Hiking Bob: Pony Gulch is a secluded hike with a dose of history

Originally just a place for cattle ranching, before becoming a boom town during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in the late 1800s, Cripple Creek is a town steeped in Colorado history. In spite of several fires in the early 1900s that laid waste to much of the town, there are still many examples of early 1900s architecture, and the surrounding area is dotted with old mine shafts, barns and homesteads from that era. The area is also home to gently rolling hills, deep gulches and lots of well-known recreation opportunities.

Pony Gulch is an obscure tract of land southwest of Cripple Creek, that is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The trail into Pony Gulch is more of an old ranch road, and while an officially recognized trail, it has no name or trail number. The trail into Pony Gulch goes past a pond, old mines (stay on the trail) and an old homestead. Along the way there are stunning views and, in spring and summer, plenty of wildflowers.