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Section 16 to Jones Park (and back) Mountain Ramble

 4.5 (4)
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Length


17.6 Miles 28.4 Kilometers


4,025' 1,227 m

Ascent

-4,024' -1,227 m

Descent

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

9,121' 2,780 m

High

6,637' 2,023 m

Low

Shared By Jason Doedderlein

Conditions


Minor Issues 49 days ago
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A great hike connecting many of Colorado Springs' amazing trails together.

Jason Doedderlein

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This hike is amazing because it ties together so much splendor in such an accessible way, and also allows one to shrink or grow the hike as they see fit because of all of the additional connecting trails.

There are some steep sections that are difficult, including about a mile on the Section 16/Palmer Trail and a couple of miles on Bear Creek Trail (#666).

Need to Know

There is good access to water throughout much of the hike, for the benefit of you and any furry friend you might bring along.

Description

This all begins and ends at the Section 16 trailhead, to be found on Gold Camp Rd.

The Section 16/Palmer Trail begins with a gentle incline that winds its way up through red rock and scrub oak, affording some great views of Garden of the Gods and Red Rock open space.

There are a couple of unmarked trails that lead off to the right heading to Red Rock Open Space. Stay on the trail that leads uphill and generally looks more used.

After about 1 mile, the trail intersects with the Intemann Trail, which connects to Red Rock Canyon and heads into Manitou Springs, where it can be used to get to The Manitou Incline and Barr Trail. For this route you'll continue straight and shortly after the Intemann connector, the trail climbs into the trees. In the summer, this is a relief. In the winter, expect to start hitting snow and ice.

The incline really picks up at this point. The trail is well marked in the forest and wherever there might be confusion, there is a marker pointing in the right direction. They will be marked, Section 16/Palmer Trail (Ring the Peak Trail).

Just over 1.5 miles from the TH, the ridge is reached opening spectacular views to the South. I am always startled when standing at this point, where I see nothing but mountains and trees, that I am standing on city property.

The trail continues to the right (west) where it flattens out. There is some up and down but it tends to be fairly mild. Eventually, the trail begins a sustained drop that is less steep than the climb and a blast to allow gravity to do its work.

After about three miles, the trail reaches the valley and you continue around to the left towards High Drive, which can be seen when higher up on the trail.

At High Drive turn uphill (to the left). After about .5 miles Trail 666/Bear Creek Trail will head off to the right following Bear Creek upstream, while High Drive heads away from the creek to the left. Take Trail 666.

The trail begins fairly gently but becomes steeper as it climbs above the creek in anticipation of the upcoming cliffs where Bear Creek generates a high cascading waterfall.

After the waterfall the trail continues to climb, but at a gentler grade and it follows the creek more closely.

Eventually, the trail reaches a junction where an unmarked trail (despite a bunch of signs, none of them identify the trails) heads to the left over a bridge. This is where Trail 666/Bear Creek Trail ends. The trail to the left is Trail 667/Jones Park Trail and will take you back to High Drive, yet at a much higher point than trail 666. Taking trail 667 back to High Drive will cut out a few miles from this route.

To continue with this hike, continue straight on what is now Trail 667/Jones Park Trail and follow to, you might have guessed it, Jones Park.

Jones Park is a flat meadowy area with Aspen and a creek and several trail connections. One of these connections, Trail 668/Pipeline Trail (Ring the Peak Trail) will cross a small bridge and head south. Continue to follow this trail until you approach a creek (N. Cheyenne Creek). Above this creek, the trail will split with no good signage. Follow the creek downstream. It is here that more joyous and splendid downhill hiking begins.

Follow the creek on what is now the aptly named Seven Bridges Trail (662). This will after a few miles, take you to Gold Camp rd, where you'll take a left to get to the main parking area to access these trails.

Across the parking area there will be two roads. One heading down (Gold Camp Rd) and one heading up (High Dr). Take High Drive.

After about 1 mile of climbing, a long descent will take you back to where you started it all.

Once you hit pavement, just follow the road to the left (Gold Camp Rd) and the parking area will be 1000 ft up on the right.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Aug 1, 2017
Marissa B
Trail is closed after you finish bear creek trail #666. :(
Jul 8, 2017
Michael Morales
Mar 10, 2017
Ryan Leets
Jan 13, 2017
Gary Sheppard
1/2 mile less and 600 feet more elevation gain than the GPX file. Still an awesome route, did it as a trail run and had a blast with the pup. 15mi — 3h 56m
Oct 9, 2015
gaylon bellew
Lots of beautiful scenery, I've taken a lot of pictures, to include the mining tunnel. 15.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#1796

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
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Rankings

#274

in Colorado

#1,796

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3,698 Since Apr 8, 2015
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Photos

J Wild  
Are there spots to camp for backpacking or is this a day hike only? Aug 31, 2018

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