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Mount Herman - Limbaugh Canyon Loop

 3.8 (45)

11.7 Miles 18.8 Kilometers


75%

Singletrack

1,735' 529 m

Ascent

-1,735' -529 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

22%

Max Grade (13°)

8,403' 2,561 m

High

7,003' 2,135 m

Low

Shared By J Erik Hartel

Conditions


All Clear 52 days ago
Mostly Dry: with the recent rains there are a few puddles and muddy spots, especially in the shade during the initial descent. History

Getting forecast...

An advanced Intermediate loop from Monument Preserve through Limbaugh Canyon.

J Erik Hartel

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

One of the region's under-utilized trails, the Mount Herman-Limbaugh Canyon Loop takes you from Monument Preserve up Mount Herman Road to a little used trail (715) behind Mount Herman and Raspberry Mountain. The route starts with a dirt road climb for approximately 4 miles to the start of the singletrack.

The singletrack section is fairly challenging, except in Limbaugh Canyon itself. The initial climb from Mount Herman Rd is steep and covered with loose gravel - for most people this becomes a short hike-a-bike section. Once over the initial climb, the trail descends along a narrow, moderately technical track until it empties out in Limbaugh Canyon.

The canyon stretch is a great, flowing trail with a few surprises. As the canyon narrows towards its northern terminus, the trail becomes somewhat more technical. Although this central stretch is fairly unchallenging, the trail does throw up some sudden technical sections that warrant a bit of care.

Eventually, the trail dumps out above Monument Preserve, where you can catch Mount Herman Road back to the trailhead.

Need to Know

The only notable navigational challenge comes at the one o'clock point, where the actual trail forks off to the right onto a seemingly minor branch. The larger trail (a former mining road) eventually dead ends in private property. The branch is actually the main route and marks the start of a challenging, rocky stretch of lightly used singletrack.

Description

Park at the Nursery Road Trailhead, at the intersection of Nursery and Mount Herman roads. This is a good, safe, well-trafficked parking area frequented by MTB'ers and trail runners.

From Nursery Road Trailhead take the Meadow Trail to Monument Rock then take the Mt Herman Road trail from Monument Rock to Mt Herman Road. Easy singletrack warm up.

An Alternate route is Mt Hermann road from the Nursery Road Trailhead, however this portion of the road is severly washboarded and is best avoided using the route described above.

At the top of the Mt Herman Road trail, turn left on to Mount Herman Road, which is dirt from this point onwards. For the next two miles, follow the road south and around the southern shoulder of Mount Herman. Look for a well-marked trailhead for Tr. 715. It is located approximately .10 miles after the Trail 716 trailhead. Do not confuse the two.

At the 715 trailhead, which is located at a sharp turn on the road and is marked by a metal sign and several metal posts, you'll observed the singletrack (715) heading directly north. After a short distance, the trail bears westward up a steep gravelly incline that bears the footprints of many mountain bikers before you. Do not be ashamed to hike the next 100 feet or so since the trail is very challenging for all but the most sure-footed riders.

For the next mile, stay on the gravel trail. A number of trails crisscross the route - stay on the main one until you drop down into Limbaugh Canyon. The dropt into Limgaugh Canyon is marked by a brown Carsonite marker. After an initial scramble down an eroded gravel slope, the trail becomes more rideable, eventually turning into a challengingly narrow traverse through aspens that winds down into the valley. Your inclination may be to let the bike run fast at this point, but be aware that the trail has several unexpected turns. Eventually, the trail exits into a wide canyon and becomes more flowing.

For the next few miles, the trail cruises through meadows, following a small stream. Depending on the time of year, the stream may not have water. As the canyon narrows, the trail moves up the right side of the canyon and once again becomes intermediate. There are several unexpected rock gardens and technical sections along this portion.

