Summary: From the parking area the trail begins by heading East along the road. The trail does two switchbacks and then continues east up an old road. Upon reaching Horsethief park the trail levels out and there are several nice camping spots along the trail. Continue on through the park to a sign directing you toward Pancake Rocks. Turn right at this intersection. The trail will begin to gain a lot of elevation as you ascend the ridge. After a series of switchbacks the trail will again level off. After hiking a short ways the trail will then descend again into another small valley. From here you will get your first look at the rocks. After hiking up the other side of the valley you will soon find yourself in the midst of the rocks.
My camera's batteries died by the time I reached the rocks, so my photo shown of the rocks was taken by Steve Garufi. Visit him at www.coloradoguy.com. Thanks Steve.
Trailhead: Take Highway 24 West to Divide. At Divide turn south on highway 67 and go a little over 9 miles. The road will pass by the old tunnel entrance. Continue to the other (South) side of the tunnel to find the parking area. This is the horsethief falls trailhead and is where you will start. (Lat:38.83462 Lon:-105.13721)
Trail Guides for Pancake Rocks:
Mountain Biking Colorado Springs Second Edition
by David Crowell (The Globe Pequot Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Pikes Peak Ranger District 719-636-1602
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joshua Friesema, who has posted 97 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by gm on 8/27/2011
Somewhat difficult due to the elevation and incline. Had to take quite a few breaks heading up after the trail splits. Had little trouble coming down. As soon as you reach the first set of pancake rocks (just as it finally levels off) go behind the "pancakes", there is a nice scenic overlook just behind 1 or 2 trees.
Reviewed by Sue on 7/19/2011
This is a somewhat gruelling hike if you have knee issues, but well worth it for the sights once you make it. Slow and easy on the way down for those with knee issues. I recommend two hiking poles for this one. And, yes, don't get fooled by the pseudo pancakes. Keep heading up!
Reviewed by Doug on 7/10/2011
Very nice trail and was relatively easy. I went with my wife and boys (pre-teens). I think it was about 5 hours total and that's with throwing in a side trip to Horse Thief Falls. The only thing that the description leaves out that almost fooled us was that on your first downhill you see a rock formation that is NOT Pancake Rocks. If it is your first visit make sure you are not fooled and that you make it to rocks that clearly look like pancakes. It is well worth the trip.
Reviewed by Luther on 7/3/2011
We got a late start on this one (1240PM). The trail was in good condition. Lots of sceanery along the way. Thunderstorm was brewing when we reached the the. There is a nice natural cover area area so way stayed out of the lightning and rain for about almost 2 hours until it storm passed to the East. On the way back the sun peaking out through the clouds made for more spectacular shots of sun and shadows on mountains. Lots of wildflowers in one small one meadow to the West of the trail near a large single pancake rock that was sparkling with fresh rain on the leaves. We got back down about 7:30PM. I recommend doing this again.
Reviewed by Beth on 6/12/2011
I read about the pancake rocks in a newspaper article years ago, and had always vowed to hike the trail someday. That someday turned into today! My husband and I hiked to the pancake rocks. It was a beautiful day. When we reached the "crossroads" where you can go to the falls, or to the rocks, we decided since it was our first "big hike" of the season, not to over-do it and skipped the falls this trip. I have knee and back issues, so we took it very slow. It is a VERY steep trail if you're not an avid hiker (and have bad knees!) However, I knew this going in, so it was no surprise. The trail is very forested, with breathtaking mtn. views part way in. As you get higher you get amazing views of Gilette Flats down in the valley below
Reviewed by AMC on 6/7/2011
I have hiked this during the summer as well as snowshoed it during the winter. One of my favorite hikes! Today I hiked up at a pretty good pace. It took about 1 hour and 10 minutes. I jogged most of the way back down. My total time was about 2 hours. This is probably lthe fastest I have hiked it. It is good for getting into shape! Both cardio and legs workout.
Reviewed by MM on 8/15/2010
Great for Cardio. Not for beginners.
Reviewed by OMC on 8/7/2010
The hike took us up to Horsethief Falls Trail to the waterfall which was very pleasant however once to the waterfall we began our clime, we took the hike off trail. We climbed to the top of the waterfall heading north which is about a class four at that point requiring some climbing but nothing extreme. After taking the waterfall to the point at which the water is only ground seepage we began our hike east along the mountain towards the tree line. It was a beautiful hike ending right around the tree line at the top of Sentinel Point which is a gain of 2,275 feet and requiring class 4 climb at the end. The views at the top, 12,275 feet as amazing. The hike down to Pancake Rock trail was just as great.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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