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Columbine Trail

Enjoying the Bold Beauty of Cheyenne Canyon
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  North Cheyenne Creek slices through Cheyenne Canyon, bordered on the north by Mays Peak and Mount Buckhorn, and on the south by Mount ... more »

Tips:  Technically the trail is a “multiuse” trail, meaning it’s open to horses, bicycles, and hikers. I encountered one bicyclist and no... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Starsmore Discovery Center Trailhead

The Starsmore Discovery Center functions as the parking lot for the Lower Combine Trailhead. Approach the building’s front and follow the concrete walk around the left side. Pass to the left of the trail sign and go through the gate in the fence. Turn LEFT to begin the trail (there’s no marker here). Once onto the trail, Mt Cutler’s 7200 ft peak... More

2. False Crossing

Columbine Trail does cross N. Cheyenne Canyon Rd, but not at this location. As you come down the trail, past several picnic sites, you’ll see the road ahead, but there’s a chain across the access lane. The trail makes a hard left hairpin turn – see the sign. Follow the sign. As you walk this portion of the trail, you’ll have many opportunities to ... More

3. Road Crossing

Eventually, the trail comes back to N Cheyenne Canyon Rd. You’ll see a tall granite peak across the road, then a bridge over the creek, and finally the road. Be careful here. There are no signals for the cars travelling on the road.

4. Middle Columbine Trailhead

About 400 yards after the road crossing, you’ll enter the south side of the Middle Columbine Trailhead parking area. The trail signs are clear. Cross the lot and head up the trail. From here, the trail begins its ascent of the north side of the canyon wall. The trail uses switchbacks across the rock face so you don’t have to go straight up. You’ll... More

5. Gold Camp Rd Trail Split

About 1.5 miles from the Middle trailhead you’ll arrive at an OLD trail sign and a pair of granite towers. The first sign indicates the direction of Columbine Trail. When you turn around, you’ll see the sign for “Gold Camp Road.” Continue in the direction you were walking until you find a second Columbine Trail sign; then continue on this trail to... More

6. Down to the Creek Trail Split

About .75 miles later is another trail split. Unless you want to hike 300 ft down the hillside to the creek (and back up again), follow the trail as it turns to the right. But don’t walk too fast or you’ll miss seeing Muscoco Mt the valley.

7. Upper Columbine Trailhead

At this point the trail just dumps you out onto the pavement of N. Cheyenne Canyon Rd. There’s not much room to park here, but you can sit on one of the rocks and have a snack before you start your return trip. Or, if you’re not too tired, you can walk down the road about 200 yards to Helen Hunt Falls (where there’s more parking, if you want to... More