If you want a hike with variety in the Arapaho and Roosevelt Forests of the Rocky Mountains, the Crosier Mountain Rainbow Trail would be the furfect choice for you and your canine companion. The spectacular hike is a five-mile round trip out and back trek that will take you and your pup about 2230 feet up to an elevation of 9250 feet. This is a short trail, but it is steep, rugged, and it is the least used trail to Crosier Mountain.
You and your pooch will start at a small parking lot in a large cut on the south side or Devils Gulch Road (County Road 43). Parking is free, but limited, and there are no restrooms or water, so bring your own H20, as well as baggies to clean up after your pupster. The trail is easily followed as it is well worn, so you will have no trouble staying on the path. Keep your doggo on a leash and practice “leave no trace” principles at all times.
The Crosier Mountain Rainbow Trail climbs steadily and steeply on a dirt path through the forest of aspen and ponderosa pine trees. You will be hiking switchbacks for the first two miles where the Crosier Mountain Glen Haven Trail junction cuts in from the east and west. At about 2.4 miles, keep a lookout for an old cabin to the left (north) and downhill from the trail. You will see a large aspen tree growing out of the middle of the building, which is a pawesome sight you don’t see every day.
Continue to the east through lodgepole pines for another 1.3 miles where the Crosier Mountain Summit Trail intersects with your trail. This will take you up a steep half-mile hike to the summit of the mountain where you can see from Pikes Peak in the south to Signal Mountain in the northwest, and even Mount Meeker, Longs Peak, and Estes Park in the middle. This is a furfect place for a panoramic selfie with you and your pup for your scrapbook and Facebook page.
Don’t forget to take your time and look for things you may not have seen on the way up when you hike back down the mountain. You will probably see some critters such as sheep, elk, moose, deer, and prairie dogs. This is a furific workout for you and your pup, which you can visit again and again.