Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Happy Trails: Serious adventure to scenic Colorado Springs dome

April 23, 2018 Updated: April 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm
0
Caption +
The view of Pikes Peak atop Barneys Dome, reached by going off trail from the Heizer Trail.

Barneys Dome

Barneys Dome watches high over Ute Pass, an impossible-to-miss sight driving west from Colorado Springs. The rock formation appears like a throne. And indeed, anyone up for the hearty adventure is granted a seat with awe-inspiring views. But the dome is hardly ventured, and that might be for the best. Some route-finding skills are required, as well as some considerable fitness.

The jagged rock walls of Hurricane Canyon can be seen across a ridge in the eastern foothills of Pikes Peak. Hikers descend from Barneys Dome. 

From Cascade, head up Park Street to the Heizer trailhead. Heizer has a lot of similarities with Barr Trail, from the constant elevation gain, to the summer wildflowers, to the mountain vistas. The difference is the popularity. You just might find yourself alone at the rocky overlook before 2 miles - a good place to catch your breath and take in the scenery.

The trail's switchbacks climb higher into the forest of pine and aspen. Eventually, you'll descend to a grassy valley, where Pikes Peak's east face shows off in the distance. At about 3.4 miles, come to a 'T' at French Creek. Continue left at the sign pointing to Hurricane Canyon, and be advised: Embarking farther to that extremely rugged, unmarked canyon is not recommended.

Pikes Peak looms over a meadow off the Heizer Trail. From the meadow, Barneys Dome is reached by scrambling up a hillside. 

You'll stop in the wide-open meadow. See the hillside harshly rising to the left. Barneys Dome awaits at the top, but there's no defined way to reach it. On this visit, we spotted cairns directing one route and had to clutch roots to keep our footing in the loose soil. We maneuvered through stone slots marking the great rock outcrop. Along with America's Mountain, many of the region's other signature peaks join the panorama, including Mount Rosa, Camerons Cone and Almagre Mountain.

Trip log: 9.2 miles round trip (out and back), 2,460-foot elevation gain, 9,020 feet max

Difficulty: Difficult to extreme

Getting there: Off U.S. 24, turn at the light for the Pikes Peak Highway and make a quick turn onto Emporia Avenue, following into Cascade. Park on the side of the road by the park and walk up Park Street to the trailhead.

FYI: Hiking and biking on Heizer Trail, though riding impossible on final stretch to Barneys Dome. Dogs on leash. Trail could be icy in winter. Know backcountry safety.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.