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Mount San Luis / Knight's Peak
You can’t go wrong hiking any of the trails off Old Stage Road as it meanders through Pike National Forest. You’ll get away from crowds, clear your mind, and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the pines.
This is not what we call a destination hike — there’s no waterfall, rocky summit or meadow of wildflowers, but it’s a good leg stretcher and you can combine it with nearby trails for a great day of hiking at elevation within an hour of the city.
See photos from the hike!
To get there: Follow Old Stage Road behind The Broadmoor hotel for just less than 11.5 miles to the Penrose-Rosemont Reservoir. Park in the pullout on the right.
The hike: Hike back along the road about 0.2 miles and pick up the trailhead on the right just as you reach a bend in the road and the right side embankment begins to rise.
The trail stretches to the southwest at a fairly neutral elevation, cutting into the forest. After about 0.1 miles, the trail splits. Take the left fork, heading steeply uphill. Don’t worry, this lung-busting ascent lasts only 0.1 miles. The trail then climbs and dips through the pines for nearly a half-mile to a saddle, providing glimpses of the Penrose-Rosemont Reservoir and towering Big Chief beyond.
The formal trail doesn’t climb to the summit, but you can reach the 10,490-foot peak by heading left at the saddle, following a sometimes faint trail less than a half-mile to the top. It’s easy to lose the trail, but a bit of light bushwhacking will lead you to the summit.
From the saddle, the main trail stretches about 0.75 miles along the side of the peak, overlooking Emerald Valley. It ends near an occasional creek. There’s no “ta-da” finale to this hike, but the solitude you’re likely to find here is worth the trek. Return the way you came.
Or, if you’re up for another mile or so of hiking and a bit of route-finding, make a loop out of the trail by dropping down to the Penrose-Rosemont Reservoir. To complete the loop, follow the trail the way you came, turning left at the bottom of the steep descent. Follow this trail downhill about 0.3 miles to a fork and go right, skirting the edge of a small meadow.
You’ll meet the trail leading to the reservoir on your left. Explore the reservoir (fishing allowed May to November) and then hike out, following the trail that skirts the opposite side of the small meadow. After a short climb, you’ll reach the Rosemont Reservoir trailhead, which is directly across the road from your vehicle.
You’re best served when hiking in this area to carry a copy of the Pikes Peak Atlas. It will help you stay on track, and you can identify the peaks and valleys around you.
Details: This trail is in the Pike National Forest. A sign on Old Stage Road reminds users of forest regulations.
Trip log: 3 boots, 3-6 miles round-trip, 500-foot elevation gain
Rating system: A scale of one to four boots. One is easiest, with little elevation gain, and it is at a reasonable altitude. Four is most difficult, with severe elevation gain, high altitude, difficult terrain or extreme length.