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Finally – A Loop!

Cheyenne Canyon is absolutely beautiful… however one thing has historically held it back from a hiking perspective, which is that most or all of the reasonable hikes were out and back affairs. I personally am much more partial to loops as you don’t wind up looking at the same stuff twice.

With the completion of a new trail system on the South side of the Canyon (Daniels Pass, Sweetwater Canyon, and Bruin trails) there is now an excellent loop option that stays within the canyon. I gave it a try today.Selfie

The route: I started at Starsmore Discovery Center and hiked up Columbine to where the (relatively new) Creekside Trail branches off to the left. At about 1.5 miles in, there is a log bridge over the creek which took me to the road, just downhill from the Mount Cutler trailhead parking lot. I hiked up the Mount Cutler trail to where it branches to the right to go up Muscoco. At the saddle right before the summit push, the new connector continues West(ish) and then switch-backs down to join with part of the Sweetwater Canyon loop, where I took a right to head towards Daniel’s Pass. My original plan was to take Daniel’s all the way down to the road but when I realized I could take the Bruin trail instead I did, since I hadn’t been on it yet. So, Bruin down the road, across and up the other side to where it connects to Columbine, and the Columbine all the way back to Starsmore. A great hike with lots of views, but clocked in around 9 miles with a couple thousand feet of gain.Trail marker

Notes: Right now is a great time to hike in the Canyon – it is closed to traffic so minus the occasional mountain bike bell is very quiet without the steady drone of Texas driving their pickups by by on the road below.

Cautions: A lot of this route is North facing and may have ice/snow a lot of the winter, even after sunny/warmer days. I was lucky today but traction devices and trekker poles might be a good idea, as would turning back if it gets too hazardous. There are a couple brief sections near the top of Muscoco that require some scrambling – not much exposure, but falling would definitely hurt at a minimum.

Here are my Strava links. Two this time as my watch battery died near the top of Muscoco:

2 thoughts on “Finally – A Loop!”

  1. I was above you today biking out Gold Camp as far as the snow would let me. I stopped and took a look down Daniels Pass trail, but thought it was probably to snow packed on that side of the canyon. Did you have Strava on during the hike. You should post the screen shot on this blog so we can follow along with your description.

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