I was alone today at work after 11:30am. I looked out the window, and noticed that while it was supposed to be cold and raining, the clouds had not yet moved in to the point where they were causing a problem. In fact, it actually looked a bit warm outside.
So I decided to hike Castle Rock. I’ve worked just outside the trail for over 5 years and I haven’t once hiked the rock. This is a shame, and something I intended to correct.
I’d done my research a while ago, and already knew the trail difficulty, directions, etc. The city page labeled it a difficult 1.4 mile loop, and strongly encouraged only fit hikers to attempt the trail.
So I drove to the trailhead and decided to take my lunch break hiking the rock. It was only 1.5 miles, so I should have plenty of time.
The trail was really well marked. Some of it even looked like a service road. It was all uphill to the top (obviously), but it was in no way a “hard” trail. So I ran.
The base of the rock looks pretty cool…
From the top I had a pretty good view of the entire front range, but it was really windy and the clouds were coming in for an afternoon storm, so the pictures aren’t too clear. Pikes Peak is in the middle/left of the photo below.
On the way down I took another part of the loop, and encountered a lot of railroad tie type stairs. I ran down those too.
At the bottom I noticed some of the trees were beginning to bloom, so I tried to get a cool shot of the rock. This was the best I could get.
As soon as I got to my truck is started snowing pretty hard, so I’d made the hike just in time.
Final thoughts: This trail was NOT difficult. It was really, really easy. So easy I ran. I was back at work less than half an hour after I’d left, including travel time and picture time. The rock is only 6224 feet, not that much of an achievement. But I climbed to the top, which was my goal, so I considered it a win!
Here’s a video from the top!