Rating - 10
This is an extremely difficult trail and if you drive a vehicle on this trail expect and prepare for vehicle damage.
From Colorado Springs travel south on Hwy 115 for about 30 miles to the town of Penrose. As you enter Penrose turn right on 3rd Street and initially follow the signs to Brush Hollow Reservoir. After traveling for a short distance on 3rd Street turn right on CR127 or E Street and travel about 2.5 miles. When you see the sign for the Boat Ramp to the Reservoir turn to the right, continuing on CR127. You will be driving towards to a grove of cedars, the trailhead is a mile away after you turn away from the Reservoir. There will be a sign after you enter the cedars directing you to the left and the Penrose or Independence trailhead.
The Penrose Trail System is a very short but exceptionally difficult trail system. It typically takes the club about 5 hours to cover just over .5 mile, due to the technical nature of the obstacles on the trails. Many people refer to this trail system as Independence Trail, which is the longest of the four trails. The 3 other trails of Penrose are: Patriot, Liberty and Freedom. The Patriotic theme of the trail names are due to the opening of the trail system on July 4th, 1999.
Most of the trails we drive on are either old logging roads or converted railroad beds but the Penrose Trail System is a cooperative effort by some of the local 4WD businesses, 4WD clubs and the US Forest Service. The next time you are in the Predator 4WD store be sure to thank them for sponsoring this trail.
When the obstacles on the Penrose Trail System are seen for the first time many people question how can anyone drive such difficult obstacles but the members of the club are able to work together, and due to the collective club knowlege of the trails are able to travel these extremely difficult trail with relative ease. It's an educational experience in four wheeling to watch the vehicles of the club navigate such difficult obstacles.
The major obstacles on the trail are at the entrance and exit of the trails with a couple of major obstacles in between. Between even these obstacles are some really huge rocks that on most trails would be considered the signature obstacles of a trail. The obstacles at the entrances and exits are a series of consecutive 3-4 foot waterfalls with a slant that tries to force a vehicle away from the preferred line. The major obstacles between the entrance and exit are a major waterfall of about 4 feet followed by 5 foot waterfall with offsetting rocks. The signature obstacle on the Patriot trail is a V notch in a rock that is on a 90 degree turn.
GPS Coordinates: N 38.4938014° W 105.0316368°