Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

Trail Information

Trail Name: Badger Mountain TrailAllTrails App Map | Badger Mountain Trail

Location: West of Lake George, Colorado

Date: December 21, 2019

Time at the Trail Head: 8:30 am

Trail Length: 2.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,765 feet

Elev. at Trail Head: 9,497 feet

# of Hikers Passed: 0

# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0

# of Horses Passed: 0

Mosquitoes: 0

Trail Research

I wanted to find a trail farther away from Denver and in an area I haven’t hiked before. I have made the drive on US-24 from Gunnison to Colorado Springs, Colorado several times and loved the scenery so I thought I would try that area.

I found a trail west of the town of Florissant, Colorado by about 15 miles. The Badger Mountain trail is a short trail, only 2.1 miles round trip but it is straight up the mountain, without switchbacks. I liked this area because it looks out over a large valley to the west and then beyond to the Rocky Mountains near Buena Vista, Colorado.

AllTrails Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

I used AllTrails again for my research. I knew this would be a hard hike with the elevation gain of 1,765 feet in one mile and I thought it would be a good time to go as it had been over a week since the last big snow in the Rocky Mountains.

Let’s just say that I need to do more research on the trail and the weather conditions or amount of snow fall in the area as you will find out shortly.

Drive to the Trail

The drive to the trail is beautiful as I started out in Castle Rock, just south of Denver. I took I-25 south to Colorado Springs and then headed west on US-24 through Woodland Park, Divide and then through Florrissant.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

It is a fabulous drive all the way but try to relax on US-24 as a lot of it is a 2-lane highway and there is a lot of traffic, and I believe a significant amount of it is people heading to the ski resorts, as we have had some great snow fall already in 2019.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

My Day on the Trail

I noticed that the parking lot at the visitor’s center was closed when I arrived but I was still able to park at the turnout off the highway. The trail looked really steep from this vantage point and I could tell there was more snow on the ground then I had anticipated.

Badger Mountain Trailhead

I grabbed my gear and headed to where I thought the trail started, but was I ever wrong. It was extremely difficult to find the trail as no one has hiked this trail since the last snow fall and with over a foot of fresh snow on the ground, there was no obvious trail to find.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

I started hiking through the snow and it became obvious that there was more like 1.5 feet of snow in much of the area.

I came across some recent tracks of a herd of elk that had passed through the area. They evidently have an easier time in the snow then I was having. It was at this point that I was wishing I had some snow shoes.

Badger Mountain Trail | Herd of Elk Trail

After taking some pictures and videos of the elk herd tracks, I started up the Badger Mountain trail. I used my AllTrails app and the map function to check if I was on the trail and realized I was several hundred yards off. This began my zig zag back and forth up the mountain to try to find the trail.

Badger Mountain Trail

I thought I had found it at one point, only to realize I was on the west side of the draw and the trail was supposed to be on the east side of the draw. The draw had pretty steep sides so I had to look around for a suitable place to cross. All this time I am hiking mostly in a foot or more of snow.

Badger Mountain Trail

I finally found a good place to cross the draw but it was still pretty difficult in the snow as I was descending or climbing up the slope and over trees. Do this would have been nearly impossible without my ICETrekkers and my Leki trekking poles.

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After reaching the other side of the draw, there was still no visible trail in sight, and I was light-headed and nauseous. These are the symptoms of altitude sickness, so I took a seat on a rock, drank some water, ate a Cliff bar and let my body recover from crossing the draw or ravine.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

It took about 5 minutes for me to feel better and then I cautiously headed back up the Badger Mountain trail, realizing at this time that I may not make it to the top. I kept looking for a rock outcropping or a clearing to get a clear view of the spectacular Rocky Mountains to the west near Buena Vista.

Badger Mountain Trail

I was working my way up the steepest section of the trail, which was all snow packed, and that’s when I completely lost the trail. I knew I was standing on it or nearly on it but there were downed trees ahead and no clear trail, plus I was getting exhausted hiking through the snow, without snow shoes, and I was on the verge of getting altitude sickness.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

That’s when I realized that I needed to understand my abilities and limitations and decided to call it quits on the Badger Mountain trail. I headed back down the trail, which is always easier than going up. There were several great opportunities for photos and videos as I took my time descending the trail and taking all the beauty in of Colorado.

Badger Mountain Trail

Badger Mountain Trail

Badger Mountain Trail

When I was back near the trailhead, I noticed some tracks from some local outdoor Colorado friends. I’m not really sure what this first track is.Badger Mountain Trail | Bear Track

My first thought is that it’s a bear track. It was at least 6 inches across. The next set of tracks I mentioned earlier and they are tracks from a herd of elk that passed through the area before I arrived at the trail.

Elk Herd Trail | Badger Mountain Trail

Even back at the trailhead, the views are incredible.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

Even though I had a lot of trouble finding the trail and never made it to the top of Badger Mountain, I loved taking the time to stop and enjoy the sunshine, the scenery, the mountains, snow and the magnificence of the area.

I can’t tell you just how much I love living here in Colorado. There are so many opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Everyone I share these photos and videos with, wishes they were here with me. It’s hard for me to refrain from sharing pictures every time I go to a new trail.

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail

That’s Pike’s Peak in the distance, near Colorado Springs.

