Friday, May 15, 2015

Campground Review and Hiking Report: Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs,CO

After a 10 day stay, Cheyenne Mountain State Park has become our favorite state park to date!

Opened in 2006, the park has 51 full hook up sites located on four loops which are tiered up the side of Cheyenne Mountain. All sites have paved parking, tent pads, picnic tables and BBQ pit. There are an additional 10 walk-in tent sites and some of the RV sites include more than one tent site. There is decent separation between most of the sites. Some sites have a slope at the entrance, but the pad for every site looked level.

Amenities include multiple picnic areas, playgrounds, archery range, 20 miles of trails (dogs not allowed on trails). Restrooms with coin operated showers are available on each loop and the Camper Services Building includes a small inexpensive laundry room. Programs such as yoga and birding walks are held regularly. Verizon signal was decent, especially using our booster. There is a recycling bin at the camper services building.

We had site #2 in the Raptor Glen loop, the loop highest on the mountain. Our 180 degree view to the East looked out over the Colorado Plains for at least 50 miles. To the West we had an unobstructed view of Cheyenne Mountain. Birds and rabbits frolicked in the gambel oaks flanking our sitting area, deer passed through often as they foraged the hillside. Turkey walked the streets early in the morning.

We stayed here in early May during a very rainy stretch. We experienced thunder storms, hail, snow and even some sun. We had amazing views of the storms thanks to our perch on the hillside. The campground was at least 3/4 full each night and there were very few daytime picnickers so the trails were lightly used (once they dried out, which happened more quickly than we expected because there's a lot of sandstone around here).

The Hiking
I ran out of room on my Colorado Springs wrap up post and still want to share some photos from our excellent hikes here at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. We probably hiked at least 15 of the 20 miles of trails.

We loved the variety of trails here. There are short, easy trails near the campsites, perfect for the last stroll of the day. Many trails go through meadows where turkey and deer forage along the fringes in stands of gambel oak, then up into ponderosa pine, douglas fir, white fir and rocky mountain juniper forests with views out to the plains or up into the granite boulders on Cheyenne Mountain. Many different loops are possible. Prairie dogs gambol in the lowlands of the park. Coyote, bobcat, bear and mountain lion frequent the area.

We loved this state park and would definitely stay here again. Stays are limited to 14 days in a 45 day period. Colorado charges a $7 per day entrance fee on top of the nightly camping rate unless you hold a CO state parks pass.

Our site, #2.
Our view to the West.
No campsites behind us.

Deer up the hill behind our site.

Site #3.
Back in sites #4, 5 and 6 are beyond.

Site #10 with a panoramic view East.

A back in site.

The camper office and showers/restrooms/meeting room/laundry room/playground.
Another shower/restroom up the hill to the left.

A view towards Cheyenne Mountain and the campground (barely visible atop the right flank) from the Sundance trail.

Prairie dogs on the lowlands.

Coyote in a meadow.

Pygmy nuthatch.

We saw numerous turkeys and never failed to smile when we heard their gobbles in the distance.

We loved how this large hen saw us across a valley and instantly laid low so we could hardly see her!

Even from a distance a displaying tom looks fancy!

Our very best hike was an 8 mile lollipop loop that took us to the furthest reaches of the park (South and North Talon trails).
Amazing views, interesting layers of rock, and turkeys way up at 6,500 feet!

Granite outcroppings on the flank of cloud topped Cheyenne Mountain.
NORAD is somewhere in the bowels of that mountain!


  1. I'm definitely SOLD! Looks just wonderful. I suppose it might be smart to get the state park pass depending on how long you intended to be in Colorado. Those are some very nice looking campsites. Thanks so much for all the pictures and hike recommendations.

    1. Yep, Colorado State Parks would be very expensive without the annual pass. Once we determined that, we bought the pass and intend to spend every night in CO in a state park, both this spring and this coming fall.

  2. A winner for sure! I can read your excitement in your words about this park. The granite outcropings are beautiful and what fun to round a bend or enter a meadow and find wildlife!

    Thanks Lisa! Safe travels to Denver!

  3. Those sites look so inviting!

  4. Looks like a beautiful place to stay. I will definitely be bookmarking this. Thanks!

  5. That does look like a great park. The only CO state park we stayed in was Ridgeway, and it was quite nice. Haven't yet been to Denver so look forward to you upcoming posts.

  6. We'll have to keep this park in mind. It is just gorgoeus with those huge paved sites and table area. Great find! I want to revisit Colorado Springs with the MH to do some hiking. Maybe we can plan enough ahead to actually get in:) Love the wildlife! I could watch and listen to the prairie dogs for hours. They are so cute. Nice to know there are some great hikes right there!

  7. Not sure when we'll get there, but I saved it in my bookmarks. Looks great!

  8. That is definitely a great looking park - I love that they made the most of the views with pull-through spots on the perimeter. Mr Turkey is so handsome. Okay, so is Hans! Glad you got to enjoy the trails nearby and the front row seat for the storms :-)

  9. If we are able to get to Colorado this summer/fall, we'll have to check this one out too. Otherwise, it's a definite for next year! Loved your pictures!

  10. What an amazing state park! And they have yoga!! I definitely want to stay there. :-) Thanks for the great write up.