Hiking Tour Pack a picnic and fill up some water bottles from the delicious tap water at the house. This hiking tour will give you a full day of exercise with nice rest breaks in between, or chose one spot per day to get your hikes in a little at a time. All these spots are in Teller County, very nearby. No need to spend hours in the car when you could spend those hours in Nature. There is a link to a downloadable PDF of this information at the bottom of this page.
1. CragsElevation Gain: 630 ft. Hike Time: 2 hours Difficulty: Easy Follow this trail along Fourmile creek all the way up to the Crags. The trail is well traveled and easy to follow. At about the 3/4 of a mile mark there is an alternative trail that heads off to the left. This trail will also take you to the Crags, just the southern end of them. As the trail nears the crags you will see lots of large rock formations. The last part of this trail gains a lot of elevation, but it's worth it since the views from the top are wonderful. No rock climbing is required to get here, but the opportunity is definitely there for those who wish to do so. Trailhead: To reach the trailhead take highway 24 to Divide, CO. At Divide, head south on highway 67 for 4.3 miles. Take a left on the road that has a sign for the Crags Campground. Follow this road to the Crags Campground. Turn left into the campground and follow it to the end where you will find a parking lot and a sign for the Crags trail.
2. Pancake Rocks Distance: 5.5 miles round trip Elevation Gain: 1500 ft Hike Time: 3 hours Difficulty: Moderate From the parking area the trail begins by heading East along the road. The trail does two switchbacks and then continues east up an old road. Upon reaching Horsethief Park the trail levels out and there are several nice camping spots along the trail. Continue on through the park to a sign directing you toward Pancake Rocks. Turn right at this intersection. The trail will begin to gain a lot of elevation as you ascend the ridge. After a series of switchbacks the trail will again level off. After hiking a short way the trail will then descend again into another small valley. From here you will get your first look at the rocks. After hiking up the other side of the valley you will soon find yourself in the midst of the rocks. Trailhead: Take Highway 24 West to Divide. At Divide turn south on highway 67 and go a little over 9 miles. The road will pass by the old tunnel entrance. Continue to the other (South) side of the tunnel to find the parking area. This is the Horsethief Falls trailhead and is where you will start.
3. Horsetheif FallsDistance: 2.6 miles round trip Elevation Gain: 655 ft Hike Time: 1.5 hours Difficulty: Moderate From the parking area the trail begins by heading East along the road. The trail does two switchbacks and then continues east along an old road. Upon reaching Horsethief Park the trail levels out and there are several nice camping spots along the trail. Continue on through the park past a sign that will tell you when you are a half mile from the falls. The falls are made by a small stream and during dry times in the fall will not always be flowing. Please be careful where you walk near the falls as to not damage the delicate environment. Trailhead: Take Highway 24 West to Divide. At Divide turn south on highway 67 and go a little over 9 miles. The road will pass by the old tunnel entrance. Continue to the other (South) side of the tunnel to find the parking area.
4. Guffy Gorge Difficulty: Easy Length: 1.0 miles / 1.6 km Duration: 2+ hours Paradise Cove (also known as Guffey Gorge) is a hidden little swimming hole. The cove is a short, but sometimes steep 1/2 mile (one way) hike. You will be rewarded for your modest effort with an afternoon of fun, and a whole lot of good stories to tell your friends. The cove itself is a small but deep pool, fed by a small waterfall. The pool is surrounded by steep granite cliffs that provide diving platforms for the adventurous. There are three different heights, each providing different levels of thrills and danger. Aside from swimming and cliff jumping the site is very scenic and a fun place to just hang out. Disclaimer: cliff jumping is very dangerous and should never be attempted by anyone ever. If you do decide to participate, we cannot be held responsible for any injuries. Tips: Don't bring glass bottles, they are prohibited and I have seen sheriffs ticketing for this. Bring along a trash bag to pack out your trash, along with any other trash you find at the cove.
From Florissant, follow Teller County Road 1 south for about 9.2 miles, until a Y fork, and bear right, into County Road 11. Follow County Road 11 for 4.1 miles, until a T intersection, and make a right turn at the intersection, into County Road 112. Follow County Road 112 for 2.7 miles, and where the road crests on top of a hill, park in the gravel lot on the left. On foot, cross the road and follow a foot trail in direction North for about 0.4 miles to the swimming hole.
- 5. Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument On Teller County Road 1, just South of Florissant There are over 14 miles of hiking trails in the Monument. Most of the trails wind through pine covered hills with patches of Aspen and Douglas Fir. Some of the trails pass wet meadows or through riparian areas. There is a fee to enter the park.
- Petrified Forest Loop - 1 mile This self-guided trail leads through the beds of ancient Lake Florissant. It passes numerous giant petrified redwood tree stumps, including the colorful "Big Stump". This trail starts behind the outdoor exhibit area. Signage features the "Walk through Time". EASY Elevation Change: 65 ft.
- Geologic Trail - 1 mile (one way) This self-guided trail highlights over a billion years of geologic history in the Florissant Valley. It passes over the ancient lake bed, crosses Teller County Rd. 1, then ascends pas the remnants of a massive pyroclastic flow and ends at a scenic overview of the Florissant valley. From the visitor center, follow the Petrified Forest Loop to the junction of the Hornbek Wildlife Loop. MODERATE Elevation change: 100 ft.
- Hornbek Wildlife Loop - 3.8 miles Following meadows, the trail to Hornbek Homestead crosses land once covered by ancient Lake Florissant. The return route overlooks the ancient lake and the mountain ranges beyond. Signs of wildlife are common. MODERATE Elevation change: 328 ft.
- Sawmill Trail - 2.7 miles The varied terrain provides a good example of Colorado's Montane Life Zone. Forests of pine, spruce and fir, meadows frequented by elk, ridge tops viewing Pikes Peak, and shaded streams, make this a favorite hike. MODERATE Elevation change: 295 ft.
- Hans Loop - 1.4 miles The Hans Loop trail is an extension of the Sawmill Trail. Part of the trail follows a gentle ridge that provides vistas of Pikes peak and then drops into a drainage that passes the remnants of a rustic cabin. MODERATE Elevation change: 229 ft.
- Boulder Creek Trail - 2.8 miles This loop trail begins and ends in the ponderosa pine forest, but crosses diverse ecosystems. A portion of the trail skirts wet meadows, crosses a stream, and passes a formation of giant eroded granite boulders. MODERATE Elevation change: 295 ft.
- Shootin' Star Trail - 1.6 miles (one way) Starting at the Barksdale Picnid area, this trail crosses a stream, follows old roadbed, and traverses meadows to travel through the ponderosa pine forest. The trail gets its name from an historic ranch. Look for signs of former agricultural activity. MODERATE Elevation change: 165 ft.
- Twin Rock Trail - 2.3 miles (one way) This trail is accessed from the Shootin' Star Trail or the Hornbek Wildlife Loop. The trail features quiet views of rock formations, open meadows, aspen groves, riparian habitats, willows, and pond life. Signs of wildlife are common. MODERATE Elevation Change: 295 ft.