“A nice loop with a curvy climb to Lincoln Mountain's mesa top... great views of Pikes Peak.”
— J Erik Hartel on Feb 28, 2014
DescriptionNice curvy climb along wide trails to a flat mesa top loop at the top of Lincoln Mountain. The ascent portion weaves through scrub oak along a wide flowy path; at times, the path narrows to singletrack dimensions as it curves up and through multiple easy switchbacks.
The loop at the top is a simple path that follows the edge of the mesa and offers great views - south to Pikes Peak, west towards the Front Range, south and east towards Black Forest, and northwards into the valleys and ranch lands between Monument and Castle Rock. Although the trail is fairly obvious, it is also marked by large rock cairns.
The descent back towards the trailhead is fun and flowy, although should be descended with caution due to numerous blind corners and the popularity of the area with equestrian riders.
From the Lincoln Mountain Open Space Trailhead (AKA Jones Road Trailhead), ride generally north for .25 miles to the main trail split. Left goes to Lincoln Mountain; right connects to the Palmer Divide Ranch Loop.
After you go left, the trail will start a gradual climb that will not end until cresting at the mesa top. The trail zigzags upwards through scrub oaks and meadows, eventually settling into a long diagonal climb across the face of the mesa. There are some minor undulations - mostly alternating between easy sections of 2-3% and steep sections of ~8%. Overall, there is nothing technical about the trail; although it can be fairly taxing, aerobically.
The trail is well-maintained. Because it was constructed in 2013, the trails are somewhat loose and scrabbly at times; this will likely improve over time as the trails get compacted.
The highlight of the trail is the great views from the mesa top. It doesn't matter whether the top loop is ridden clockwise or counter-clockwise - either is good.
During winter thaws and spring, there are several boggy areas along the trail, that get particularly torn up and soft due to the horse traffic. Use caution and hike-a-bike, as necessary, to avoid further the damage.
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