Bob Hike: A Loop Hike on the New Improved Daniels Pass Trail | Hiking bob

The “original” path of Daniels Pass in the north of the park Cheyenne Cañon is known for its difficulty. It is unreasonably steep and often covered with crushed granite from Pikes Peak, which makes the climb difficult and the descent dangerous. Add to that heavy erosion, unmarked trailheads, and having to find your way through North Cheyenne Creek, it’s easy to see why many people didn’t even know the trail existed and why it was ripe for it. a renovation.

The Daniels Pass Trail was part of a larger project in this part of North Cheyenne Cañon Park, a project that also included the construction of several miles of new trails, as detailed in a previous column. It was announced last week that the Daniels Pass project was finished, so I went there to see firsthand how things turned out.

On this hike, I did a loop that started at Powell’s recently paved parking lot at the intersection of Gold Camp Road, High Drive, and North Cheyenne Cañon Road, just past Helen Hunt Falls and across the top of the Park. From the parking lot, follow Gold Camp Road approximately 1.25 miles, up and over closed tunnel # 3. At the intersection of Gold Camp Road and St. Marys Falls Trail # 624, turn left and continue through the tunnel, across the creek and onto Gold Camp Road. About 1.7 km, turn left onto the Daniels Pass Trail.

Col Daniels _ Golden Camp

Daniels Pass trailhead on Gold Camp Road.

From there, the hike is pretty straightforward. The first intersection you will come across is the west end of the Sweetwater Canyon Trail, in which case you will stay on the Daniels Pass Trail.

Daniels Pass and Sweetwater

West intersection of Daniels Pass and Sweetwater Canyon trails. For this hike, continue straight over Daniels Pass.

After passing the Mid-Sweetwater Canyon Trail, the Daniels Pass Trail intersects with the Sweetwater Canyon Trail again just over 2.5 miles from the parking lot.

Daniels Pass and Sweetwater is

At the second intersection of Daniels Pass and Sweetwater Canyon, turn left and start descending.

Cheyenne Mtn View

View of Cheyenne Mountain from the Daniels Pass Trail

From there turn left and start descending over Daniels Pass. This is where the most significant improvements have been made to the trail. This section from the ridge to North Cheyenne Creek was, in places, very steep. The section of the trail now has a number of switchbacks which makes the hike easier and safer, but also longer than before. The new Bruin Trail intersects with the Daniels Pass Trail just under 3 miles, at the top of one of many switchbacks. Turn right and stay on Daniels Pass Trail. Finally, about 3.75 miles you will come to a new bridge that crosses the creek.

Daniels Pass Bridge

This bridge is one of the biggest improvements to this trail. Before that you had to find a rickety and unstable old “bridge” made up of a few thin logs thrown over the stream.

Cross the bridge and take the continuation of the Daniels Pass trail to the other side of North Cheyenne Cañon Road. The trail is approximately 0.3 miles to where it meets the lowest point of the Upper Columbine Trail. Turn left here and follow the Upper Columbine Trail for another 1.5 miles, where you will end up at your starting point. The total distance of the loop is approximately 5.25 miles.

Daniels Pass Loop

GPS track for this loop. This hike went counter clockwise.

Things you should know: There are a number of alternative paths you can take on this hike, so feel free to explore. The area is well delimited by a new set of signs developed by the Park Service, which also appears in other places. However, these trails are not yet on the COTREX app or website, but the Parks Department is working on updating all of the city’s parks and trails to this system, with the goal of completing them d ‘by the end of 2021, according to the senior landscape architect. David Deitemeyer, who was also responsible for this project. A map of the Daniels Pass area is available here. There are porta-pots and a trash can available at the trailhead, but no water, so be sure to bring your own. Besides the gradual and easy elevation change along Gold Camp Road from the Powell Lot to the Daniels Pass Trailhead, the only significant elevation gain is from the intersection of the Daniels Pass Trail and Upper Columbine Trail. Total ascent for this hike is less than 900 feet. Daniels Pass, Sweetwater Canyon, Mid-Sweetwater Canyon, Bruin, and Columbine trails are multi-use trails, except for motorized vehicles. Please use the appropriate track etiquette and be kind to each other. Leash dogs are allowed.

Powell car park

The Powell parking lot, where this hike begins and ends. This hike starts at the bottom of the lot, on the left

How to get there: North Cheyenne Cañon Road is closed until May for a bridge replacement project, so the only way to enter the park by car is through Gold Camp Road. Gold Camp Road is a dirt road in the park and although it is generally passable by car, it can be difficult when covered in snow or when it rains, and it is generally difficult to wash off. The park gates are closed and locked at 9 p.m. November through April and 10 p.m. the rest of the year, so plan ahead.

Be wise. Do good things. Leaves no trace

Comments are closed.