“An easy run to the UCCS Heller Arts and Humanities Center.
— Matt Bone
Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
As of spring 2018, the area is under heavy construction, so you might want to park a little removed from the trailhead to allow for passing trucks and heavy machinery.
Also as of spring 2018, parking in this lot has been free. UCCS plans multiple developments in the area so this may change in the future. Find more information on the UCCS parking website
Be aware that the Heller Center is used for UCCS events, so some days might be busy on the grounds.
The North Campus Heights Trail begins in the southeast corner of UCCS lot 580, off of N. Nevada Blvd, two lights south of the I-25 onramp.
This trail connects to Austin Bluffs Open Space University Park and Pulpit Rock Park. It is an easy trail to follow, made of red dirt and running adjacent to N. Campus Heights Dr.
When the trail veers away from the road around 0.6 miles, it dips to a sandy creek crossing. The creek will be dry almost all times of the year, except during or after a large shower. After crossing the creek bed, the trail goes slightly up and curves right, bringing you into the parking lot of the Heller Center.
From this point, there are many trails that are accessible and that can take you to Austin Bluffs, Pulpit Rock, or UCCS main campus.
Flora & Fauna
This part of the trail runs through a beautiful meadow and is overlooked closely by Pulpit Rock, and in the distance by Pike's Peak. Yuccas and flowers bloom along with the grass in the summer and attract grasshoppers. The areas surrounding the Heller Center are shaded with juniper and pinion pine, and the grounds are adorned with local art.
This an area inhabited by rattlesnakes, but this trail is wide enough that you'll avoid them if they are there. Their usual hiding spots tend to be on the higher, rocky slopes of the formation.