Hike: Mt Rosa (TR 672)
Distance: ~5 miles round trip.
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. There are some short steep sections and loose gravel.
Map: Pikes Peak Atlas, THE map for this area.
Really wanted to get out and hike with the pups on such a nice Memorial Day, but I did not want to deal with crowds. After getting off work and seeing my wife off to work I was not able to get away until about noon and I have been wanting to hike this trail since riding sections on my bicycle and motorcycle. This trail is in the heart of a multi-use trail system for this area. The trailhead shares the start of Jone's park and pipeline trails. Very popular with the downhill shuttle monkeys that lack the fortitude to ride their bikes to the trailhead.
Due to my late start I choose to access the trail from the Jone's area. This means driving up Old Stage road on a holliday. I generally avoid this road on holidays and weekends in the summer because of drunken campers, wanna be rally racers, and idiots that don't know how to drive on a dirt mountain road. Needless to say today had an ample supply of these people. If you choose to go to this trail head plan on an hour to get there depending on your vehicle or willingness to destroy a vehicle over wash-boards. You can also get to the summit via Seven Bridges or St. Mary's falls trail via closed Gold Camp road parking on Cheyenne Cañon. Going from these alternate trailheads will add some distance to the hike so pick your poison based on your time.
Don't be discouraged with the uphill out of the parking area, it is a short section and then you will descend across a small stream and a nice pine trail. I almost forgot to mention, bring water. There a two small streams that run dependent on the weather and with all the use in the area I would not be comfortable drinking it without some serious filtering and treatment. Then only as a last resort. From this section it will become more open and start climbing with some short and steeper sections.
You will also get a view of your objective before heading down into this valley.
After about 1.4 miles you will see a trail off to your right at the brown trail markers. If you continue on straight you will end up at St Mary's falls in North Cheyenne Canon. From this juncture it is about another mile to the summit. The upper trail is much like the the lower trail, baby heads with some decomposing granite. There is a brief section in the open but otherwise the trail is well shaded from parking lot to the summit.
The views make this a worthwhile hike, especially with the proximity to the city.
NOTE: don't have access to all pics and will update.