North Catamount Reservoir Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,280' 390 m
Descent: -1,271' -387 m
High: 9,713' 2,961 m
Low: 9,236' 2,815 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)
Current trail conditions
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“A mostly singletrack loop around north and south Catamount Reservoirs.”— Allen Tanner
- This ride is in the North Slope Recreation Area and is accessed from the the northwest edge via Edlowe Road off of Highway 24 just past Woodland Park. It may also be accessed from the Pikes Peak Highway (for a fee).
- The trail is all over 9,200 feet in elevation and winds along North and South Catamount Reservoirs. Both are abundant with fish: Mackinaw, Brook, Brown, Cutbow, Cutthroat, Lake and Rainbow trout. On the north reservoir only flies and lures are allowed.
- It's possible to complete this this loop in reverse or even shorten it by swapping in the Limber Pine Trail.
From the trailhead, the trail climbs gently along a part of the Limber Pine Trail, then briefly travels on the Catamount Trail, only to descend the Mule Deer Trail towards the reservoir. These first two miles are quick, non-technical, and descend towards the reservoir.
Climb back up the Blue River Trail (the intersecting Mackinaw Trail looks inviting, but it's classified as hiking-only) and follow the Catamount Trail to the reservoir. This ride is easy dirt road. Please note the Mackinaw Trail is hiking only. Dismounting the bike and walking a little ways will give a good view of Pikes Peak over the reservoir. Views are also nice over the south reservoir on the South Catamount Creek Trail.
Cross the North Catamount Reservoir dam and off to the right a small parking lot marks the beginning of the South Catamount Creek Trail. This trail is singletrack for the first mile, and winds along the shore of the south reservoir. It is a little more steep and a little more technica, but nothing too challenging. Again the views over the water towards the pine forest and Pike's Peak are astonishing. The remaining .6 miles of trail is dirt road which joins towards the Limber Pine Trail.
Continuing on the Limber Pine Trail, the loop climbs for a few tenths of a mile with a steep and steady grade. This is the only really challenging part of the ride but does not continue on for long. Those that can't ride it can easily walk up with little time lost.
The trail runs along the ridge then descends towards North Catamount Creek via several switchbacks. While the trail has several metal bridges that traverse the stream, the western edge of the reservoir can be quite wet depending on the time of year and the snow pack.
After crossing the marsh, the trail again joins the Catamount Trail for about a mile, along a gently climbing slope. The loop then follows the Vayhinger Trail northward, a winding, mild climb through pine and aspen groves.
The top of Vayhinger Trail meets the Elder-Fehn Trail which is nontechnical, and ascends and descends along the terrain near the reservoir, with a few short, steep parts, but nothing too challenging or technical.
The trail loops back to the Catamount Recreation Area parking lot, completing about a 12 mile loop. For extra riding, try the loop off of the eastern portion of the Catamount Trail at the base of Raspberry Mountain or the loop off of the Elder-Fehn Trail.
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Features, E-Bikes Allowed, History & Background
Land Manager: Colorado Springs Utilities