Dogs No Dogs
Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The monument is open at different times throughout the year:
Fall and Winter Hours (November 13th through March 9)
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Spring Hours (March 10 - May 24th)
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Summer Hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day)
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.
Need to Know
The trail is rather exposed until you get into the forest around the 1 mile mark, so make sure you wear sunscreen and have a hat. There are no places to get water on the trail, so make sure to bring plenty of water with you in order to stay hydrated. There are no restrooms on this hike, so make sure to use the facilities at the visitor center before heading out on your trip.
To access the Sawmill Trail, go through the visitor center and take the Ponderosa Loop Trail to the left. The trail will pass one of the petrified redwood stumps that the monument is known for and the trail will climb gently up the hill. You'll come to a ponderosa pine that is growing out of one of the petrified stumps, showing that life can spring from the dead. The trail climbs gently up the hill a little bit further and then a gravel, doubletrack trail goes off to the left out into the fields. The trail appears to be an old road that winds its way out through the monument. In the spring, wildflowers can be seen growing along the trail. After the .25 mile mark, the trail begins to climb gently up the hillside. At this point, the trail is mostly exposed, so a hat and sunscreen is a good idea. The trail moves through an open field and some limited views of the Pikes Peak area come into view off the left side of the trail. You can catch glimpses of Pikes Peak at various points in the hike, so keep an eye out to the left as you go. At .7 miles, the trail crosses a service road 2 times before entering the forest and begins climbing steeply through forest of pine trees at .9 miles for about 1/3 of a mile. At 1.2 miles, there is a bench where the Hans Loop Trail
begins where you can enjoy a break after all of the climbing that you have been doing. If you want to take the Hans Loop Trail
to make a larger loop trail, you can depart the Sawmill Trail here. If you take Hans Loop, it will add another 1.3 miles to your trip as the Hans Loop meets back up with the end of the Sawmill Trail. If you want to stay on the Sawmill Trail, take a right and follow the trail as it begins to descend the hill that you have been climbing. At 1.4 miles, the trail drops steeply to the junction with the Hans Loop Trail
. You can take the Hans Loop Trail
to climb uphill and follow your steps back to the visitor center or you can take a right and follow the Sawmill Trail is it works its way downhill through the little valley. The trail is dirt and grass at this point, a singletrack trail that is easy on the feet. Birch trees and pines can be seen from the trail. The trail passes the junction of the boulder creek trail at roughly 2.1 miles and again at 2.3 miles. The trail becomes more dirt and gravel again as it descends the last .4 miles to the visitor center, where the trail ends at the junction of the Ponderosa Loop Trail and Petrified Forest Loop Trail
Flora & Fauna
If you hike in the spring time, you'll be able to see various types of wildflowers blooming. Wild Iris, Indian Paintbrush, Blue Flax, Evening Pimrose, primroses, daisys, and other flowers can be seen along the trail.
Mule deer, ground squirrels, rabbits, and some lizards may be seen along the trail as you get away from the visitor center and visit more remote parts of the park.
Shared By: David Hitchcock