Dome Rock Loop hike 

click to enlarge domerockconservancysign.jpg

Dome Rock State Wildlife Area, bordering the south side of Mueller State Park, has many hiking trails that are worth exploring. Due to big horn sheep that breed in the SWA, much of the area is off limits for almost eight months. I wrote about the 4 Mile Overlook trail a year or so ago, a hike that can be done year-round, but another hike, the Dome Rock Loop that goes out to the rock formation that gives the area its name, is only accessible from mid-July to the end of November.

Although it can be done either clockwise or counter-clockwise, I recommend clockwise, which avoids a couple miles of a long slog uphill. Due to a number of creek crossings without bridges and the large swaths of aspens on the south side of the loop, this hike is best done starting in mid-September, when the creek flows are low enough to cross and the fall colors are in full swing.

To get there: Take Highway 67 south from Highway 24 in Divide for 5 miles and turn right onto Teller County Road 61. Take County Road 61 for 3 miles to the well marked entrance to the Wildlife Area.

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for 25 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.


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