Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
As of spring 2018, parking in lot 580 is not ticketed. This may change in the future, as UCCS plans on extensive development of the area. If this does change, there is parking available in a dirt lot off of Nevada Ave. at the light north of lot 580.
Whether you want to run trails, hike, climb rocks, or bike, this is the place for you. If you want to observe local wildlife and flora, study geology, or just get away from the city, the trail to Pulpit Rock is also a great destination. This trail has something for everyone who loves experiencing nature in any of its forms.
To get to the start of this trail, you'll start at UCCS lot 580, where parking is free. The trail entrance is located at the southeast corner of the parking lot. Cross the gravel road and hike on the dirt trail that runs adjacent to the road on its south side. At 0.10 miles, you'll hop across the road and find a small trail on your left. Now you'll be looking toward Pulpit Rock, and hiking east and slightly north through tall shrubs on either side of the trail. After another 0.10 miles, when the shrubs end and the trail begins to dip, look for a trail on your left or continue a short distance to where the main trails fork, and turn left.
You'll now be on a wide trail hiking behind a large silver building (the UCCS indoor track and field). After about 0.15 miles, you'll reach another intersection; turn right, and begin the ascent to the ridge of the Pulpit Rock formation. At this point, the trail can be a little washed out, with a deep groove running in the middle. It can be difficult to follow the trail at this point, but keep heading up as there is no way to miss the ridge! About 0.5 miles into the trail is the steepest terrain you'll encounter. This will slow many people down, and it involves stepping over some large rocks.
You'll know when you are on top the ridge. Turn to the west and head on up to the summit. To get to the top you can go directly up, which will require some scrambling up rocks up to 20 feet high, but you'll always have a sure place to step. If you want to avoid the rocks, look for the trail on the left side of the formation. Following this will take you around the north side of the rock and up to the top by steep and narrow trails.
Enjoy the views of Colorado Springs and the Front Range at the top!
Flora & Fauna
This area really displays what Colorado has to offer. There are meadows of prairie grass and wildflowers, with yucca blooming in the summer. The trails running through the meadows will be populated with grasshoppers in the summer. The canyons and ridges are forested with juniper and pinion pine which attract deer year round; be alert as you might come face to face with one after rounding a corner. During the warm months, rattlesnakes are very common in the area. Dogs are not mandated to be on leash, but if you use the smaller and social trails, be careful letting your pets off leash and off trail, as rattlesnakes will hide right off of the trail's edge.
Shared By: Matt Bone