Higher elevations don’t always bring higher levels of difficulty.

Most hikers will enjoy a high-altitude “walk in the park” at this mostly undemanding trail in Teller County. While the loop sits above 9,000 feet, the terrain is mellow — an ideal spot for trail running or a laid-back summer stroll through fields of wildflowers.

Don’t worry about big crowds; it’s rare to see more than a handful on the loop. And don’t be deterred by the traffic noise from two nearby highways; once you get started, it’s easy to find peace and quiet.

The route is very straightforward. After a tenth of a mile, stay right and head counterclockwise on the smooth surface. The doubletrack meanders to the south and features gentle, rolling hills.

There are no trees, meaning no protection from the prevailing winds and no obstruction from the surrounding views. Raspberry Mountain and the broad shoulders of Pikes Peak rise to the east while, on a clear day, the Sawatch Range shimmers in the distance to the west.

But this loop is much more than just a trail to Divide residents. It serves as a solemn place of remembrance.

The trail is dedicated to Teller County Deputy Brent Holloway, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1995. A brass plaque adorns a large rock at the trailhead and a short spur from the main trail leads to a memorial for Holloway about 2 miles into the hike.

“May we all fondly remember Brent as we look upon Raspberry Mountain,” the memorial reads.

Holloway was a 4H leader, avid hunter and outdoorsman.

Trip log: 2.5 miles, 150 feet elevation gain, 9,300 feet max

Difficulty: Easy

Getting there: From Interstate 25, drive west on U.S. 24 for 25 miles to Divide. Turn left onto Hybrook Road South. Follow for 0.3 miles and turn left to trailhead. Park along road.

FYI: Trail can be icy during winter. No restroom at trailhead. Parking also available at neighboring Hayden Divide Community Park.

Contact the writer: nathan.vandyne@gazette.com

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