By Audrey Andrews | May 3rd, 2021
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Out & Back with Loop:
1,939 feet elevation gain
Kineo Mountain boasts the highest peak of the six summits of the Cheyenne Cañon skyline. While the shortest route to and from the peak is an out and back from the upper Cheyenne Cañon parking lot, I recommend exploring surrounding trails by creating the above loop. There is also a route that prevents an out and back to the summit, but it is not a designated trail.
As noted, this route begins at the upper parking lot. From there, follow Gold Camp Road west. At about 3/4 of a mile, there is a tight turn in the road. The Seven Bridges Trail begins to the right. Follow the Seven Bridges Trail to its end. At bridge #7 (yes, the bridges are numbered) continue following the well-worn trail and pink blazes.
Soon, the trees clear and views of surrounding mountains stun. The trail winds left. Climbing into a grove of birch trees, the path splits three ways. Turn right to see more birch trees. At the next trail intersection, turn left towards the Mount Kineo summit. The march from this intersection to the summit is well-worn and also offers pink blazes. Relative to many summits in the Rockies, the trail is easy.
Kineo Mountain summits at 9,478 feet. Views of Cheyenne Cañon, Colorado Springs and Pike’s Peak abound. The small summit area is rocky, but includes plenty of boulders that are nice to sit on.
Follow the trail from the summit back to the last trail intersection. Here, turn right. Take the trail towards Mt. Buckhorn and down High Drive back to the parking lot. Although this section of the route is flat and/ or downhill, it is also the longest section of the route; the hike is definitely not over after summiting Kineo. Plenty of lookouts towards Colorado Springs and the Rockies await.
Kineo Mountain is a wonderful day hike. While the route includes nearly 2,000 feet of climb, the trail is fairly straightforward, smooth and well-kept for a summit route in the Rockies. For a mildly challenging day hike near Colorado Springs, it doesn’t get much better!