Lizard Rock road trip hike; Hanging Lake management plan delayed; and El Paso County's new online citizen program 

click to enlarge BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
Lizard Rock, almost an hour drive from Colorado Springs, is definitely worth the travel time. Not only is this 6-mile round-trip mostly moderate in difficulty, with just a couple of more difficult sections, it's also near a lot of other trails in the Pike National Forest and nearby Lost Creek Wilderness. The hike is pretty simple to follow and, if you have a sharp eye, you'll see the "Lizard" in the rocks.

To get there: Take US Highway 24 from 31st Street in Colorado Springs to County Road 77, just past Lake George (approximately 35 1/2 miles). Turn right and continue north for about 13 miles, and look for the Spruce Grove Campground on the right, just past the small community of Tarryall. Park in the dirt lot outside the campground gate (there's no parking for hikers in the campground). Walk past the gate and then turn right at the beginning of the campground loop. The trail starts just over the bridge, behind the pit toilets. All distances in this slideshow are measured from the parking lot.

County introduces new online reporting tools

The El Paso County Public Information Office has unveiled it's Citizen Connect website and companion cell phone apps. The programs allow users to report public works and parks and trails issues directly to the county staff responsible for attending to them. The smartphone app uses GPS from users' phones to identify the location of the problem, and the user can add notes and even a photo of the problem.

Hanging Lake Management Plan Delayed

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that a plan to institute mandatory shuttle bus service and limit the number of visitors the popular Hanging Lake has been delayed until spring 2019.

From a press release on the USFS website:

"The Forest Service is still working through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the Hanging Lake Management Plan which includes issuing a Final Decision on the Plan and working toward obtaining a third party transportation provider to run the shuttle and reservation system. Both actions are expected to take place sometime this spring."

While the USFS works to manage parking and traffic at Hanging Lake per usual the rest of this year, expect it to be overcrowded and congested. If you want to visit Hanging Lake, my suggestion is to go in mid to late September when the fall colors are in full force and there are far fewer people there.

Happy Trails!

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 more than 26 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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