At approximately the 8 mile point, as the trail begins to pivot around the north shoulder of the Raspberry Mountain, it widens into an old rocky mining grade and begins to drop more steeply towards town. After approximately .25 miles look for a small sign and a narrow, steep branch to the right. Although significantly less prominent than the mining grade, the branch is actually the main MTB route to get back to Monument Preserve. If you miss this turn, the road will eventually peter out in private property and require a lengthy schlepp back up the hill.

The next segment is a challenging 2 mile traverse of the northeast and east faces of Raspberry Mountain and Mount Herman. The trail is narrow, fairly new, and somewhat rocky. All told, it can be a significantly aerobic grind. Although there are several branches that turn downwards, stick to the main trail; any attempt to go downhill at this point will end in private property or dump you out in neighboring Palmer Lake. Just stay high on the slope until you pass around a red sandstone monument, which marks the last half-mile or so of the trail.

Cruise back to your car on Mount Herman Rd or along any of the fun downhill singletracks (Mad Hatter, Twisty Oaks, Monument Rock to Mt. Herman Rd, etc) that parallel the dirt road.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Sep 9, 2018
Harris Maslowe
Aug 21, 2018
Corim Carey
Was loose and washed out in a few places. Rutted and gravelly on the backside. Still fun though.. 9.4mi
Aug 18, 2018
Jim C
Nice loop, foggy down low, clear up top. 12mi — 1h 45m
Aug 18, 2018
Ron Sharp
Aug 10, 2018
Chris W
Jul 30, 2018
Doug King
Jul 14, 2018
Andrei Popa
13mi
Jul 14, 2018
Greg Wilborn

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 45 votes

#246

Overall
  3.8 from 45 votes
5 Star
24%
4 Star
42%
3 Star
22%
2 Star
11%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#78

in Colorado

#246

Overall
971 Views Last Month
21,718 Since Jul 21, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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23%
63%
15%
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Rob Urban
Monument, CO
Rob Urban   Monument, CO
This is a definite blue/black trail. Leaving from the Nursery Rd trail head be prepared to climb 1,500+ feet, not a big deal, just a climb. 715 spits you out on Mt Herman Rd. At the next trail head right off Mt Herman Rd you'll be facing an intense 1/4 mile climb and right after this climb you'll begin heading behind Mt Herman. Now, be prepared to take the HIGH road, stay right, it's not marked and going right takes you up into some boulders - yes, go to the boulders because going left takes you to a dead end creek. The valley behind Mt Herman is just wonderful so pack some food and have a picnic because you won't want to leave. Once you leave the valley you're on the White Ghost trail which is very poorly marked and full of cuss words, rocks and switchbacks. It will take you some time to get down WG trail unless you've done it a dozen times. Again, always take the HIGH road and stay right or you'll end up in someone's back yard. When in doubt, stay right. Bring a head lamp for afternoon rides, it's saved me twice now! Jan 3, 2018
Nate H
Colorado Springs
Nate H   Colorado Springs
Great ride. You start off with a short single track climb that brings you to Mt. Herman Road. You climb on this gravelly road for a good amount of time, slowly making your way into the mountains. That’s where the views start to get interesting. To your right is this amazing valley and the mountains tower alongside you. Let that view fuel your ride and you will be up before you know it. Eventually you will make your way to a trail that branches off. It has a very steep climb for about 20 feet and then it mellows out some. Take this trail. It gets very steep for a bit and then you reach the top. From there, you can take a break and admire the views around you. Then you drop into a fun, fast single track section with some well built corners. There are some obstacles along the way like a ridiculously tight switchback leading to an impossibly tight switchback, several steep and loose spots, and a couple of rocky features where bike control is key. Once you pass all those, you are close to done with your ride. Now get ready for a steep section of the trail that will test your brake pads. After that, you’re done! Now all that’s left is a boring road ride back to the parking lot which will remind you why you chose to be a mountain biker instead. Overall great trail with astounding views. Ride if you get the chance. Jun 6, 2018

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