USAFA Falcon Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,330' 405 m
Descent: -1,338' -408 m
High: 7,402' 2,256 m
Low: 6,658' 2,029 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)
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“Some of the best in-town singletrack in Colorado Springs.”— The Kraken
*** USAFA may enforce a buddy-system policy (i.e. no rider rides alone) when using the base's trail network, including the Falcon Trail. Please contact USAFA Natural Resources 719-333-3308 for current info ***
Hours enforced for non-military.
Rideable by advanced beginners, it's still a favorite of the veteran riders in town.
2. Also, these trailheads can only be accessed by non-DOD visitors using the North Gate to the USAFA. The southern portions of the installation are technically off-limits. Therefore, when departing, it is essential to exit via the North Gate, otherwise, you'll get turned back at the security checkpoint south of the Stadium. (Your GPS is not aware of these restrictions.)
3. The USAFA is closed to non-DOD visitor traffic after 5:00 p.m., so plan accordingly. See usafa.edu/visitors/getting-… for details.
4. Finally, access is restricted during USAFA Football games, so check online to ensure you avoid these times.
No matter which direction you go, the trail is 95% singletrack and all on dirt. The trail covers rolling terrain, with climbs and fun descents. You'll end up generally climbing to the high point on the west side of the Academy grounds, about 1,400 feet above the start of the loop. There are a few road and stream crossings, but it's hard to miss the trail. From there, it's mostly downhill, with a few climbs to keep you honest, back around the loop to where you started.
Traditionally, the Falcon Trail (FT) is ridden in the clockwise direction to avoid too many sudden head-on meetings on the fast descents, although it can be ridden both ways without incident if one is attentive. When starting from this trailhead in a clockwise (south) direction, the FT immediately starts to climb gradually up through a pine forest behind the USAFA Football Stadium before climbing up and down over several ridgelines. After crossing Pine Drive, the trail descends towards West Monument Creek, which it crosses several times over the next three miles. This portion of the trail has been much improved since ~2015 with multiple bridges and strategic reroutings to avoid worn-out areas. One new improvement is a split in the trail labeled "The Easy Way" (called here the Falcon Trail south spur) that gives riders the option to avoid the one small technical section on the FT. That said, riders should be cautious during springtime or rains, because this spur requires several stream crossings which 99% of the time will result in wet feet or worse.
From West Monument Creek, the FT climbs via several switchbacks to its highest point at the Stanley Canyon Trail. From that point, the trail is characterized by several fun, curvy descents and shorter climbs that eventually brings you back to the Main Trailhead. The trail concludes with a nice flattish cruise along the USAFA Golf Course.
Once you finish your loop, just head back out to the car. If a 13-mile loop isn't enough, many people do another lap in the other direction. The ride feels very different going the other way, but it's tough to say which way is "better".
Biked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed
Local Club: Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates
May 22, 2020: Support MWTA – by doing what you’re already doing.
May 8, 2020: Trail sharing etiquette video
Apr 8, 2020: Etiquette: How to Share a Trail
Land Manager: US Air Force Academy