Colorado Springs, CO: Blodgett Peak

This popular, and moderately challenging, 4.7-miler climbs through mixed forest and over talus fields to lofty views of Colorado Springs, the eastern plains, and Pikes Peak.
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This popular, and moderately challenging, 4.7-miler climbs through mixed forest and over talus fields to lofty views of Colorado Springs, the eastern plains, and Pikes Peak.

This moderate dayhike begins with a switchbacking climb up an old road and turns left onto a fir-shrouded trail near mile 0.6. The path narrows further as it climbs through twisty Gambel oak before reaching the lower southeast slopes of the peak. This route turns abruptly left along a 40's-era road built by the U.S. Army—though the Air Force Base is just yards away. Continue through the forest, passing a waterfall and hidden grotto, before scrambling up a large talus field toward a false summit about 100 yards east of the real thing.
The ridgeline offers great eastern views of the Air Force Academy and Black Forest, but Blodgett Peak's 9,423-foot summit has the best views of the city, plains, Rampart Reservoir, and Pikes Peak (less than 11 miles to the southeast). Descend around the western shoulder of Blodgett on a rough path that treads through aged Douglas fir toward the base of the talus field where you can retrace your steps to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Steve Johnson

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.6

Waypoints

BLG001

Location: 38.9490506, -104.8866785

Arrive early on warm weekend days if you want a parking spot at this small trailhead. The trail heads west from here on a moderate-grade gravel road and switchbacks several times as it climbs.

BLG002

Location: 38.9478337, -104.8928715

At mile 0.6, turn left onto the doubletrack trail leading into the woods. If you follow the road to the water tower, you've gone too far.

BLG003

Location: 38.9520502, -104.8951864

Just after cresting a small saddle, look for this stretch of gnarly Gambel oak trees.

BLG004

Location: 38.9534076, -104.8967914

A large rock just past mile 1 is a perfect for a picnic lunch, and it offers a place to stretch out and admire the great views of the city and plains to the east.

BLG005

Location: 38.9538002, -104.8965835

Stay straight on the main trail; the right-leading spur at this 3-way junction leads through private property.

BLG006

Location: 38.9560299, -104.8968923

Bear left to stay on the main trail toward Blodgett Peak. This northbound path follows the Falcon Trail onto the Air Force Academy property. Enjoy the relatively flat stretch ahead (and good views of Peregrine and the Rockrimmon area) before the trail begins winding uphill.

BLG007

Location: 38.954136, -104.9003792

Many social trails and shortcuts branch uphill along the main path. Stay on the trail to help restoration efforts and to avoid damaging the vegetation. The grade of the loose, rocky trail increases in this area and the climb toughens.

BLG008

Location: 38.953965, -104.9046385

At mile 1.8, this route bears left toward a hidden waterfall with a recessed cave behind it.

BLG009

Location: 38.9539525, -104.9050784

This waterfall and hidden grotto offer a cool ice climbing option in winter, but may be dry other times of the year.

BLG010

Location: 38.9549933, -104.9050114

Keep right at the trail junction. The left-leading trail also leads toward the summit, but most people who make the climb ascend the talus-covered boulder field. Most of the boulders at the base are large and sturdy, but things loosen up as you approach the false summit to the north and east. Note: The talus-slope scramble requires sure-footed boulder hopping that can make some hikers uncomfortable. Consider turning left at this junction for an easier alternative.

BLG011

Location: 38.9581949, -104.9060494

Clamber over a final few boulders to the ridgeline and false summit. Stop to savor the spectacular views of the Air Force Academy to the north and the Black Forest to the east. Continue uphill to the northwest to hit the summit.

BLG012

Location: 38.9588165, -104.9071062

Blodgett Peak (9,423 ft.): Stellar views of Colorado Springs, the Rampart Reservoir to the west, and the massif of Pike's Peak looms to the south. Watch for changing winter weather and afternoon thunder storms in the summer.

BLG013

Location: 38.958149, -104.9079269

Instead of descending the boulder field, this route follows the easier trail down the southwest shoulder of the summit for the return trip. Though it's rocky, loose, and steep in places, this trail is also an easier way to ascend the peak.

Tall Pines

Location: 38.9487127, -104.8941135

The wide, smooth, lower trail cruises through towering Douglas fir and ponderosa.

City view

Location: 38.9528345, -104.8962379

Nice views of Colorado Springs from this perch on the trail's lower slopes.

Arrowhead Boulder

Location: 38.9542111, -104.8967743

A big rock along the trail.

Overlook

Location: 38.9545365, -104.8968816

"The Springs" gets smaller as the path climbs. Stop for a peek at this ponderosa-shrouded boulder overlook.

Split Rock

Location: 38.9548702, -104.8967957

A trail runs through this large rock.

False Summit

Location: 38.9581991, -104.905985

Rampart Reservoir

Location: 38.9588081, -104.9069667

The squiggly shoreline of Rampart Reservoir is over 3 miles away, but it's visible from the summit of Blodgett Peak.