The Crags – What A Great Day Hike!

Last week I took a chunk of a day to explore The Crags trail a bit further. For being less than 45 miles from home, it still surprises me at how few of the Colorado Springs area trails I have really experienced, and I have resolved to do more of it, for my body as well as my brain. While this trail is in Teller County, it is one that almost everyone in Colorado Springs who hikes has done many times, except of course, me!
I felt kind of silly when I realized that the first time I had tried this trail, I was only a mile or so from the end of it when I had turned back. I also felt a little silly when I realized that the trail head parking lot adds over a 1/2 a mile to the round trip, as there is still free parking inside The Crags campground generally available mid-week. I am only guessing that weekends get a lot busier. The trailhead turnoff is just past Mueller State Park (a very popular hiking destination in its own right), about 3 1/2 miles up a reasonably rough dirt road.
The hike itself was pretty great. There are lots of rock formations to look at on the way, and meadow area on the way up is very pleasant along the creek as well. The payoff however is the view from the top. While I have some photos included here, I can tell you they do not do justice to the panorama you get to enjoy. Looking down at the reservoirs on the North Slope of Pikes Peak, you get such a feeling of exhilaration, for a hike that totals only 5 miles or so, round trip!

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