COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
Just in time for the busy summer season, the main access road into North Cheyenne Cañon Park is back open after being closed for nine months for bridge and road repairs.
About a mile and a half from the park's entrance, you'll find a popular trailhead with access to Mount Cutler and Mount Muscoco.
The lower part of the trail offers access to both peaks, however, Mt. Muscoco is the longer and more challenging of the two.
Leaving the trailhead, we climb at a pretty good pace with a not too difficult, but steady incline.
As we climb above the canyon, the scenery is incredible in every direction. It's why this is one of my favorite places to hike in the Pikes Peak Region.
Don't be surprised if you find yourself stopping along the way to pose for pictures or get that perfect Instagram-worthy shot.
Not long before the trail splits into two, we're treated to this spectacular view of Mt. Cutler:
We'll save that hike for another day...
From the fork in the road, it isn't too far to the top of Cutler, but our sights are set on Muscoco, and we're up for the challenge.
The first section after the split isn't too difficult, but soon, the trail gets narrow and steeper.
The trail on the southeast side of the mountain is also more exposed to the sun.
To combat the summer heat, make sure to come with plenty of liquids, snacks, a hat, and sunscreen.
You'll need it for this hike. Trust me!
About two-thirds of the way up, we catch our first full glimpse of Muscoco.
The last part of the hike is steep and technical.
Loose shale, switchbacks, and rock scrambling...it's quite the haul.
Good hiking shoes are a must, and I kind of regret not bringing my hiking poles.
Towards the summit, it's very narrow and hard to follow the trail in some parts.
A little more than two hours after starting our adventure, we reach the summit.
After soaking in sweeping views of Cheyenne Canyon and Colorado Springs, we put away our equipment for the difficult hike back down Muscoco.
Make sure to take your time with this one, and make every step count, or you could find yourself sliding on loose rock.
Now it's time to rate our latest adventure.
At 4.2 miles and roughly 1,300 vertical feet, this hike is not for everyone.
It's challenging and deserves the four of five difficulty score that I've rated it.
Scenery-wise, five out of five for this hike. It's giving serious backcountry vibes minutes from downtown Colorado Springs.
For the fun level and the final score, Muscoco earns a solid four out of five stars.
Anywhere in North Cheyenne Cañon Park is a beautiful place to get out, explore and go for a hike, and if you see me out there, don't forget to say hi!
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