Colorado Springs Christian 4-Wheelers

Rating 7

 

After the Hayman Fire destroyed much of the area, the trail was closed. A lot of work was done to the trail in order to get it reopened to the county line. As always, stay on the trail so that it will remain open. Note that there are many burned and dead trees surrounding the trail. Not only can they fall at any time, but they cannot be used as a winch anchor in most cases. You may want to carry a saw to clear any dead trees that have fallen into the trail.

Directions

 

From Colorado Springs take Highway 24 West for 24.5 miles to the town of Divide. Turn north at the second traffic light (CR51) go about .5 mile and stay to the left on the pavement on CR 51 or Teller County 51. Travel about another 3 miles and turn right again to stay on CR51. If you go to Golden Bell turn around because you missed the turn. Travel about 6 miles to a parking lot on the right that the club uses for airing down and preparing our vehicles for the trail. The road to FS360 (Cedar Mountain Rd) is the center road to the north in the intersection. Follow the first half of Cedar Mountain Road to the trailhead for Longwater Gulch on the right after you turn south.‚Äč

 

Trail Description

Much like Longwater Gulch and Metberry Gulch, the trail starts at a parking area with a gate that closed seasonally. The first section of the trail is fairly easy and it untouched by the Hayman Fire that destroyed much of the area. Route finding is very easy.

The trail gets much more challenging at Hackett Rock. There is a steep climb up a dirt chute with a deep cleft running down the center of the trail. If you straddle the cleft you will most likely have no issues. However, if you drop a tire into it you may find yourself tipping drastically to one side and unable to get out.

Following this, there is a steep climb up Hackett Rock that is usually covered in slippery sand. You may need some momentum to clear the rock because a slow approach may end up in a slide. There are many lines up and over the rock. The lines on the far edges are easiest at the start but then they get difficult at the top. If you do the line just to the right of center it is more difficult at the bottom but the top is a bit easier. However, none of the lines is particularly easy.

There is a fairly easy stretch of trail before you come to a "Y" intersection. The left fork leads down a loose hill with a few options along the way, including a steep ledge on a slope that is very difficult on the way up. It is a short distance down to the South Platte River, where there is ample room for camping and enjoying the scenery. The river here may or may not be crossable, and the trail most likely does not continue up the hill on the other side (at least not for 4x4 vehicles).

Another option is up the hill away from the river, on a steep and loose obstacle called Widowmaker Hill (the original obstacle was across the river, but we're repurposing the name because the old hill is permanently closed). This is the most challenging portion of the trail. If you can make it up this hill and along the rest of the trail in this direction, you will head south and then east to connect with Cedar Mountain Road again. 

 

Hackett Gulch

GPS coordinates -N39 06.234 , W105 16.740 

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