. Sentinel Point's rocky summit towers above the popular hiking area of Horsethief Park. It offers a beautiful hike and a short scramble to its highest point. Few people climb to Sentinel Point's summit - you will almost certainly have solitude here. Climb it and enjoy this great wilderness tour, and enjoy the fantastic views of Pikes Peak, the Sangre de Cristo Range, the Tenmile/Mosquito Range, and the Sawatch.
Midland Terminal Railroad Tunnel Trailhead 9,800 feet
From the town of Divide, located on US 24 up Ute Pass from Colorado Springs, drive to the only stoplight in Divide. Turn south on HWY 67S, and drive 9.5 miles on this road until you come to a closed railroad tunnel (The Midland Terminal Railroad Tunnel). Slow down, and park shortly on the other side of the closed railroad tunnel in a large, paved parking area. There is overflow parking on the other side of the road.
This trailhead is open year-round.
There are no fees for this area. It is all within the Pike National Forest. There is some private property adjacent to this area. It is posted, and avoidable if you stay on the established trails.
Sentinel Point can be climbed year-round. A winter or early spring climb would considerably increase route finding and scrambling difficulties.
The Crags Campground is nearby, and offers pay camping.
Meuller State Park is also nearby, and has several camping areas. It is a fee area.
Along this route, there are also several informal campsites in the Pike National Forest. These are non-pay sites, and have no amenities.
Horsethief Park was once the hideout of horse thieves in the old Cripple Creek and Divide (called Hayden in those days) region during the height of the gold boom.
Today, it is a very popular hiking, biking, and cross country skiing area and has three main trails. These hikes are definitely worth a trip to the area. Refer to the TOPO map below for the routes for these three hikes. Colors refer to the route colors on the map. The red route is the shared start from the parking area.
Horsethief Falls Forest Service 704B
This trail is 1.75 miles one way from the parking area. Not really a waterfall, these "falls" are more of a cascade of water down Pikes Peak granite. There is about an 8 foot fall at the bottom.
Pancake Rocks Forest Service 704A
This trail is 2.75 miles one way from parking near the tunnel. This steep trail deposits you at the top of an amazing lookout with really strange rock formations. The "Pancake Rocks" appear to be stacked one atop the other. These formations were carved in the Pikes Peak granite by weathering.
Horsethief Park Trail Forest Service 704
This one is 1.5 miles one way from parking. Cross a stream and travel down an old road into a beautiful basin with beaver ponds. Try to imagine the old horse thieves that hid here over a century ago.