January 09, 2018 Slideshows » Columns

Hiking Raspberry Mountain 

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Located west of Monument and south of Palmer Lake, Raspberry Mountain is a broad, wide peak next to Mt. Herman. It suffers an identity crisis, overshadowed by its more popular neighbor, Mt Herman, and sharing the exact same name of a peak near Divide in Teller County (thanks to whatever genius thought that was a good idea).

This hike is a  four-, four-and-a-half-, or seven-mile hike roundtrip, depending on which landmark you turn around at. Raspberry Mountain's elevation and heavy tree cover makes it a nice hike on hot summer days, and the lower portions are ripe for really great wildflower viewing in early summer.

To get there: Take I-25 to the Monument exit. Take 2nd Street through downtown Monument, and make a left turn on Mitchell Road after crossing the railroad tracks on the west end of downtown. Take Mitchell Road to Mt. Herman Road and turn right.  Take Mt Herman Road 7 miles or so to the trailhead which is a wide turnout on the right side of the road.  The road is windy, narrow and rocky past Red Rocks Road, but with care, all but the lowest ground clearance cars can make it to the trailhead.  The road is open all year, but is not maintained in winter.
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Bob Falcone
Parking is very limited at the trailhead and fills up quickly on weekends. The trailhead is to the right of the blue truck in this picture.
Bob Falcone
This hike starts on Mt Herman Trail #716.
Bob Falcone
At about .15 miles, the trail turns right to go up Mt. Herman. For this hike, turn left here, cross the intermittent creek, bear left through the make-shift campsite and follow the trail north. The trail runs parallel to Monument Creek. Keep the creek to your left at all times.
Bob Falcone
The trail passes the remnants of an old cabin on the opposite side of the creek
Bob Falcone
There is an old teepee-looking structure on the right side of the trail. This is one of three of these structures on this hike.
Bob Falcone
At about a mile, the trail turns right into a few short switchbacks. At the top of the rise is another teepee-like structure. A left turn here takes you a short distance to an overlook down into Limbaugh Canyon. Go right here to continue this hike.
Bob Falcone
At approximately 1.5 miles another trail comes in from the right. Continue straight.
Bob Falcone
The trail encounters large boulders along the way. Here, the trail goes under the large rock then bears to the right.
Bob Falcone
Reach the summit of Raspberry Mountain after about 1.9 miles. A right turn takes you a short distance directly up to the summit; a left continues on the trail.
Bob Falcone
The summit is marked by a large pile of rocks with a container and logbook to document that you made it this far.
Bob Falcone
From the summit, there is a view of Mt Herman to the southeast.
Bob Falcone
Pikes Peak is visible to the southwest.
Bob Falcone
Once you return to the trail from the summit, a left turn leads to the trailhead; a right turn continues on. At 2.3 miles you'll encounter another teepee structure. From here, the trail goes down the north side of Raspberry Mountain. The next 1.2 miles is steep, which means you'll have a steep uphill return. You can turn around here for an approximately 4.6-mile round trip, or continue on.
Bob Falcone
At about 3.3 miles, the trail turns left and follows a drainage. This portion of the trail is icy in winter months.
Bob Falcone
The trail ends at Forest Service Trail 715 after about 3.5 miles. This is the turnaround point for this hike. You can also turn left towards Limbaugh Canyon, Chautauqua Mountain, and Balanced Rock Road. A right turn will eventually take you to an unmarked trailhead south of Palmer Lake and west of Monument.
Bob Falcone
The entire hike, from the Mt Herman Trailhead at the bottom, to trail 715 at the top, and back.
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Bob Falcone
Parking is very limited at the trailhead and fills up quickly on weekends. The trailhead is to the right of the blue truck in this picture.

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