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On Walkabout On: The Mt. Cutler Trail in Colorado Springs

Basic Information

  • What: Mt. Cutler Trail
  • Where: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Distance: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 738 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficulty: Easy MediumHardDifficult
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • More Information: City of Colorado Springs website

Mt. Cutler Topographic Map

Mt. Cutler Trail Map

Mt. Cutler Elevation Map

Mt. Cutler Elevation Graph

Narrative

I was recently looking to get a little exercise and decided to jog up Mt. Cutler which is located in Colorado Springs’ North Cheyenne Canon:

I have hiked up Mt. Cutler before, but this time I planned on jogging up it.  I arrived at the trail at about 10:00 AM in the morning and found only one other vehicle parked at the trailhead:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

The trailhead lists the  hike being one mile long, but that is one way to the summit of the mountain.  The round-trip hike is 2 miles to the summit of Mt. Cutler, but is a bit longer when walking over to an alternate lookout.  I had my microspikes on because the start of the trail was completely covered in ice:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Shortly after starting the hike passed over the only bridge on the trail:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Shortly after the bridge I came to a viewpoint where I could look down on the entrance of the canyon:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

From here there was no longer any ice on the trail to worry about:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

I then came to the section of the trail that offered great views of the mountains to the Southwest to include St. Peters Dome in the center of the below photograph:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

To the far right of the above photograph I could just make out the 11,499 foot Mt. Rosa just visible over Stove Mountain.  Here is a closer look at Mt. Rosa:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

The trail up Mt. Rosa is one of the best hikes that can be accessed from North Cheyenne Canon.  You can read more about my prior hike up Mt. Rosa at the below link:

Something else I could see looking Southwest was the Seven Falls down below:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

The Seven Falls has been closed since last autumn due to the major floods we had that ended up causing a lot of damage to the road leading to the falls that has not been repaired yet.  Hopefully they get the road repaired before this summer because the Seven Falls is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city.

After spending a couple of minutes admiring the view I then proceeded to jog up to the top of Mt. Cutler’s 7,200 foot summit which is designated by this bench:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

From the top of Mt. Cutler the views to the West open up where I could see the 12,367 foot Almagre Mountain in the distance:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Here is a closer look at Almagre Mountain:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Almagre Mountain is another trail that is quite a challenging hike that can be accessed from North Cheyenne Canon.  I have not done this hike from the canyon yet, but I have hiked up Almagre Mountain from the Penrose-Rosemont Reservoir trailhead.  You can read more about this hike at the below link:

Here is a panorama photo I took of the view from the summit of Mt. Cutler:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

From the summit of Mt. Cutler I then followed a ridgeline spur that leads to a lookout with great views of Colorado Springs:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Along the way up the ridgeline this batch of quartz was visible along the trail:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

I additionally had a great view looking down into South Cheyenne Canyon which is the route that leads to Seven Falls:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Right across from me to the South was the famous Cheyenne Mountain:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Soon enough I reached the top of the ridgeline and had great views of the city.  Here is the view looking East towards the Broadmoor Hotel below Mt. Cutler:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Here is a closer look at the famous Broadmoor Hotel:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Here is the view towards the Northeast of downtown Colorado Springs:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Here is a closer look at downtown:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Here is the view looking North where off in the distance I could see the Garden of the Gods:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Finally right below me I could see the neighborhood at the entrance of North Cheyenne Canon that I would love to live at one day just to be so close to the canyon:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Here is a panorama I took looking East of the view:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Here is an even wider panorama that includes Cheyenne Mountain looming to the South:

Picture from the Mt. Cutler Trail

Conclusion

The Mt. Cutler Trail is one of the easiest hikes in North Cheyenne Canon, which makes it very popular during the summer and especially on weekends.  For anyone interested in hiking this trail I recommend arriving early because the parking lot fills up quick during the popular times to hike the trail.  For people that decide to hike the trail during the winter like I did then parking will not be an issue.  The trail is an easy 2 mile hike round-trip with only 738 feet of elevation gain.  The hike becomes 2.5 miles long for those who decide to hike to the end of the ridgeline that extends off of Mt. Cutler.  I recommend doing so because that is where the best views of Colorado Springs can be seen.

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