Nestled in the picturesque settings of Colorado Springs, Buckhorn Trail offers a compelling blend of technical nuances, moderate uphill challenges, and exhilarating downhill runs. With lush pine forests, scenic overlooks, and occasional rocky sections, this trail makes for a perfect day out for intermediate cyclists. Here's an in-depth review of what you can expect on this loop, supplemented with a little first-hand wisdom from local riders.
From Colorado Springs, head west onto Cheyenne Canyon Rd. Follow the road past Helen Hunt Falls until you reach High Drive parking lot. This is your starting point, and you'll find the trailhead at the back corner of the lot, marked by a gate that restricts car access.
Kick off your ride by pedaling up a dirt road for about 0.6 miles until a distinct dirt path appears on your right, leading you uphill. Miss the path, and you'll find yourself at an unwanted hard left turn—your cue that you've gone too far.
The trail winds through towering pines on narrow single tracks, punctuated by a series of switchbacks and minor rock and root obstacles. The ascent, while not overly technical, can be narrow and requires a good sense of balance. After about 1.4 miles of uphill, you'll arrive at a T intersection. Here, make a right turn to continue the loop.
Once you make the right at the T intersection, the hard part is almost over. Continue up to the mountain's summit, where you can enjoy panoramic views that make the climb well worth the effort.
The trail starts to descend fairly quickly after the summit, with a surface affected by loose gravel due to moto bikes. Extra caution is advised here. Eventually, you'll hit High Drive. A right turn and a mile's ride bring you back to the parking lot. Don't forget to catch a glimpse of the top of Silver Cascade Falls just before you arrive.
The Buckhorn Trail offers a balanced mix of challenge and enjoyment. Whether you're in it for the uphill battle, the breathtaking views, or the speedy downhill, Buckhorn delivers. This intermediate-level trail, with its excellent conditions and opportunities for variation, is a true gem in the Colorado Springs trail system.