South Slope of Pikes Peak to open to the public

October 2, 2014 Updated: October 2, 2014 at 5:01 am
Caption +
Looking north at the south slope of Pikes Peak with Almagre in the foreground. Mark Reis photo

The South Slope Recreational Area - off-limits to the public for more than a century - is officially ready for visitors.

But if you're looking for specifics, you'll have to wait a bit longer.

City officials announced Wednesday that they will disclose details of an imminent opening of the 9,000 acres on Pikes Peak's southern face at a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday.

Among the questions they are expected to address are when, and for how long, the area will be accessible before it is again closed for winter.

Project manager Sarah Bryarly of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services previously told The Gazette it would be open for a "very brief period" before closing.

Under the South Slope recreational plan, the area will be closed annually from 
Oct. 15 to April 15.

The seasonal closure was implemented for safety reasons because of the area's remoteness, steep roads and lack of cell coverage.

Bryarly said the opening has been delayed by troubles incurred by Colorado Springs Utilities in completing a 
one-eighth-mile access road.

The South Slope has been billed as an untamed slice of Pikes Peak, home to bighorn sheep and several reservoirs built between 1878 and 1912.

The area was closed to the public in 1913 after it was deeded to Colorado Springs by the federal government for watershed protection, Mark Shea, Utilities' watershed planning supervisor, previously told The Gazette.

Since 2010, volunteer groups including Friends of the Peak have constructed several miles of trails, which will be open to nonmotorized uses, including hiking, cycling and horseback riding.

Two of the three reservoirs in the area - McReynolds and Mason - will be open to fishing.

Hunting, camping, stream fishing and ice fishing will be prohibited.

Because parking is limited, visitors will have to reserve spots in advance. A reservation fee will apply to those who wish to park in the area.

Comment Policy

LoginORRegister To receive a better ad experience

Learn more
You are reading 0 of your of 0 free premium stories for this month read

Register Today To get to up to 4 more free stories each and every month

  • Get access to commenting on articles
  • Access to 4 more premium pieces of content!
  • See fewer annoying advertisements
We hope you enjoyed your 4 free premium stories
Continue reading now by logging in or registering
Register Now
Already registered? Login Now