Happy Trails: This Teller County Loop is easy on the eyes and lungs | Way of life

Divide the trail into a loop

Higher altitudes don’t always bring higher difficulty levels.

Most hikers will enjoy a high elevation ‘walk in the park’ on this undemanding Teller County trail. While the loop is above 9,000 feet, the terrain is soft – a great spot for jogging or a relaxed summer stroll through fields of wildflowers.

Don’t worry about large crowds; it is rare to see more than a handful on the buckle. And don’t be put off by the traffic noise from the two nearby highways; once you get started it’s easy to find peace and quiet.

The route is very simple. After a tenth of a mile, stay right and walk counterclockwise on the smooth surface. The double track winds south and presents gentle rolling hills.

There are no trees which means no protection from the prevailing winds and no obstruction of the surrounding views. Raspberry Mountain and the broad shoulders of Pikes Peak rise to the east while, on a clear day, the Sawatch Range sparkles in the distance to the west.

But this loop is more than just a trail to divide residents. It serves as a solemn place of commemoration.

The trail is dedicated to Teller County MP Brent Holloway, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1995. A brass plaque adorns a large boulder at the trailhead and a small spur of the main trail leads to a memorial for Holloway about 2 miles into the hike.

“May we all fondly remember Brent as we watch Raspberry Mountain,” the memorial read.

Holloway was a 4H leader, avid hunter and outdoor enthusiast.

Logbook : 2.5 miles, 150 feet of elevation gain, 9,300 feet maximum

Difficulty: Easy

Getting There : From Interstate 25, travel west on US 24 for 25 miles to Divide. Turn left on Hybrook Road South. Follow for 0.3 mile and turn left towards the trailhead. Park along the road.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: The trail can be icy in winter. No restrooms at the trailhead. Parking also available at nearby Hayden Divide Community Park.

NATHAN VAN DYNE, THE GAZETTE

About Ethel Partin

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