Hiking Trails – Lovell Gulch
Pike National Forest
From Colorado Springs, take Hwy 24, to Woodland Park. Turn north on Teller County Road 22, Baldwin Rd right before McDonald’s. Go north for 2.2 miles. The name changes to Rampart Range near the high school. The Lovell Gulch Trail #709 starts at the parking lot for the Woodland Park dog pound. The trailhead is clearly marked. There is no fee for parking at the trail head.
Attractions and Considerations:
Foot, horse, and bike trail. Motorized vehicles are prohibited. Please keep your pets on a leash. The trail is marked with vertical fiberglass pickets bearing a diamond symbol. In some places, these are missing and the trail may be difficult to follow without a map.
Recently, the sign at the trail head has been vandalized, so there is no trail map or guidelines or anything on the sign (3/97). The sign-in book has also been stolen. I will report all of this to the forest service. Hopefully it can be fixed soon.
The first mile is nearly level, leading out of Woodland Park along the edge of the timber. Then it crosses a stream and forks where a sign describes the loop as being 3 3/4 miles. Turn right and hike upstream along a narrow meadow for about 1 1/2 miles. This is Lovell Gulch. The trail meanders through a meadow lined in trees. The trail turns to the north and goes by some interesting granite formations. This area can be a bit icy in winter and spring. Climbing to the top of a ridge, the trail meets Rampart Range Road. Then the trail loops back to the west along the ridge under some high tension power lines for a ways, offering spectacular views of Pikes Peak and Ute Pass. In one place, there are some large granite boulders that are nice to sit on and have a lunch. From there, one can see west and north as far as the Collegiates and Mt. Evans. The trail here follows the ridge up to a hill top. Elk have been spotted in this area. Near the peak there is a trails that goes along a ridge and dead ends. From here is a fantastic view of Woodland Park, Pikes peak and the surrounding area. There is a fire pit there. This is also a good lunch spot. The descent from the ridge is the steepest section. This area can also be icy or muddy at times. Turn right at the fork and you are on your way back.
Length: 5.5 miles round trip
Time: 4.0 hours
Elevation Gain/Drop: 600ft.
Maps: Pike National Forest K-5
Quad Maps: Mount Deception 5,6,7,8
The trail starts at 8,600 ft. In the next mile, it climbs to 8,800 ft. Then in the next mile, it climbs to 9,200 ft. The trail follows a ridge for the third mile near 9,200 ft. Then the trail descends steeply to 8,800 ft in the next 1 1/2 miles. In the final leg, the trail goes back down to 8,600 ft.
Beginning Elevation: 8,800 ft at trail head.
Ending Elevation: 9,200 ft at the top of the ridge.
This trail makes a nice family hike. At a minimum, bring 32oz/1liter of drinking water per person.
Temperatures are about 10 degrees cooler than Colorado Springs. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer.
Camping is permitted at undeveloped sites along the trail. Campfire permits are not required, but please be sure your fire is dead out before you leave. Pack it in/Pack it out rule applies.
Potable water not readily available. Water from the streams should be treated before use. Hikers are advised to carry an adequate supply.