• Activities:

    Chillin, Running, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    6.3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1900 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Hike to a different perspective of Pikes Peak and the Front Range on this fun, scenic, uncrowded 9,000' summit. Keep your eyes peeled for parasailers, Air Force jets, and gliders!

The Basics: Mt. Herman is the most prominent peak overlooking Monument, CO and is easily spotted from I-25. The area between Monument and the mountain hosts a large network of meandering trails that are great for trail running and mountain biking. Our hike today starts at the uppermost parking lot, although you could begin at the lower lot if you want more distance. 

The Hike: To get to this upper lot, start by taking Mt. Herman Road West from Monument. The pavement ends at the lower lot; continue straight on the dirt road. The road sweeps leftward as you get closer to the base of the mountain. At an open gate, turn right on another dirt road. The large parking lot and trailhead are immediately in front of you.

The 1.4 mile ascent begins directly behind the parking lot (picture 2). After .5 miles, continue straight uphill through the clearing with a rock pile (picture 3). From here, the trail gets much steeper as you climb up the North face of the mountain. Snow can be deep on this section in Springtime. 

The summit, marked by a tall wind sock, is wide and open with many vantage points. Snap some pics of Pikes Peak, the Air Force Academy, Palmer Lake area, and any flying objects (if you're lucky) before beginning the descent. You could just go back down the same way for a 2.8 mile round trip, but where's the fun in that? Continue South along the summit trail to descend the other side of the mountain and make the hike into a loop. The trail will eventually dump you out at a parking pulloff area on Mt. Herman Road (picture 7). Go 2 switchbacks up the road and find Trail 715, which parallels the road down and around to the front side of the mountain. Criss-cross your way through the front side trails, staying close to the road, to get back to the upper parking area. Total distance is just over 10 km. 

The Area: The best part about this hike is how easy it is to access but how few people do it. While the lower trail system can get busy, you'll likely have most of the mountain to yourself. You can even camp anywhere along this route. After you've checked this hike off your list, look into hiking Limbaugh Canyon just behind Mt. Herman or linking it with the Palmer Lake reservoirs. There may even be an airplane wreckage to hike to, if you do your research ;) Tons of adventures to be had in this area! 
Monument has regular farmers markets throughout the summer on weekends, and its historic downtown has a few good restaurants as well. I'd recommend Serrano's coffee or The Bistro on 2nd. For the best ice cream, drive over to Rock House Ice Cream in Palmer Lake.  

Pack List

Necessary:

  • Water
  • Hiking or trail running shoes or boots
  • Snacks

Recommended:

  • Camera
  • Local hiking map
  • Rain jacket or light layer
  • Sunblock
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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Small parking area is really just a pull-off along Mt. Herman Rd. My kids and I were surprised by all the trash right at the TH. It's a popular trail and a short drive for many, so expect company. The trail is mostly shaded, sometimes moderately steep, but we'll marked and easy to follow. At the summit there's a register, a hang-glider launch area and great views to the East. Short, pleasant hike. Recommended.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Connor Bruson

Colorado native living for God and adventure around the world. Cyclist, runner, hiker, addicted to summit views and singletrack. Proud husband to an amazing videographer and my adventure partner for life. #yurtlife sales manager at Freedom Yurt Cabins

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