A Little Time and a Keyboard: Evergreens for Miles, Sweeping Views, Majestic Rocks and Waterfalls Enchant at North Cheyenne Canon Park in Colorado Springs

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Evergreens for Miles, Sweeping Views, Majestic Rocks and Waterfalls Enchant at North Cheyenne Canon Park in Colorado Springs

 

Evergreens for Miles, Sweeping Views, Red Rocks and Waterfalls Enchant at North Cheyenne Canon Park in Colorado Springs

Evergreens for Miles, Sweeping Views, Majestic Rocks and Waterfalls Enchant at North Cheyenne Canon Park in Colorado Springs

Our first full day in Colorado found us discovering Helen Hunt Falls inside North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Viewing the rugged landscape including red rocks enticed us to follow North Cheyenne Canyon Road up the mountain after taking in the falls. By this time in the trip, we had realized that we had an extra flex day in our trip with nothing planned. So, we opted to return a few days later for another hike.

Driving up Cheyenne Mountain provides so many interesting views of rock formations.
Driving up the mountain provides so many interesting views of rock formations.

Savoring the Rocky Landscape:

On our second drive winding up the mountain, we noted how varied the shading of the rock structures could differ from a deep gray to almost a camel brown to reddish. Carved by the ages and a variety of magma and uplifting events, the rocks of Cheyenne Mountain captivate with artful ranges of sizes and textures. Most of the cañon consists of Pike's Peak Granite which is pinkish and known to be on the softer side.

Winding through extraordinary rock formations at North Cheyenne Canon Park
Winding through extraordinary rock formations!


I found it difficult to not stop and take pictures winding up and down the mountain. We enjoyed so many fantastic views!

Helen Hunt Falls gracefully cascades.
Helen Hunt Falls gracefully cascades.

Eventually, we wound up the mountain to a large parking lot near hiking trails. This set of trails lies above where we hiked to view Helen Hunt Falls and Silver Cascade Falls. Mountain folds covered in prickly  Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine enchanted us.

Bristly evergreens add texture to mountain folds at North Cheyenne Cañon Park.
Bristly evergreens add texture to mountain folds at North Cheyenne Cañon Park.

Much of the trail we hiked at North Cheyenne Canon was not tree covered. As we hiked, we paused to take in sculpted views with the rise and fall of bristly evergreens. The breathtaking landscape surrounded us.


History of the Park:

Cheyenne Mountain was named for the Cheyenne Tribe and served as a desired spot for obtaining teepee poles. Additionally, the waterfalls of the mountain presented spiritual inspiration. Upon first discovering Cheyenne Mountain, we immediately felt captivated feeling the spiritual nature of the mountain.

The citizens of Colorado Springs purchased a portion of North Cheyenne Cañon in 1885 to serve as a recreational area. An additional 480 acres would be added in 1907 due to a donation by General William J. Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs. Today, over 450,000 visitors explore the natural treasure each year experiencing a range of trails made available through these and more conservation efforts.

Our hike at North Cheyenne Cañon gifted us with fantastic and unique views. Hiking a variety of trails instead of just one provided us with additional perspectives and appreciate of the preserve. I don't think I could ever get enough of the textural nature of various rock formations and prickly pines! So many unique adventures await at North Cheyenne Cañon Park!

Things to Know About North Cheyenne Cañon Park:

  • The terrain is rocky and can be steep in spots depending on the trail. Some trails are multiuse and not quite as steep but please be aware of elevation effects.
  • You are in black bear and mountain lion country. So, please familiarize yourself with safety info from North Cheyenne Cañon Park.
  • There are two visitor centers -- the Starsmore Nature and Visitor Center near the entrance of the park and the Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center at the base of the falls.
  • Be aware of loose gravel. Pikes Peak Granite is soft, so there are spots with loose rocks. We found that our hiking sticks helped.
  • As always, dress properly for the weather and bring water, snacks and sunscreen.
Evergreens for Miles, Sweeping Views, Majestic Rocks and Waterfalls Enchant at North Cheyenne Canon Park in Colorado Springs



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