Yesterday we took a little trip about 10 miles outside of Colorado Springs to Larkspur Colorado where we explored Spruce Mountain Open Space. It was our first time coming here, and we were tickled to see a sign in the parking lot stating that the open space was in part funded by proceeds from the Colorado Lottery–now that’s money well spent! The parking lot houses a covered port-a-potty and information area right before the entrance to the trail head, where you can choose from 3 paths. After a short walk from the parking lot the trails began to diverge. The shade and well groomed path incentivized us to try the 5.5 mile long Mountain loop trail!
The trail starts out as a flat and easy to navigate dirt path through fields of wildflowers to the north of the mesa, with views of an adjacent mesa, which we are going to attempt to climb on our next trip out. Horses are allowed on the trails, and we were lucky enough to encounter a few on our hike. Watch out for the horse droppings that at times cover the paths! The trail forks at the forest and we headed left into the thick of it to continue on the Mountain Top Loop Trail. Being inside of the forest was one of the most beautiful parts of the hike. Lush greenery surrounds the trail and the songs of various birds and insects added to the ambiance. The sunlight was pouring in through holes in the canopy and lit the path and trees up in a way that made everything glisten.
Soon there approached another fork in the path where some of the other trails meet, we followed it upward to find ourselves on top of the cliff faces of the mesa. This perspective offered some stunning views of the lakes below, the nearby hills, and the mountains in the distance. There are many great rocks to “look out” on at this spot, and it was the most trafficked area we came across the entire time. It’s great to see other people out enjoying mother nature! From here we decided to dip off of the path and find a couple of good trees to hang a hammock from. We came across a nice, shady area with some close trees and big rocks where we set up and enjoyed the welcome breeze that was dancing through the forest.
Not far from this spot is a map of the area and another trail marker and fork in the road. Here is the actual start of the Mountain Top “Loop” and it does exactly what the name implies by taking you all around the top of the mesa. There are so many amazing views from this trail. Mesas, mountains, and little bodies of water abound. The loop part of the trail goes for almost two and a half miles and then winds you back to the initial cliff overlooks. We began our trek back down as the sun started to set giving us a range of beautiful colors in the clouds and spots of golden light through the leaves of the trees.
A hike is never a hike without spotting some kind of wildlife. At Spruce Mountain Open Space we were lucky enough to encounter deer, squirrels, birds, geckos and (not so luckily) a ton of ants. On the drive to the open space from I-25 there is an Alpaca farm and they had just been shaved! They were so funny looking and entertaining to watch.
I highly recommend this place for a good day hike. Most of the path is decently shaded, but it still was pretty hot during peak daytime hours and the trek can still be tiring, so bring plenty of water and get to wandering! Don’t forget to check out the full gallery below!
Thank you sincerely for your interest in our journey.
Feel free to ask questions, share comments, suggestions or your own travel experiences in the comment section below and don’t forget to follow us to discover more of the journey.
Kendall Hart and the Developing Team