Mount Cutler Trail
Easy Family Hike
If you live in Colorado Springs and want to show out of state visitors the local natural beauty and give them a taste of area hiking without taxing their lungs too much, try the Mount Cutler trail. In less than an hour they can take in a great section of the Front Range mountains, scan the city of Colorado Springs below and spot Seven Falls in the distance. The drive through North Cheyenne canyon is a pleasure, too. Then heading just up the road is Helen Hunt Falls where our Michigan friends and family have ventured up the stairs to the upper falls without much trouble.
Difficulty: Trailhead elevation: 6,800'. Summit: 7,200'. Elevation gain: 400'. The 2.5 mile roundtrip path is primarily wide and smooth with a constant gradual climb. Mostly north facing, it doesn't get much sun in winter, so it is often icy and hardpacked from the few adventurous souls who use it.
Directions: From I-25 in Colorado Springs, exit at 140 A/B to go south on Nevada Ave. for about 1/2 mile. then turn right (west) on Cheyenne Blvd. for several miles to the Starsmore Discovery Center. Turn right just before the center onto N. Cheyenne Canyon Rd. and go about 1 mile to the "Mount Cutler Hiking Trail" sign on the left. There's room for a dozen cars.
It's not long before you start to get views of the surrounding mountains and Colorado Springs below with Gold Camp Reservoir.
Shortly before you curve left to reach the summit, stop to enjoy the view of South Cheyenne Canyon on your right and Seven Falls below. We climbed the stairs to the top of Seven Falls once and enjoyed all the views and the sound of rushing water. But shortly after we started heading back down, we stopped abruptly at the top of the longest flight of stairs I have ever seen. It felt fine going up, but looking down the countless metal steps gave me visions of slipping and tumbling to my death. Both of us hung onto the railings tightly as we slowly descended.
Looking south toward Cheyenne Mountain, the Roy Rogers Shrine of the Sun stands out from the trees (upper left) above the Cheyenne Mt. Zoo. We toured the Shrine one day, soaking in the city views and pausing by numerous photos of the actor posing with other famous people. The white crevace in the center of the photo is snow left over from the previous winter.
Below is the southern section of Colorado Springs with the historic Broadmoor and the eastern plains.
Looking southwest toward Mount Muscoco on the right and Mount Rosa in the distance, both with moderate trails to their summits with great views.
Being such a liesurely hike, we have seen many children on the trail as well.
Dotted near the summit are prickly pear cacti and yucca plants. You can see in almost every direction from the summit. Be very careful if you climb around the steep eastern and southern rock faces as there have been fatal falls.