October 21, 2018
I was pleasantly surprised with this trail. Actually, it is a small trail system with four main trails running east and west up and down the slopes of Rampart Range. From south to north these four trails are: Upper Ridge and Lower Ridge together, Lovell Gulch, Power Line, and White Gulch. Plus, there is the wonderful Roots and Chutes that is the preferred option at the top of Lovell Gulch. Together, these trails cover 10.5 miles. All of them are mostly singletrack, except Power Line. Power Line is part of the featured ride/loop everyone talks about for the system. But imo, Power Line is clearly the worst of all the trails. The Lovell Gulch downhill, starting with Roots and Chutes (dropping off Rampart Range Road) and running all the back to the parking lot is a first rate 2.33 mile downhill. 5 star fun for sure. White Gulch is a good downhill too, but there are about five logs across the trail currently. Most of them are on the lower half. So be a little careful.
All the trails are beautiful except Power Line, but even it from its upper 1/3 provides some spectacular views of the mountains to the west and of the North Face of Pikes Peak. The forest is beautiful throughout the system and is mixed conifer composed mainly of ponderosa pine, spruce, aspen and limber pine. The photos posted for the trail do not do it justice. Finally, in addition to the 10.5 miles of trails running east and west up and down the main slope, there are also some small trails running north and south that connect these main trails. Don't miss these smaller connector trails. They are fun too. Again, all in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the system as a whole. I will definitely add this to my regular diet of Front Range Trails near Colorado Springs. One final thought, there is scree here, but it is not deep and rarely an issue (mostly just on Power Line).