Mace Trail, Pueblo Mountain Park

People who know Pueblo Mountain Park know the name to be deceiving. The preserve resembles no part of the city built on steel. During the 1920s boom, the city established this preserve in the Wet Mountains about 30 miles west.

Now the park is maintained by a nonprofit. Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center calls this its mountain campus — “a bit off the beaten path,” reads the organization’s website, “which is one of the best things about it.”

Pueblo Mountain Park is near the little-known mountain town of Beulah. While the masses flock to Lake Pueblo, these 6 miles of trail remain lightly trafficked. That’s despite them offering a similarly refreshing break from the southern Colorado heat. Ponderosa pines provide shade, as do the towering rock walls of Devil’s Canyon.

At last visit, we opted for the Mace Trail, which starts along the bend of the road just ahead of the canyon trailhead. Nature and Wildlife Discovery Center credits Mace Trail for showcasing the park’s diverse terrain. Indeed, along scenic saddles, montane woods and lower shrublands are seen at either shoulder.

The well-marked trail gently ascends to a split with the Lookout Trail. We turned and rose higher to the overlook, where we carefully stepped along a rocky spine leading to a platform built in the ‘30s.

Satisfied, we went back the way we came. Another option is to continue south on Mace Trail and loop back through Devil’s Canyon or continue on to Tower Trail.

Trip log: 2.1 miles round trip (out and back), 347 feet elevation gain, 7,071 feet max

Difficulty: Easy

Getting there: From Colorado Springs, go south on Interstate 25 and exit for U.S. 50 west. In about 5 miles, go left on Pueblo Boulevard. In another 5 miles, turn right for Northern Avenue, which becomes Colorado 78. Drive about 23 miles to Beulah and follow signs to the park. Follow dirt road past the old baseball field to the trailhead.

FYI: Hiking and horseback riding only. Dogs on leash. Park gates open at 6:30 a.m. and close at dark. More information at hikeandlearn.org.

SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE

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