USAFA North Ridge

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 2

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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USAFA North Ridge
Created On: Aug 28, 2005
Last Edited On: Aug 7, 2006


If you can get onto the Academy, this is an interesting alternative to the "Open Space Route." Take a left off of Stadium Blvd. onto Pine Drive. Continue on Pine Drive for about three miles. You'll see a fire station on your left. Continue until Pine Drive make a large 90 degree turn to the North about a mile later (pass Community Center and Interior Drives). You should see a small dirt area to park your car at this turn.

You can also access trail 713 from the fire training road (first left after passing the fire station). This road heads to the Tesla Hydroelectric plant, which is gated after a few miles. Trail 713 is easily found before the gate.

Route Description

Follow a dirt road out of this parking lot. You should intersect the Falcon Trail about one third of a mile later (a blue sign with a white falcon and number seven on it). Head south on this trail for another half mile. You'll enter a clearing, and the trail makes a distinctive turn to the east. At this point you should see another trail heading west (there are four large wooden power line poles there). Follow this trail as it approaches the filtration plant. After a short ways, you will leave USAFA property. Green signs will now mark this trail as "trail 713." Follow these signs for another mile or so. It's practically impossible to lose this trail; there are about ten of these trail signs in one mile alone! You'll arrive at a paved road; follow it until you are in the canyon from which West Monument Creek flows. Trail 713 continues up a hill to the north. Follow the switchbacks until you reach a stone arrow pointing east; follow the arrow. Continue on this trail over a pass. Once over the pass, you should see a large rock wall which you have just skirted around. Descend back into the valley. Follow the jeep trail in the canyon until you reach a large brick-red water tower. At this point, try to head through the bushes east of the tank until you are on a gravel ridge. This ridge is Blodgett's North ridge and leads to the summit. About half-way up, look for an old WWII plane wreck on the ridge's east side. It can be slighty tricky to find. There is an American Flag flying there. Continue up the ridge to the summit. Several cliff bands near the summit allow for some class 3 scrambling, and more difficult rock lurks in these cliffs. All difficulties can be avoided by heading west and then summiting. There are fantastic views of The Academy and Pikes Peak from here.

Essential Gear

This is not a technical climb, and therefore, an ice-axe and crampons are unnecessary. The trail never becomes too steep, and Blodgett does not get a whole lot of snow. However, after a rare heavy snow, snowshoes would be helpful. Like most Pikes Peak area peaks, Blodgett's slopes consist of highly eroded granite scree. Have fun sliding/slipping down the mountain! As for gear, a standard day-pack and hiking gear should do. Normally, there is water flowing at the water-tank if you need to pump.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Red Tape

If you do no have a military ID, you probably cannot drive onto the Academy.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Jeremy Hakes

Jeremy Hakes - Sep 3, 2008 9:41 am - Voted 10/10

A few notes:

You only need a government issued ID to get onto the AFA, NOT a military ID.

The road you turn off from Pine Dr. is W. Monument Creek Road. The small dirt parking area is before the gates to the water treatment facility.

I highly recommend trekking poles for this hike. Obviously, people's interpretations of steep differ, and the very loose granite make for an interesting descent.

You can also visit the plane wreckage on this hike - see topo.

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