Columns » Hiking Bob

Hiking Raspberry Mountain, closures coming on the New Santa Fe Trail, and free National Park access for MLK Day

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BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
Located west of Monument and south of Palmer Lake, Raspberry Mountain is a broad, wide peak next to Mt. Herman. It suffers an identity crisis, overshadowed by its more popular neighbor, Mt Herman, and sharing the exact same name of a peak near Divide in Teller County (thanks to whatever genius thought that was a good idea).

This hike is a  four-, four-and-a-half-, or seven-mile hike roundtrip, depending on which landmark you turn around at. Raspberry Mountain's elevation and heavy tree cover makes it a nice hike on hot summer days, and the lower portions are ripe for really great wildflower viewing in early summer.

To get there: Take I-25 to the Monument exit. Take 2nd Street through downtown Monument, and make a left turn on Mitchell Road after crossing the railroad tracks on the west end of downtown. Take Mitchell Road to Mt. Herman Road and turn right.  Take Mt Herman Road 7 miles or so to the trailhead which is a wide turnout on the right side of the road.  The road is windy, narrow and rocky past Red Rocks Road, but with care, all but the lowest ground clearance cars can make it to the trailhead.  The road is open all year, but is not maintained in winter.  

Santa Fe Trail closures coming

The New Santa Fe Trail will be affected by construction work being done on the US Air Force Academy's south entrance road bridge between now and June 2019. According to to county staff, the contractor will assemble a temporary tunnel of "conex" trailers under the bridge to provide protection of hikers, runners and cyclists while work is being done.

There will still be a need for occasional closures of the trail under the bridge, but AFA officials have told the county they will provide at least one week's advanced notice. The Academy does not plan to close the trail anywhere outside of the construction area. Updates will be available at the USAFA website, and on signs posted at the North Gate and Ice Lake trailheads.

Free National Parks on Martin Luther King Day

Admission to all National Parks and Monuments is free on Monday, Jan. 15, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Happy Trails!

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for more than 25 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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