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Seven Bridges & 

Captain Jacks Trail 

 Colorado Springs, Colorado 

 

 

Photographs of 7 Bridges in Winter

 

7 Bridges lower portion near start

 

 

Trip Details:

7 Bridges to Captain Jacks Loop, Colorado Springs, Colorado 

Took Took the 7 Bridges Trail straight-up through Jones Park, and continued to the meeting with the Pipeline Trail, but continued NW.  Followed the downward (east) loop rather than cresting when the trail met the Captain Jacks multi-purpose trail.

After coming down on Captain Jacks, I took the upper columbine Trail once I could see the road to return to my car at the Gold Camp Road parking lot.

Note: many consider Captain Jacks to be the multi-purpose portion trail between "the second tunnel" on Lower Gold Camp and the High Drive.  Some refer to the trail from High Drive west as Buckhorn rather than Captain Jacks.  Not me though.

Alternate Loop: Up 7 Bridges to Pipeline Trail follow to Trail 701 then Gold Camp Road near Rosemont Reservoir - take trail 647 down to mining road and go South - take trail 629 down to east at fence line - follow to St. Mary's Falls -  round trip 6 hours - sights bristlecone pine, wild turkey, Gold Camp Road.

 

Photographs of 7 Bridges in Winter

 

 

Trailhead Start Sign (just off road)

Jones Park 2 miles: large open meadow with miners cabin remains

Deer Park 4.2  best reached from St Mary's Falls Trail

Frosty Park: top ridge requires turn on to the Pipeline Trail

Rosemont Reservoir  9.8 water shed

 

Directions:  

Trailhead: From Colorado Springs go west on Cheyenne Blvd to the Starsmoor Nature Center and continue west in the North Cheyenne Canyon, past Helen Hunt Falls, to the Gold Camp Road "parking area" (approximately 8 miles).  Walk approximately 1/2 mile on the closed Gold Camp Rd. to the bend in the road to find the trailhead, and head west.

Summary: First portion of the hike is marked by the 7 bridges that are crossed in a easy steam-side hike.  Rock foothills terrain with steep canyon walls and a series of small waterfalls.

The second portion is marked by much more elevation gain, a rougher trail and larger rock formations while staying near the stream.

The third portion goes away from the stream across a sandy cliff and up to Jones Park a open meadow of aspens where miner's once lived.  

Next is the hook in to the Pipeline Trail named for the abandoned waterline that may be seen next to the trail in many places.  I elected not to take the Pipeline but to continue to the upper meadows and the hook-in to Captain Jacks Trail.  

Turned to the east in the loop around the meadow to start down Captions Jacks, past the old mine, the famous "rock-field," to the creek-side stop.

When I could see the Gold Camp Road from the trail, I turned south on the upper Columbine Trail to return to the main "parking area" on the lower Gold Camp Road rather than continuing on Captain Jacks to the Upper Gold Camp Road multi- purpose parking area.

Bridge 4 of 7?

Above one of the waterfalls is a best resting point bridge.  The seven bridges are loosely defined as to number.  This is the 4th bridge up depending how you count.

 

 

Summary


Highlights:


Foothills streamside hike, wild flowers, rock formations, and of course, the 7 bridges.  Raspberry season late July and August.

Near:

Colorado Springs, CO

Scenery:

Streamside in foothills meadows. Canyons.

Distance:

appx. 9 miles round trip

Elevation Gain:

unknown; not severe

Hike Time:

4 hours

Difficulty:

Easy to moderate

Trail Condition:

Well maintained trail lower portion then average trail to top.

HikeType:

Loop by going up 7 Bridges, connecting to Captain Jacks down, upper Columbine to parking.

 

Stream View

Down the Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stream View

Down the Valley.

 

Boulder Field 

 

 

Lost Feather on Raspberry Bush

A bird lost this feather that was blown to one of numerous raspberry bushes along the trail.

 

 

Stretch Your Wings

Butterfly on wildflower.

 

 

Landmark Shelter Rock

This rock is a landmark that is used during rainstorms as a shelter.

 

 

Cascade during runoff

 

 

Sandy Rock Crossing 

on way to Jones Park

 

 

 

Aspen Grove in Jones Park

Aspen forests are the only upland deciduous forests in the region.  Aspen ecosystems are characterized by their rich herbaceous under-story and diverse animal life.  Most groves are "clones" of one tree that spread by suckering.  The grove retains the same genetic characteristics of the original tree causing the leaves to change colors at the same time and have a uniform leafs and patterns.

Aspen forests colonize the disturbed soils from mining or grazing and prevent soil from erosion.  Aspen, occasionally, form climax ecosystems that conifers are unable to invade that may last thousands of years even though the individual aspens rarely exceed 200 years.  This meadow is likely an example.

 

 

Pipeline Trail hook-in

I did not take the Pipeline Trail that heads south, or east, at this point, but went west instead.

The pipeline trail is the trail that delivered water to Colorado Springs at one time, but is now abandoned.

 

Upper meadow

Trail joined Captain Jacks at west end of the meadow.  I went downhill (east).  Captain Jacks continues to the west toward Rosemont Reservoir and up to Mt. Baldy eventually.  At this point, the trail belongs to the trail motorcyclists, extreme power walkers, and backpackers.

 

Old Mine

This open mine goes back about 30 feet.  Located to north of trail.  Turn on to Capt. Jacks.

 

 

Rock Field

For trail motorcyclists, the Captain Jack's Trail is known as an "expert" level ride.  The prime reasons include this stretch of rocks that form the "trail."  Captain Jacks is a multi purpose trail (see below).

 

 

Trail 666 Sign at Creek turn in trail

 

 

Trail 666

This point marks the junction of Trail 666.  Nice creek-side rest.

This off-shoot heading north-east goes to Bear Creek Park just above the Ranger's house.  To the West, it joins Captain Jacks.  I continued on the steep, rough switchback across the stream. 

 

 

View From the Top

Colorado Springs from lower Captain Jacks to NE

 

 

View From the Top

Colorado Springs from lower Captain Jacks to SE