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Monument, Colorado, United States

Mt. Herman Loop

Mt. Herman Rd. to Limbaugh Canyon via CO trail 715 to HZ trail to White Ghost trail

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.6 miles / 13.8 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
 
Overview: The Mt. Herman Loop can be done via mountain bike, distance run, or hiking. On the bike, it is not a ride for beginners and must be done clockwise. A KMZ file is available down on the right under "Other Resources" for Google Earth users and for export to other platforms.

To get to the trailhead, take exit 161 and go West on 2nd St. Make a left on Mitchell Ave and a right on Mt. Herman Rd. Follow Mt. Herman Rd. onto the dirt and make a right on Red Rocks Dr. The parking/turn-around is on your right.

Starting at the small lot near the intersection of Mt. Herman Rd. and Red Rocks Dr., you will climb Mt. Herman Rd. up about 1000 feet to 8400 feet to the top of trail 715 and then descend into Limbaugh Canyon. The canyon is a mix of rolling open space trail and tight steep switchbacks. The farther you go down the canyon the more technical the ride becomes with rocks impeding your route. It's not a problem for those on foot.

Once you reach the front (East) side of the mountain, the trail is very technical and riders will have to hike through some of the ascending switchbacks. The descents are very technical but certainly rideable. Follow the GPS carefully so you don't end up down the hill in someone's private property. When you get back to the parking area there are many options to extend your ride below Mt. Herman Rd.

If you've got some mtn biking experience, this scenic ride is well worth the effort. Very few people use this trail and the views are marvelous.

Download a Google Earth KMZ file of the route using the link on the lower right side of this page under "Other Resources".

Stats: (per my GPS)
Distance: 8.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1460 ft.
Moving Time: 1:47
Max Alt: 8385 ft.
Min Alt: 7253 ft.


Tips: Plan some extra time for this ride. It's not very long, but the technical aspects will slow you down. I highly recommend having access to this GPS route to verify you're staying on the right trail. There's no cell access on the back side of the mountain.

Points of Interest

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Start

Parking at the intersection of Mt. Herman Rd. and Red Rocks Dr.
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Trail 715 & Mt. Herman Rd. Junction

Take trail 715 up the mountain. Note that there is a different trailhead that you don't want for this route 100 yards earlier that goes up to the top of Mt. Herman.
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Top of Limbaugh Canyon

Take the downhill trail when you cross the jeep road.
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Trail 715 in Limbaugh Canyon

View of the canyon single track
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Back of Mt. Herman

View of Limbaugh Canyon and the back side of Mt. Herman.
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Trail 715 Connection to Balanced Rock Rd.

Continue NE down the canyon. The trail gets pretty technical in the lower section (definately had to push the bike a few times).
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Trail 715 Palmer Lake Overlook

Beautiful spot! You will turn onto the front side of Mt. Herman here.
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HZ Trail & Trail 715 Junction

The HZ trail is new and not very well established. It was built to avoid the private property at the bottom of trail 715 (fences and gates are at the bottom of the hill). Lots of rocks in the path. Be prepared to push the bike through the steeper ascents. Technical descents. Any time the trail splits, going down hill takes you down to private property, up hill keeps you on the trail.
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HZ Trail & White Ghost Junction

HZ Trail turns into the White Ghost trail. The junction is clearly labeled. Stay right at all trail forks until POI 11 below. Continues to be very difficult technical riding.
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Red Rock

Amazing massive red boulders in the middle of the forest.
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Don't Turn Right Here

Continue downhill to avoid entering into the Mt. Herman Open Space trail system.
Pictures in this guide taken by: kevenstewart

Mt. Herman Loop Trail Map


POIs: numbers | icons View large Trail Map

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About the Author

kevenstewart
kevenstewart
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I love the outdoors.

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