NOTE: This is not a hike for younger children; mid to older teenagers is the youngest I would recommend for this outing.
Heizer Trail is a very nice trail just west of Colorado Springs; it is not very well-known so there are no crowds, even on weekends. One Sunday afternoon instead of going to the gym, Lisa and I decided that we would go for a hike. This was a last-minute decision and we didn’t get started until later in the afternoon. We decided to try the Heizer Trail again; we hiked on this one before but turned around before we got to the top, mostly because of the hot weather (but we also kind of wimped out). The trail is very close to Colorado Springs; a short jaunt up U.S. Highway 24 will get you there pretty quick.
Now a couple of things about the Heizer Trail:
- It’s not easy to find.
- It’s all uphill.
- You are rewarded with some great views of Pike’s Peak if you make it to the top, and keep on going a little ways longer.
To get there, take the Cimarron Street exit off of I-25 and head west on U.S. Highway 24 up to Cascade. Once you get to Cascade you’ll see signs directing you to the Pike’s Peak Highway and come to a signaled intersection by Wines of Colorado, take a left here. Take another left on Emporia and then another left on Park Street. Then take yet another left on Anemone Hill Road. This a one lane road that dead ends at private property. The only place to park is in an area that says “No Parking, Snowplow Turnaround Area” (or some such thing). Park here . Then you’ll have to walk 50 feet or so to the trail head.
As I said, this trail all up hill and it can be pretty steep at times, so I would rate this trail as “difficult”. There are many great views along the way with good photo opportunities. A couple of these photo ops comes at mile 0.61 and mile 0.94 (great views of Colorado Springs); be sure to take your time and enjoy all the views. Mile 1.22 has views of the devastation from the Waldo Canyon fire (summer 2012).
Around mile 1.77 there is a good place to rest at a rock outcropping with some more excellent views. You’ll get a brief reprieve from all the uphill around mile 2.01 with a little downhill portion, but then you hit a little more uphill until around mile 2.39 where the trail flattens out and starts heading more downhill. This is where you’ll start seeing some awesome views of Pike’s Peak!
To be honest, we’re not really sure where this trail ends. At mile 2.97 there is a trail intersection and a sign indicating several different trails. I think that the actual end of the Heizer Tail is at the top of the main uphill portion at around mile 2, but it’s hard to say for sure. We ended up stopping and turning around at mile 3.12.
Overall, this is a very nice hike, if you can get through the first 2 miles of uphill. I would recommend this trail for an awesome cardio and leg workout. Some interesting statistics from our hike:
Total Distance: 6.2 miles round trip
Lowest Elevation: 7450 feet
Highest Elevation: 9287
Elevation Gain: 2050 feet
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