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Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

Mt Herman

Monument Colorado's Topological Highpoint

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.2 miles / 3.5 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: Monument, CO, is about 10 miles north of Colorado Springs, straddling I-25 today as it straddled the Rio Grande Railroad when it was founded in 1872. As Pike’s Peak dominates the skyline west of Colorado Springs, Mt Herman rises majestically from the plain on which Monument rests. For those who like their mountains accessible and their hikes manageable, even by out of town visitors, Mt Herman is the place to go. The trek described here is about 2 miles round trip, during which the hiker will gain and lose about 1000 feet in elevation. The top of the mountain, from which Pike’s Peak is visible to the southwest and Kansas City to the east (on a very clear day!), is only about 9100 feet high; so there is enough oxygen to enjoy the time one spends contemplating whichever scene is most captivating.

Tips: Directions: Leave I-25 at exit 161 (Hwy 105) and head west through the older section of Monument (Hwy 105 turns north just past the Interstate; keep going west on what is now 2nd Street). After you cross the railroad tracks, turn left (south) at the T-intersection onto Mitchell Ave. In .5 miles you’ll see the sign for Mt Herman Road; turn right. From this intersection the trailhead is 5 miles. You’ll see a small parking area and a trail sign for Forest Service Trail 716. If you pass this spot, you’ll come to the trailhead for trail 715 about .1 miles later; 715 will not take you to the top of Mt Herman. About a mile into this leg of the trip, the pavement stops. The rest of the road is dirt, washboard in many places, narrow in some. Drive slowly and be prepared for people approaching you on the way down the hill — they seem to drive somewhat faster.

Points of Interest

Parking
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Trailhead

The trailhead is a small parking area at the bend of a hairpin curve on Mt Herman Rd. It can hold about 8 cars, depending on how considerately people park. The trail is marked by the 716 brown and white trail marker. The hike begins on the west side of the mountain, south of the peak. The trail is on the right (east) side of the draw. Follow the small intermittent creek north about .2 mile, at which point the trail switches back south and the climb begins.
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The Long Run

Now .4 mile into the trek, the trail levels out somewhat and begins to run north along the back side of the mountain. Granite rock formations appear on the right (uphill), and more of the Rampart Range is now visible to the west.
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Creek Beds & Peak Views

At this point, the trail turns east (right) again and begins a serious climb to the saddle just below the top of the mountain. It will seem as though the trail is indistinguishable from a small creek bed. This perception is correct; the rounded rocks are evidence of this type of erosive action. Along this portion of the trail Pike’s Peak makes its spectacular presence known.
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Fire Pit

Just below the actual summit, is a sheltered area with a fire pit. The town of Monument is visible below, but the top is yet to come. The trail works its way further north another 400 feet.
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Summit

This is the top. The wind indicator flag just below the ridgeline finalizes the position. From here the Palmer Divide is clearly visible as it pokes its finger out onto the plain below. It can be quite breezy up here; so hold onto your hat. Take your time and explore the mountain top. Remember to turn around and look to the west as well!
Pictures in this guide taken by: dougknighton

Mt Herman Trail Map


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About the Author

dougknighton
dougknighton
30 guides
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Retired Air Force Chaplain who began military life as an Airborne Ranger. Evidently I didn't get enough...

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