Oct 23, 2020 | ACTIVE LIFE | By Kyle Zinkula | Photo by Bibi Powers
The weather has begun to turn, and while it may be chilly outside, I believe this makes right now the perfect time to go hiking. You can walk a mile and not sweat immediately, the trails are less crowded, and you can see the leaves changing color and falling. For these very reasons, I recently ventured out on a hike and had a fantastic time.
As you have probably guessed, the hike is called Catamount Falls Trail. A mere 20-minute drive from campus, this trail provides great views and a rewarding end at the Catamount Reservoir. The trail is an out and back that totals just under six miles. It is worth knowing that the way out on the trail is almost all uphill, making the way back mostly downhill. To get to the trailhead, you’ll head up Highway 24 towards Woodland Park. You will turn off the highway and enter Green Mountain Falls. From here, you’ll drive down Green Mountain Falls Road, which will turn into Ute Pass Avenue. You will soon see Hondo Avenue. Park on the opposite side of Ute Pass Avenue from the turnoff to Hondo Avenue.
This is where your hike will start! The first half mile is on a gravel road, Hondo Avenue. You will follow this until you reach a gate. This has a space for hikers to walk around, and about 80 meters from here you will see a turnoff on the left for Catamount Falls Trail. There is a sign indicating to follow blue dots that are nailed onto trees.
Hike along here for about a mile and climb a lot. I hope your knees are ready. After a little while the blue dots will disappear, but keep following the best defined trail and you will eventually find a gravel road. At this point, you have nearly reached the reservoir. Keep climbing just a little more and then you will arrive at your destination. You’ll find some cold water to explore, sandy ground, and some picnic tables.
While this is a great hike for this time of year, I think this is an especially nice hike to know about for warm spring and fall, and especially summer, days. The water at the top serves as a nice space to cool off after the tough hike. I was pleasantly surprised by the trail and found it to be much prettier and more fun than I thought it would be. Also, it’s always a plus to explore nearby places just a little bit outside of Colorado Springs.
All in all, I give this trail a seven out of 10 and would definitely hike it again.
NOTE: The Catamount Falls Trail has had some recent closures. Check before you go to make sure the trail is open.