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On Walkabout On: Jones Park Trail Loop – Part 1

Basic Trail Information

  • Name: The Seven Bridges Trail to Mt. Buckhorn Trail Loop
  • Where: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Distance: 10 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: medium to hard (2,024 ft. elevation gain)
  • Time: 5-6 hours round-trip
  • More Info: North Cheyenne Canon website

GPS Map & Elevation:

Narrative

This past weekend the weather was once again beautiful here in Colorado so I decided to hike another trail in the hiking book I bought  titled “The Best Colorado Springs Hikes (Colorado Mountain Club Pack Guides)“.  The next hike I decided  to complete that was featured in the book was The Seven Bridges Trail to Mt. Buckhorn Trail Loop.  This hike was one of the longest trails in the book but still manageable in one day since it was listed as being 9.5 miles long.  The start of the hike begins at the “Hub” parking lot located in North Cheyenne Canyon in southwestern Colorado Springs:

When I pulled into the parking lot at about 0630 there was only two other vehicles there, but this would change drastically later on in the day.  The hike begins on the old Gold Camp Road which is now used exclusively as a trail for hikers and mountain bikers.  The road is blocked by this gate to ensure that no vehicles are able to drive on the road:

The first mile of the hike is on Gold Camp Road where it was nice to see the sun’s early rays shine on the surrounding mountains:

Eventually the road reaches North Cheyenne Creek where the trail marker below can be seen that designates the start of the Seven Bridges Trail:

The Seven Bridges Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Colorado Springs area which causes this section of the trail to be quite congested during the day.  You can read more about the Seven Bridges Trail at the below link:

Just a short walk from the sign is when I crossed over the first of the seven bridges located along this portion of the trail:

The waters from this creek flow into Fountain Creek that flows through Colorado Springs and travels south to where it intersects with the Arkansas River.  From the Arkansas River these waters eventually drain into the mighty Mississippi River and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean:

From there the trail then ascended into a dense forest:

The trail was surrounded by beautiful Ponderosa Pine trees that seemed to be basking in the early morning sunlight:

Something else I was impressed by was the various yucca plants that can be found growing even up here in the mountains above 8,000 feet in altitude:

I am not sure how high in altitude these hearty plants can grow, but once I got above 9,000 feet later on in the hike, that is when I quit seeing anymore yuccas.  Unlike other hikes I have been on around Colorado Springs where I saw plenty of wildlife, on this hike I saw only this squirrel hanging out in a tree:

I eventually came upon the second bridge across the creek:

The waters of the North Cheyenne Creek are extremely clean and cool:

The third bridge across North Cheyenne Creek looked a bit rickety at first but it was actually quite sturdy once I crossed:

The fourth bridge on the trail I didn’t even need to cross since the trail bypasses it:

Here is the fifth bridge on the trail:

By this point the trail was surrounded by the granite rock outcroppings that are so common around Colorado Springs, but still always beautiful to see:

The trail also became much steeper as I made my way deeper into the canyon:

I then came to the sixth bridge on the trail that looked much like the last one I crossed:

Finally here is the seventh and final bridge on this portion of the trail:

This last bridge is where the Seven Bridges Trail ends and most people turn around and go back to the “Hub”.  For those that decide just to hike this route the total return distance is about 3.5 miles.  However, from the top of the Seven Bridges the trail continues deep into the mountains which is where I was heading:

Next Posting: The Seven Bridges Trail to Mt. Buckhorn Trail Loop – Part 2

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