Hike Cheesman Canyon 

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Winding its way on along the Jefferson County side of the South Platte River, the Gill Trail through Cheesman Canyon is a pleasant hike with great views, good fishing and plenty of solitude. To get there from Colorado Springs: Take US 24 to Hwy 67 in Woodland Park, Turn right (north) and take Hwy 67 for 23 miles to Deckers. At Deckers, keep left onto County Road 126 and take it approximately 4 miles to the Cheesman Canyon Trailhead, on the left side of the road. The trail starts at the east end of the parking lot, near the bathroom. This hike can also be done as a two car shuttle. Turn left off of County Road 126 onto Forest Service Road 211 (it will be the road just prior to the trailhead on 126) and take it to the Upper Canyon parking lot at the reservoir. Return to County Road 126, and turn left a short distance to the Lower Canyon lot.
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Bob Falcone
A short distance from the trailhead, a foot bridge crosses Six Mile Creek. Turn left after crossing.
Bob Falcone
After a few hundred feet, the trail crosses County Road 211.
Bob Falcone
The trail winds its way through the forest, just skirting the Hayman Fire burn scar.
Bob Falcone
At a little over half a mile you'll encounter the first river access point. Keep right here to continue on the trail. There are numerous trail access points along the rest of the trail, often marked by much smaller signs.
Bob Falcone
River and fishing informational sign. From here, for the most part, the trail is easy to follow, although it is overgrown in some spots.
Bob Falcone
Nice views along the trail at the waters edge.
Bob Falcone
At approximately 3 miles from the trailhead, there is a turn that can be easy to miss. Watch for this "Y" in the trail.
Bob Falcone
The trail sign at the "Y." Bear right.
Bob Falcone
Just past the "Y," the trail goes over a large rock. Stay to the right and continue past the two halves of the downed tree that are on either side of the trail.
Bob Falcone
Just past the cut-down tree, the trail will appear to continue straight, however the actual trail is to the right. Continuing straight will lead to a dead end after a few hundred feet.
Bob Falcone
The trail after making the right turn. From here the trail is easy to follow for the remainder of the hike.
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A view from the trail above the river.
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You know you're near the end of the canyon when you encounter this sign on a large rock. Taking the Gill Trail (to the top of this map) will take you to the end of the canyon, just below the Cheesman Reservoir dam.
Bob Falcone
After about 4 miles, the trail ends at a river flow gaging station, just below the Cheesman Dam. On my hike, I turned around here and did not go to the upper parking lot.
Bob Falcone
The trail route.
Bob Falcone
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Bob Falcone
A short distance from the trailhead, a foot bridge crosses Six Mile Creek. Turn left after crossing.

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