In a previous column, I featured a hike in a place called “Booger Red,” an obscure place with an unusual name and great views. This week’s hike is to the summit of Booger Red Hill, which starts at the same trailhead, but goes in a different direction and offers a different experience.
See Slideshow for Details
About 17 miles after turning off of US 24 (see “How To Get There” for details) be prepared to turn left immediately after this curve
Look for this sign on the south side of County Road 11, marking the start of BLM road 5808.
Go through this gate. If the gate is closed, the road is impassable. Come back another day. About a mile later, go through a second gate.
About .2 miles past the second gate, the road ends at this parking area. There is an informational kiosk here, but not bathroom facilities or water. For this hike, the trail starts to the left of the kiosk.
From the trailhead parking, go through this gate. Make sure you close it behind you.
A few hundred feet later, at the bottom of the hill, go through this second gate, making sure you shut it behind you. Cattle sometimes graze in this area, so have a leash available for your pooch, so you don’t rile them up.
After going through the second gate, follow the obvious two-track trail downhill. Cross Little High Creek, which was dry in late August, and continue across the meadow.
After crossing the meadow, the trail goes up this ravine before coming up to a shelf.
After going up the ravine, the trail becomes shelf. At about .64 miles the trail makes a sharp right and continues an easy uphill track. At about .9 miles the trail opens up on this hillside. The trail runs around the side of the hill as shown.
Continuing around the hill, the trail drops downhill for a bit at about 1.2 miles and then starts a steady uphill climb. The trail peters out a bit from here and can be hard to follow. Turn left as shown, and look for the faint two-track. Stay to the left a bit and start a steady climb uphill.
At about 1.6 miles, the trail crests a ridge and Booger Red Hill is now visible directly ahead, but you don’t want to bee-line directly to it. Instead turn left and stay to the left of the deep gulch that is in front of you, and head for the ridgeline at the end of the gulch.
After a while the trail disappears. Staying to the left of the gulch, continue to the end (about 1.75 miles from the trailhead) and then turn right at the ridge. Follow the ridge and find your own path, roughly shown by the arrow on the right to another ridge line.
After turning right at the ridge line, find your way between the trees to one last ridge line, on the other side of this row of trees. Turn left and continue up to the summit.
Depending on your route, you’ll reach this summit at about 2 miles. There is a 360-degree view from this wide summit. Return to the trailhead by re-tracing your track, for round trip of about 4 miles.
GPS track for this hike. The trailhead is on the left.
How To Get There: Take Teller County Road 1 south from U.S. Highway 24 in Florissant for a little over 9 miles, and then turn right onto Teller County Road 11 (follow sign for Cañon City). After another 4 miles, bear left and remain on CR 11 where it meets CR 112 (again, follow sign for Cañon City). About 4 miles later, right after a sharp right-hand bend in the road, look for a BLM sign for “Booger Red” on the left side of the road (see slideshow).
Things to Know: This is a moderate hike with some short, steep, uphill segments. BLM closes the gate off of CR 11 when road 5808 is wet, so don’t go right after a heavy rainstorm. You can check on BLM road closures at this website, or call the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office: 719-269-8500. There are no water or restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along this hike.
As always, when traveling, check your destination for any COVID-19 restrictions. Don’t become an unwanted burden, especially on small towns.
In other news, the El Paso County Parks Department announced at the Sept. 9 Parks Advisory Board meeting $300,000 of improvements and repairs to the popular, and often beleaguered, Paint Mines Interpretive Park near Calhan. The projects, funded by the CARES Act stimulus relief funds in response to COVID-19, will be used to restore 14,600 feet of “tier 1” trail, construct 1,500 feet of new trails, install 12 new drainage culverts, add 20 new parking slots at the main parking lot, and install 22 new wayfinding signs. In addition, 1,200 feet of rogue trails will be decommissioned, 1,600 feet of additional fence will be installed, and additional work will be done to control erosion. According to El Paso County Community Services Department Director Tim Wolken, the work is expected to begin in the next few weeks and will be completed by the end of the year. There may be temporary closures of trails in the immediate vicinity of work areas once the projects start, but no full closures of the park are anticipated, said Wolken.
Be Good. Do Good Things.
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