Fall Colors · River/Creek
Parking: There is very limited parking along Mountain Road, it's best to park along Chipita Park Road and run to the trailhead.
The trail starts at a significant grade 1000ft/mile) for about 1 mile. Intense switchbacks; some loose gravel, but not nearly as bad as some other trails in the pikes peak region; plenty of stairs. Overall, this section is very well built and maintained. Around the mile mark, the trail gains a ridge and intersects with the Crow Gulch Trail; take a right at the T.
From here, the trail traverses the Mount Ester ridgeline, undulating through meadows and aspen groves. Follow signs for "Ring the Peak Trail", it is well-marked. There is a half-mile section that runs along a power-line service road, very unpleasant. Note, the final small section of the trail will either terminate on a service road or along the Crystal Trail
depending on which social trail you take; if you find yourself on the service road, take a right, run for a quarter mile, and reconnect with the crystal trail on your right.
Overall, this trail is challenging and steep for the first mile. The subsequent miles are very beautiful, but less well maintained and certainly less trafficked. I recommend this as a connector to Crystal Trail
or to Catamount Trail (Green Mountain Falls)
most of the year. It is probably worth the trip in and of itself in the fall when the aspens are turning colors.
Shared By: Chris Fa
by K Keiter