RT Length: 1.49 miles
Elevation Gain: 323’
It’s springtime, and in the spring I either travel to state highpoints, or stay local and hit county highpoints. They traditionally open Rampart Range Road every year on April 1, and when I heard the road was open, I decided to take advantage of a beautiful (if windy) day and hit some highpoints. This is the first of 3 El Paso County highpoints I hiked this day.
I started at the southern entrance to Rampart Range Road, near balanced rock inside Garden of the Gods.
As the sun rose, I was able to see a lot of the Waldo Canyon burn scar. It doesn’t look like much has grown back in the 9 years since the fire.
I drove along the 2WD dirt road for 12 miles, and parked at a small parking area for trail 644. There’s a plaque here commemorating the road
I gathered my hear and continued hiking along the road to the trailhead. It was a short distance (less than a quarter of a mile), and in the summer, you might be able to park at the actual start.
The trailhead starts at a bend in the road, marked by broken barbed wire and hot pink surveyor’s tape. On a topo map it says this is 4WD road 300Q. It’s been a very, very long time since this was ever a road. Now it looks like a teenage hangout/camping area, littered with broken glass and discarded remnants of campfire circles.
I headed northeast, following the ridge to the right
I came to a small dip, where I could clearly see the peak
Now I stayed to the left (north) side of the ridge. There were a lot of downed trees, but nothing that kept me from making it to the peak. There was snow here, but not enough to need traction. I did posthole a bit. I aimed for the small saddle
Once at the saddle there was some class 2 scrambling to do to make it to the summit. This is much easier than it looks.
Here’s a picture of the summit
I knew I was at the summit because there was a summit marker. I left a summit register at the marker
And took a picture at the summit with Pikes Peak in the background
It was very windy, so I didn’t stay long, and quickly retraced my steps back to the saddle. Here’s the overall route
And step by step
Back down the dip, where there are some very faint tire tracks that have now become social/game trails
And following the ridge southwest to the road
I then followed the road back to my truck.
This was a quick and simple hike. Here’s a topo map of my route (I parked just before 644):
Now, on to the next trailhead!