Trail Recommendations

I love visiting and driving through this area and I plan on visiting many more times in the future.

I have to warn you that this is a very difficult trail to hike, due to the 1,765 feet of elevation change in only one mile, but the snow made it nearly impossible to finish, especially since I couldn’t find the trail most of the time and I didn’t have snow shoes.

This trail is best hiked in the summer and if you’re use to the elevation in Colorado and are in pretty good hiking condition.

Also, make sure you have the right gear, as in ICETrekkers, Leki Trekking Poles and Snow Shoes.

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Lunch after the Hike

I was driving back through Colorado Springs around lunchtime and I remembered that my nephew, Stephen, had one of the best Bar-B-Q sandwiches at this restaurant, after we visited the Garden of the Gods in October earlier this year, so I decided to stop in and try it for myself. I normally like to promote locally owned businesses but I had to stop and see if the Bar-B-Q brisket sandwich was as good as he said it was. The restaurant was named Rudy’s and there are many around the country but you know the food is good when it’s hard to find a parking space at lunchtime.

Rudy's Restaurant in Colorado Springs

The atmosphere inside was wonderful and the food tasted incredible. I liked the Bar-B-Q brisket sandwich a lot but I have to confess that my favorite menu item was the jalapeno sausage link.

Rudy's Restaurant in Colorado Springs

After lunch I headed home but the views keep on giving here in Colorado as the Rock Mountains don’t disappear from sight from Colorado Springs to Castle Rock.

Check out this short video of the Badger Mountain trail on YouTube.

I would love to know if you have had any experience on this trail or have other trails you love to hike. Leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.

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Badger Mountain Trail

6.2

Scenic Drive

9.0/10

Accessibility

10.0/10

Mountain Views

9.0/10

Lake or Stream Views

0.0/10

Well Maintained Trails

3.0/10

Pros

  • Magnificent Views
  • Easy Access
  • Visitor Center at Trailhead
  • Beautiful Pine Tree Forest

Cons

  • Trail is not Well Maintained
  • Difficult Steep Trail

12 thoughts on “Hiking Trails in Colorado | Badger Mountain Trail”

  1. For me, I do not really believe that there is anything like a perfect trail because it’s not really supposed to be easy. It’s good that you have already tested out this trail yourself and can tell us all about the Colorado badger mountain trail. It’s very nice to see this and I feel I will go on next summer since that is your recommendation. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • I think this trail would be perfect for a summer hike as it has a lot of incredible views and also has the visitor center at the trailhead.

      The trail is extremely steep so make sure you’re ready for the altitude and are in decent shape.

      Let me know what you think if you do end up hiking this trail.

      Rick

      Reply
  2. Yeah this is very nice I am so excited because I am traveling Colorado next week and I am planning on going hiking with my friend over there and I think the Badger mountain Trail is where we are taking, although I have not been told where we are Going but I have hope it the Badger mountain trial and I would like to hike it after seeing your review.

    Reply
  3. Wow! What a great article, I believe many people, me included, love hiking, especially when it involves large group of people. It’s great to learn about a upcoming hike, and I like the way you highlighted the details, the distance, including the height to climb to the mountain, and also reminding people about the gear to carry along. Sometimes I forget to carry gloves and sunglasses, of which they were essential on that specific hike. I also like the fact that there are dining restaurants near by. I really appreciate you for sharing such a wonderful article. I am sure to subscribe to your newsfeed to learn more about this and other related articles.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • I am glad you liked the trail review. There are so many great trails to try here in Colorado and I am posting about 2 new trails each week with videos also.

      Rick

      Reply
  4. Hi Rick,

    Thanks for compiling such a thorough report. I’m from Australia and I do quite a bit of bushwalking and exploring myself. It’s my dream to one day go on a holiday to the US. I’d love nothing more than to trek through the American wilderness.  

    I’m aware that I will have to do my research before I embark on any trip. And it’s sites like yours that provide a really good insight – so thank you!

    Best wishes,

    Jake

    Reply
    • Hi Jake. I would love to make it to Australia to do some bushwalking myself some day soon. It’s a great idea to research trails where ever you go and I’m glad I could help with my website.

      I am planning on hiking the Colorado trail starting this coming summer. It is 490 miles long and I’m not sure if I will tackle it in one summer or break the hike up into several summers. I love hiking and I’m looking forward to hiking in other countries also.

      Rick

      Reply
  5. I love hiking in winter – snow just makes it more magical. And I somehow appreciate more being in fresh air. Having the right shoes is essential, otherwise hike turns into a nightmare. I will check the ICETrekkers you have, they seem perfect for winter.

    It’s important to acknowledge when it’s time for us to stop and turn around. After all, you had some nice exercise and was rewarded with a good lunch 😊

    Are you planning to return with snow shoes or will you wait until it’s summer time?

    Reply
    • Hi Katja. I did some research at REI yesterday on the snow shoes and will be buying a pair next week. I’m not sure if I want to go back to this trail until the summer. I want to see the trail without snow cover and then come back to it next winter.

      There are so many incredible views from this trail and the drive was spectacular so I will be returning. I also will return with a hiking buddy or two. It’s not that smart to hike alone, unless you’re on a heavily traveled trail. There were a lot of cars driving by the trailhead but I was the only one on the mountain on this hike in December.

      Rick

      Reply

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