The Cockcomb is a red rock formation with several distinct spires lined in a row giving the appearance of the head of a rooster. The top offers great views especially at sunset.
This is a wonderful less-traveled trail that is fairly easy running, at least until you reach the base of the Cockscomb. It does not have much shade so I would recommend running it in the late afternoon into sunset as the trail weaves between Doe Mountain and the Cockscomb on the west side. The setting sun lights up the sandstone walls on these two mountains for some amazing colors.
The signs and guidebooks list the mileage as 3.3 miles out-and-back but this trail is easily linked with the Aerie
Trail for a loop route. Not many head out on the Cockscomb Trail
as an out and back, unless you are like me and just go for the sunset. The trail does not ascend to the top, only passes by with the Cockscomb on the right. There is a social trail marked by a cairn that you can take to reach the steep run up. It is not far and you only need to gain about 300 feet.
This trail and others in the immediate area are popular with mountain bikers as well, which is another reason why this is best to negotiate on foot in the late afternoon. Most mountain bike rentals need to be back to the shop by late afternoon.
As you work your way along the Cockscomb Trail
you'll see the Cockscomb with it’s distinct top mesa with 4 round spires in a line going south. The trail passes the Cockscomb on the north. As you pass by you'll see several herd trails leading in the direction of the Cockscomb. You can follow these to the top. But beware! The trails are not maintained and are very steep. You can reach the very top by veering left and working your way up. But if you stay right you'll find a small spire with a pathway to a ledge that is the most perfect place to watch the sunset. It is secluded and private. This is a good option to watching the sunset at Doe Mountain. More and more people are going to Doe Mountain for this so if you want some privacy to watch the sunset, the Cockscomb is the place. However, it takes longer to get to so plan accordingly.