October 2, 2010
Boy, was this a surprise! Given it's prairie location, I expected it to be totally lame, but it turned out to be a great ride. Spruce Mountain is a beautifully forested bluff that rises abruptly from the prairie below (although I had a hard time finding any spruce as the bluff seems to be covered with ponderosa). There are two paths from the parking lot to the top. The right fork will cross some prairie at the base of the bluff before a relatively gentle climb to the top. The left fork is steep, switchbacking it's way right up to the top. After the two paths meet, there's more climbing before hitting the loop. Whatever direction you take, it's a great climb through a wonderful forest. Although there are a few rocks, there's nothing overly technical and most of the trail is wide enough to offer an easy line around the obstacles. This is a great place to bring a reasobly fit newbie. The last part of the lollipop handle has fantastic views of the valley below, the foothills behind, and Pikes Peak rising above all. Once on the loop, the trail loses much of its character as it turns into a service road wide path. There are some great overlooks along the way and rock formations to play on. When you complete the loop, that climb up becomes a super fun downhill. If only the interesting part was longer . . .
Nothing in this area. Head to Monument for Limbaugh Canyon or C Springs for the great rides there.