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On Walkabout On: The Mt. Herman Trailhead To Monument Rock, Colorado

Basic Information

  • Name: Mt. Herman Trailhead to Monument Rock
  • Where: Monument, Colorado
  • Altitude: 7,169 feet
  • Distance: 2.6 miles roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Easy (141 ft elevation gain)
  • Time: 1-2 hours round trip
  • More Information: Trail and Park Reviews

Note that the map below was generated using the MapMyFitness App for the iPhone.  The app’s distances and elevation are not as accurate as a GPS, but very close:

Narrative

After completing my hike up to the summit of the 9,063 foot Mt. Herman I decided to stop and checkout the confusingly named Mt. Herman Trailhead that I saw driving on my way to the real trail that leads to the summit of Mt. Herman.  This trail is located just outside of Monument which is about 15 minutes north of Colorado Springs and is considered one of the wealthier suburbs of the city:


View Larger Map

Reaching the trailhead for this hike that begins outside of Monument is actually quite easy though it can be confusing.  If traveling from Colorado Springs, take I-25 north and get off at Exit 161 at Monument.  At the exit take a left across the bridge that goes across the interstate and into town.  Keep driving through town until the road stops at a T-intersection at Mitchell Avenue.  From here take a left and look for the Mt. Herman Road sign where a right is then taken.  Throughout the drive views of Mt. Herman are easily visible:

Right before the road turns into the dirt road pictured above the Mt. Herman Trailhead sign is visible on the left side of the road:

At the trailhead there is plenty of information about bears, forest fires, and other information, but for some reason there is no map to be found:

As far as I know the map I made above from my iPhone app is the best map available for anyone looking for a map of the  park.  At the trailhead there are two trails that begin at the sign board, so I took one and figured it must be a loop hike since I had no map to go by.  I took the trail to the right that entered into a dense pine forest:

The forested trail follows a small ridge that run parallel to the Mt. Herman Road off to the left.  There is plenty of horse ranches in the Monument area and it appears that this trail is a popular place to take them for a walk because there was plenty of horse manure to be found along the trail:

As I walked along the trail the trees finally opened up enough to where I had a view of Mt. Herman which I had hiked up earlier in the day:

The trail eventually led to this dirt road that only vehicles authorized to drive to the Monument Fire Center can go on:

However, there is no issue for visitors to walk along the road to get to Monument Rock:

While walking down the road Monument Rock is an impressive site on the right side of the road:

While walking along the road there is no sign pointing out what trail to take to go to the rock.  I saw the below trail heading in the general direction of the rock and decided to take it:

The trail passed across this pleasant meadow that had a seasonal creek flowing through it:

The trail also lead directly towards Monument Rock:

While walking towards Monument Rock I was also impressed by the reddish color of the appropriately named Raspberry Mountain rising to the northwest:

The trail passed through the meadow and headed right for Monument Rock:

Monument Rock from the top of Mt. Herman looked really small, but once the trail came up close to the rock it is actually quite impressive in size:

I have no idea if it legal to climb this rock or not because there was no signs that specified what the park rules were, but it seems like it would be a fun climb for those tempted to do so:

However, for those who do attempt to climb this rock keep in mind that the sandstone that composes this rock formation is very brittle, so be careful:

After checking out the front side of the rock I then proceeded to walk to the back side of it:

As I walked around the side of the rock I noticed that it had a number of holes eroded into it:

In the higher areas of the rock which is safe from predators I could hear a lot of birds that had made nests in the holes:

I was surprised to see on the backside of the rock that there was a large pool of water:

It had snowed a few days prior, but I guess the shade created by the rock throughout the day is enough to prevent water from quickly evaporating.  Here is a view looking higher up the rock from its backside:

After spending about 20 minutes checking out the rock I then proceeded to take another trail through some scrub bushes that were backdropped by the impressive Mt. Herman:

Here is a final picture of Monument Rock that I took before heading back to the trailhead:

The trail I took from through the scrub bushes ended back at the road that leads to the Monument Fire Center:

Once back on the road I followed it back in the direction of the trailhead.  I noticed along the way that there was a defunct exercise course that was in some desperate need of repair:

As I continued to walk down the road I took another trail that headed in the direction of the trailhead.  The trail passed through a meadow that was below the ridge that I walk to Monument Rock on.  Here is the last photograph I took of Mt. Herman before re-entered the forest to get back to the trailhead:

From the meadow the trail entered the forest and ascended up the ridge:

Suddenly the trail exited the trees back at the parking lot:

Conclusion

In total the loop hike was a total of 2.6 miles and going at a leisurely pace I finished it in 1.5 hours to include the 20 minutes I spent at Monument Rock.  The rock may not be as impressive as walking through the much more famous rock formations at the Garden of the Gods or Red Rock Canyon, but it is still a nice trail to checkout in conjunction with a hike up to the summit of Mt. Herman.  This is not a hike I would recommend to people with a limited amount visiting the Colorado Springs region because there are more spectacular hikes to check out.  However for people who do live in the region I do highly recommend checking out this trail in conjunction with a hike to the summit of Mt. Herman.  Completing both hikes takes about half a day and are in total are about 6 miles of hiking.  Both trails are easily hiked by beginner hikers and a great way to spend a day out in Colorado’s outdoors

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