Trail Name: Bald Mountain Loop
Location: Near Woodland Park, Colorado
Date: December 1, 2019
Time at the Trail Head: 3:00 pm
Trail Length: 4.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,446 feet
Elev. at Trail Head: 8,215 feet
# of Hikers Passed: 1
# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0
# of Horses Passed: 0
I decided to look for a trail west of Colorado Springs, near Divide, Colorado. There is some incredible scenery in that area and I have wanted to head out there for some time. The hike I wanted to take was in the Pike National Forest and was the Badger Mountain Trail.
The problem is that we have had several snow storms recently and I couldn’t find a trail that I was confident my current vehicle could handle so I finally decided on the Bald Mountain Loop near Woodland Park, Colorado.
The trail looked easily accessible and not far from Colorado Springs and as it was the weekend after Thanksgiving, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to have a long time to drive and hike a long trail.
Drive to the Trail
The drive down I-25 from Denver to Colorado Springs is always beautiful but it is a little less spectacular at the moment as approximately 15 miles of it is under construction.
We exited I-25 and drove around the west side of Colorado springs to US-24. It was a short drive to the trail head at that point, in the shadow of Pikes Peak.
The sun started to shine a little brighter as we reached the trailhead, even though it was starting to head down in the west. We had a late start for this hike and I’ll let you know in advance that we were not able to make the entire loop as the sun set on us and the temperatures started to plummet.
My Day on the Trail
The trailhead was pretty much non-existent and we had to park near the driveway of someone’s home, which also served to house the local dumpsters.
I wasn’t that impressed at this point but you know when it’s late in the day and you have already chosen your trail, there’s not much of a choice but pull on your big boy pants and head up the trail
We could see right away that this trail doesn’t get used much. There was only one other vehicle at the trailhead, there were only a few footprints in the snow and it was the first day of December, and I think the smart folks were staying at home reading a book in front of the fire.
The trail was mostly gravel and about one third of it was covered in several inches of snow. It wasn’t hard to hike as I had my Leki trekking poles, which makes hiking in snow significantly easier.
- Exclusive AERGON grip features a hollow core construction to save weight and create an edgeless, rounded grip for comfortable gripping at all angles especially for "palming" on steeper terrain. Thermo foam grip material for extra comfort, light weight and insulation in colder weather. Built in 8deg Positive Angle in LEKI grips keeps wrist in neutral position and provides more efficient pole plants.
- Air-textured "no bulk" security strap maintains design dimensions of grip; efficient wicking and fast drying; adjusts and secures strap adjustment without buckles. Extended foam grip for traversing and climbing. SPEEDLOCK 2 lever locking mechanism is simply THE strongest external locking system in the world as rated by TUV, and the only locking systems to meet the minimum holding force recommended by TUV.
- 100% High Modulus Carbon shaft sections for reliable, lightweight performance in all conditions. PE coated, Kevlar reinforced tension cord for long term reliability. ELD (External Locking Device) gives easy access to release the assembly tension of the pole for quick knock down and packing. Maximum tension between shaft sections made possible by internal (serviceable) spring in lower shaft.
- Carbon section ends are protected by machined Aluminum sleeves for extra long wear. Machined Aluminum connectors help to center shaft sections for quick, snag free assembly. LEKI's original Carbide Flextips provide secure hold on all terrain and surfaces for years of adventure; easily replaced in the field.
- Interchangeable basket system allows a variety of different sized LEKI baskets to be easily screwed on/off for different seasons/uses thanks to offset threads that keep the baskets securely in place.
Neither my son nor I put on our ICETrekkers as we believed we would not need them on this hike but we still always carry them on our packs.
We turned a corner and headed up a long and steep incline that caused us to stop several times along the way.
It was on this steep section that we met a new friend who was on his way down. His name is Andy and he had a really cool 4 legged friend with him named Rocky. We probably talked for 20 minutes and realized we had a lot in common. I actually don’t think I have met a mean person on any trails in Colorado. Everyone is very nice and always willing to lend a hand or tell about a favorite trail of theirs.
We reached to top of this steep section and had a few decent views.
The sun was nearly ready to set but I was sure we were missing out on some better views a little higher up the mountain. My son about pushed me over the cliff when I told him we needed to go higher, but higher we went.
Here is a panoramic picture of the area from Pikes Peak to possibly Mount Evans in the north.
The sun finally set and the temperatures started dropping and we had not yet headed back down the trail. We did get a few more pictures though before we finished our hike on the Bald Mountain Loop, near Woodland Park.
The town right below us in this picture is Crystola, Colorado.
Here’s another look at Pikes Peak on the way down the trail.
Of course, I want you to all enjoy our selfie as we started to freeze and wished for the warmth of the truck.
This wasn’t the best trail we have ever taken but my son Caleb, our dog Ranger and I really enjoyed getting out and seeing a new trail, plus we met Andy, our new hiking friend.
This trail is easily accessible, especially for those of you in the Colorado Springs area. It doesn’t look like many people use this trail, which is nice to find in Colorado.
There were no creeks or lakes on this hike but there were some pictures mountains to the south and west that always makes a hike enjoyable.
You can see more of the trail on my YouTube channel below.
I would love to hear about a trail that you really enjoy so please leave a Comment below or send me an Email.
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- Shoe grips designed to provide aggressive traction in winter walking conditions
- Made of case-hardened steel alloy and strung on steel aircraft cable
- Riveted to tough rubber sling that fits tennis shoes, boots and dress shoes
- Sling remains elastic even in subzero temperatures to keep grips secure
- Self-clearing design prevents snow and ice buildup