In our “Classic” series, we’ll return to regional trails worthy of extra praise.
Everyone needs a quick escape. For many in Colorado Springs, that’s the trail known as Seven Bridges. For others, the way of lumber crossings over the rushing North Cheyenne Creek is a no-no in summer. Tranquility can be hard to find between the weekend crowds.
But yes, we’re dubbing Seven Bridges a local “classic.” The variety of nature, for one, is undeniable: a dense, mixed forest with aspen trees that glow in the fall and wildflowers that pop in the summer, house-sized boulders that amaze and, of course, the cool stream that soothes.
For the shade and the water, Seven Bridges on a hot summer day makes sense. You’ll want to start early, securing a parking spot at the busy lot at the top of North Cheyenne Cañon Park. Take the most popular wide path on the lot’s west side, Gold Camp Road behind the gate. Our tracker read 0.8 miles when we came to the Seven Bridge’s trailhead, posted in the woods to the right.
The early set of timber stairs ends at a ‘T’ — hang left to continue on the trail, which steadily rises enough to make many unacclimated out-of-staters stop to catch their breath. Fortunately, the stops are scenic, whether it’s the whitewater rush under the bridges or the canyon walls high above.
At the only other junction, stay left again. After the seventh bridge, it’s worth climbing higher out of the forest. You might not want to go too much farther, as scrambling rocks overtake the path. The prize is the view of city and plains between the mountainsides.
Trip log: 4.5 miles round trip (out and back), 1,079-foot elevation gain, 8,116 feet max
Getting there: Off Interstate 25, exit for Tejon Street going south. Take slight right onto Cheyenne Boulevard and keep right on Cheyenne Canyon Road to the park entrance. Drive up the road about 3 miles, taking the switchback above Helen Hunt Falls to the gravel parking lot.
FYI: Multiuse trail. Dogs on leash. Icy in winter; wear traction.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE