Copyright (c) 2007, Sandra J. Loosemore. Photos are provided for personal viewing only; no other use is permitted without prior written consent.
The trailhead for this hike is right on US Highway 24, about 5 miles west of
Colorado Springs. Here's a view looking down the highway not far
from the trailhead.
These flowers are obviously something in the rose family, but the leaves
look more like something from a currant or gooseberry. Hmmm.|
These are evening primroses. These are spectacularly large flowers, 4-5"
More evening primroses.|
A little farther up the trail, here's a view across to the foothills above
the town of Manitou Springs at the mouth of the canyon.|
After backtracking eastward up above the highway for about a mile, the trail
starts to zig north into a side canyon. Here's a view with some pretty blue
The pretty blue flowers appear to be penstemons.|
Although I never caught a glimpse of it from the trail, I heard sounds of
a waterfall somewhere in these rocks. The trail eventually meets up with the
creek in a meadow above the rocks.|
Kaeru the frog poses for a photo on the trail sign near the creek.
The upper part of the trail forms a loop. If you take the left fork,
you'll climb up through a shady forest by the stream. If you take the
right fork, you'll climb up a bunch of steep switchbacks on an open sunny
Taking the left fork, you'll eventually emerge from the trees and be treated
to views like this of Pike's Peak across the way.|
Another great view of Pike's Peak.|
The trail eventually comes out on a ridge at the top of the aforementioned
sunny slope, where there were lots of wildflowers to be found. I believe
these purple flowers are locoweeds, a member of the pea family. It's a
poisonous plant that causes cumulative nerve damage in livestock -- hence
|I think these big clumps of white flowers are also locoweeds. The flowers reminded me of lupines, but the leaves were pinnate rather than palmate.|
OK, these I can definitely identify -- they're paintbrushes.|
Starting on the downhill section of the loop, here's a view into the "flats"
of Colorado Springs.|
Here's a clump of yellow daisy-type flowers.|
This patch had some white daisies, red paintbrushes, and yellow buttercup-type
flowers. There are also some opuntia cacti growing among the remains of the