Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Distance from Denver: 70mi (~1 hr 30min) ♡ ♡ ♡
Hike: ~4mi RT ♡ ♡ ♡
Difficulty: Medium to Difficult, there is slight scrambling (more below) ♡ ♡
Parking Situation: Small lot right near the trailhead ♡
Parking Fee: N/A
Hi friends! Thanks for checking back! We just wanted to take a minute to thank each of you for coming back to the blog each week - if you remember our New Year’s Resolution post, we had growth targets, and we’re so incredibly grateful for each of you to show us support so we can achieve them!
If you’re looking for a short, but challenging hike for this weekend, then look no further. Mt. Muscoco fits the bill perfectly - it is an incline for most of the hike and there are a few spots that we had to scramble. The day we went, it started raining pretty early in the morning so most of the hike was pretty cloudy. It made for the perfect weather, and in terms of pictures, it was pretty magical to have low hanging clouds for the entire day ♡
Not A Dog Friendly Trail: The first part of the trail to the Mt. Cutler/Mt. Muscoco split off is dog friendly. We’d recommend splitting left at the fork towards Mt. Cutler with the pups instead of Mt. Muscoco.
Parking: Try to get to the trailhead as early as you can! The closest parking lot is small, but you can also find spots a little farther away along the road.
Facilities: None that we saw by this trailhead.
What to Bring: plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, snacks, sturdy hiking boots, and hiking poles.
For us, this was a challenging trail from start to finish. The first half mile to the fork in the trail was, in retrospect, the easiest part of the trail. Once we turned right at the fork towards Mt. Muscoco, it became immediately evident that we were going to get a killer leg workout. Be aware that the trail does considerably narrow after the split-off, so please follow mountain etiquette for yielding to fellow hikers.
The majority of the ascent is uphill and our thighs were screaming at us. Fortunately, there are ledges along the way to stop and rest - as a bonus, the ledges offer some amazing views of both the town of Colorado Springs and the surrounding mountains. We absolutely recommend bringing hiking poles to this trail, as we found them immensely useful both on the ascent and descent.
The trail is largely sand and gravel, and past the fork in the trailhead, can be very loose in parts. This wasn’t a problem as we hiked up, but it certainly creates a slippery underfoot on your descent. We had to took smaller steps and found the extra points of contact with the hiking poles useful because our downhill momentum + the loose sand/gravel was a recipe for falls. There are a few parts on the trail that required us to scramble - nothing too difficult, but we found getting on all fours was the easiest way to traverse these parts.
The last half mile of the trail is tricky due to the trail conditions, but we will complement the rangers for keeping this trail well marked. The trail arrows were extremely helpful - and we highly recommend following these rather than using the shortcuts that people have created over the years.
After the last scramble up, there is a ledge overlooking the surrounding mountains where you can take your pictures. If there are other people at the summit, we recommend taking a picture, stepping aside for others, and then going back for re-dos if you need. We were lucky, because not only did we summit between two storms, we also had the ledge to ourselves for a good 30min. We sat, snacked, laughed, and created the most wonderful memories ♡