is what should be considered the parent peak of "Eagle Peak"
, which is informally named by the United States Air Force Academy, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and all of the USAFA personnel. Eagle Peak
is shown on the USGS maps as North BM
, sometimes referred to as North Peak
. Ormes' Pikes Peak atlas
shows "Eagle Peak"
as "North Peak"
, and 9400
is shown as "South Peak"
The USAFA has a long history since it opened in 1963.
The main complex
The AFA is celebrating its 50th graduating class in 2008. I have attached links below for your perusal.
The most prominent peaks behind the Air Force Academy (AFA) are Eagle Peak and Pt. 9385, which is the subpeak of UN9400.
You can just barely see UN9400 from the base, while Eagle Peak and Pt. 9385 are highly visible.
UN 9400 has 380' of prominence, and is the 2673rd highest ranked peak in Colorado.
The Eagle Peak Trail is used by cadets (all first year cadets climb it as part of their initiation), and is oft-used by cadets and USAFA personnel. It is not unlike that you will encounter cadets or staff while hiking from the AFA side.
The trail head signage
The trail up from the informal TH is STEEP
. As you ascent, it follows a series of white spray painted arrows and yellow spray painted dots.
The BM that you can find on the summit of 9400 is not currently shown on any USGS map.
From I-25, the best route is to take the North Gate (exit 156B) onto the Academy. After passing through the gate (with proper ID), go straight on Academy Drive. It eventually winds south into the main campus. You have two choices from here:
Just after the Cadet Chapel, follow signs to the visitor center parking lot on the left. Park here.
From the visitor's center, walk west across Academy Drive to a dirt road leading up toward the triangular granite top of Eagle Peak. Walk up the road for about a quarter of a mile, veering right at a power transformer, then left at the next fork.
Follow Academy as it turns south, then turn left (east) into the Arnold Hall Visitor lot.
From the Arnold Hall Visitor Parking, it is about 7 miles round trip to collect all 3 points (UN9400, Pt. 9385, and Eagle Peak). It provides you with a steep climb of about 2600'. The bulk of the trail (about 4 miles) you gain maybe 4-500', the yeoman's work coming on the steep stuff. Your easiest route is to cross Academy, followed the cindered path as it descends to a seasonal creek, take a right, following the path as it dies into a seldom used road, follow the road west and then south until you arrive at the TH sign.
The trail heads mostly due west until you reach a beautiful little aspen grove,
then turns left and heads south up the steep trail to the talus slopes of Eagle Peak. The views of the Academy are impressive from here. From the summit area (make sure to find the North Benchmark), head mostly south down to the saddle with UN9400. As you head south, you will find an old
road heading to the saddle between 9385 and 9400. Head SW to the summit of 9400. The easiest line to the top is easy 3rd class scrambling. Enjoy this little aerie, and be sure to find this BM.
You have great views of surrounding peaks, including Mt. Herman, Pikes Peak, and Ormes Peak. You can either return to the trail on Eagle, or head over to collect Pt. 9385, although there isn't much there, inlcuding obscured views. Head back down the trail to whichever "TH" you picked.
UPDATE 12/11 Stanley Canyon Access from the AFA is permanently CLOSED for "security" reasons. Access, to the best of my knowledge, from the west side is still open (Forest service road off of Rampart Range Road).
There is another good option for a trail/TH: Stanley Canyon, also accessed off the AFA. The TH is located off of Pine Drive; Take Academy from the North entrance west, then it curves south, then just after it curves east again, take your first right - pine drive. About .25 miles in, take your first right onto a dirt road (unmarked). Take this about .25 miles, and take your next right (straight, really) to the unmarked TH: 38.98893, -104.89867. From there, head west up Stanley Canyon, FS #707 up toward Stanley Reservoir. From the last drainage before the reservoir at elevation 8760', 707 is shown on the Trails Illustrated #137 heading north on the west side of the peak. Take this until you pick up one of the unmarked social trails heading back east to the summit.
You must possess a valid US issued ID to get on base. Once on base, they will give you a visitor badge when you tell them you are on base for hiking or biking. You will not have access to the Cadet Area, but you can hike or ride the Falcon Trail, and also access UN9400/Eagle Peak, UN9380, and also Blodgett/Ormes Peaks.
Note that all of those peaks are actually in the National Forest, and can all be accessed from the west side from the NF. It is not necessary to go on base to climb/hike these peaks, it's just kind of cool to do so.
Base hours for visitors are 8am.-6pm.
This trail is way too steep for horses and bikes. Dogs on leash are allowed.
See the closure for Stanley canyon TH above in the "Getting There" section.
Camping is available in the Pike National Forest, but not in/on the Air Force Academy base.
External LinksPeak info UN 9400
Eagle Peak @ SP
United States Air Force Academy
An extremely handy map and resource is the Pikes Peak Atlas