“A 16-mile loop touring the Almagre Mountains over Colorado Springs.”
— Allen Tanner
This ride tops close to 12,400 feet (3774m) with spectacular views of Pikes Peak and all surrounding canyons. Not an easy ride by any means, but well worth the pain.
This trail begins at Frosty's, and parking is available just off of Gold Camp Road
as accessed from Old Stage Road
. Alternatively, 4WD vehicles may be parked at the junction of Foresters Trail / Jones #701
and Nelson's Trail #672
Follow FS 379
up for several miles. The road is steep with loose rock, granite scree, and a moderate grade. Overall, this portion of the climb is not so bad, as it approaches 11,000 feet.
After 4.7 miles on FS 379
, take the north access road to climb FS Road 379A
. The first portion of this climb is also moderate as it nears the Almagre basin at 12,000 ft.
Bear south to continue the climb to the south peak. This road is a moderate grade, and not too loose. The south peak has views of the southern reaches of the Rampart Range and the Cripple Creek mine.
Descend back to the basin to reach the takeoff for the Almagre North Peak
climb. This trail is brutal with lots of loose Pike's scree, rocks, and boulders. There are several hike-a-bike sections that make it a challenge.
The view from the N. Almagre Peak is breathtaking. Pikes Peak lies to the north, high-altitude reservoirs are visible to the west, and the entire Cheyenne Canyon trail network is visible to the east. Definitely worth the climb.
Descend back down to the basin.
The takeoff for North Cheyenne Creek Trail is just past the south side of the dam. The descent is steep and treacherous with lots of loose Pike's gravel. The trail eventually feeds into Foresters Trail / Jones #701
, and this trail is taken back to FS Road 381
Descend back to the trailhead to complete the loop.
History & Background
Almagre North Peak
is the 2nd highest peak on the Colorado Springs skyline, rising close to 12,400 feet/3774m.
Almagre is Spanish for red ochre and was the original name given to Pikes Peak and the surrounding area by Spanish explorers due to the rock's unique color. In 1779, Governor Don Juan Bautista de Anza of New Mexico officially named these mountains La Sierra del Almagre.