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Heizer Trail

Difficult
 4.3 (6)

A challenging but rewarding 3-mile, well-defined trail from the town of Cascade over the top of Cascade Mountain.


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Map Key

2.9

Miles

4.7

KM

Point to Point

9,357' 2,852 m

High

7,502' 2,287 m

Low

1,855' 565 m

Up

532' 162 m

Down

15%

Avg Grade (9°)

45%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · River/Creek · Wildlife

Description

Parking is limited for this trail. There is NO Parking allowed anywhere on Anemone Hill Road (just below the trailhead). There is usually room for several cars on Park St. next to the creek. Otherwise, you must park on Emporia Street and walk up Park Street and Anemone Hill Road to the trailhead.

The Heizer Trail begins climbing immediately at the signed trailhead and hardly relents until it reaches the top of Cascade Mountain, nearly 2 miles and 1,900 vertical feet later. About 50 feet after you pass the Heizer Trail sign on a tree, you'll veer left and switchback sharply to the right. This will be the first of about 15 or so switchbacks on the way to the top of Cascade Mountain. The first mile passes under a pleasant canopy of spruce and pine with excellent tread and plenty of shade that will be welcome on hot summer days. At about a mile, the canopy opens up to a southeastern exposure through a grove of Gambol Oak, affording views of the town of Cascade that you just ascended from and canyons of Ute Pass. This point marks the beginning of the steepest part of the ascent, where the grade ratchets up to 23-40 percent for the next 0.7 miles.

Continuing on, the tread in this area is replete with crushed Pikes Peak granite, marble-to-walnut sized and fairly deep in places, making the ascent more challenging for a few hundred yards until you re-enter the spruce/pine canopy. The end of this steep 0.7-mile stretch is marked by a rocky overlook on your right with breathtaking views of a thousand-foot-deep canyon with Cascade Creek at the bottom. At this point you've climbed about 1600 feet and are just over a quarter of a mile from the top of Cascade Mountain. You'll know you have finally arrived at the 9,387-foot summit when you round a bend to the left, and the trail finally levels off at an open area with the summit boulders on both sides.

Beyond the summit as the trail begins to descend on the south side of the mountain, you'll notice that some trees marked with orange blazes (vertical stripes), presumably to mark the path in an area where the trail was once less defined or is prone to the development of social trails. From the summit, the trail continues about a mile, descending about 500 feet to a T-junction at the aforementioned FS Trail 713 at North Fork French Creek. This is the official end of the Heizer Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Coniferous forest with occasional spots of Gambol Oak on the ascent from town. The trees were a bit thinner on the south side of Cascade Mountain as expected. Wild turkeys, mule deer, mountain lions, and black bears are known to roam the area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Warren Paul with improvements by Patrick Reeves

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes

#1

in Cascade

#6747

Overall
  4.3 from 6 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Cascade

#566

in Colorado

#6,747

Overall
29 Views Last Month
913 Since Apr 24, 2017
Difficult

0%
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17%
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83%
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Photos

Enjoy an excellent view of Pikes Peak from the summit of Cascade Mountain.
Apr 17, 2017 near Cascade…, CO
There is no parking at the trailhead, so you must walk up Anemone Road and look for this sign.
Apr 17, 2017 near Cascade…, CO
The summit boulders exhibit a beautiful balancing act.
Apr 17, 2017 near Cascade…, CO
Historic Ute Pass can be seen from the trail.
Apr 17, 2017 near Cascade…, CO
The end of the Heizer Trail at Trail 703 T-junction.
Apr 17, 2017 near Manitou…, CO

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Check-Ins

Aug 17, 2019
Barb Mueller
Hard, too much traffic & along the 24. Would not do again or refer 3.5mi
Aug 12, 2019
Alan Peak
Perfect hike. Conditions are good. Recent rain hasn't effected the trail!
May 24, 2019
Rachel S
2.9mi
Sep 15, 2018
Katelyn A
May 31, 2018
Taylor Gilbertson
Did not go all the way up.. Had to get back home. Did 5.5 miles round trip took just under 3 hours with plenty of stops and break at the top. — 2h 45m
Oct 30, 2017
"H" Lampasso
Did this early yesterday 10/30/17 on a balmy 25 degree morning with low lying clouds. I’d definitely do it again. 6mi