Eagle Peak, Air Force Academy
Eagle Peak is a trail that rivals the Manitou Springs incline. If you are looking for an alternative to the Manitou Springs incline, it doesn’t get much better than this.
It is a tough climb, along a pretty rugged trail. You go up the trail through the woods, and soon leave Air Force grounds. After ascending the trail along Goat Camp Creek, you’ll top out briefly in beautiful aspen filled meadow. The trail then turns south. You’ll want to follow the a series of white spray painted arrows and yellow spray painted dots as you go south and UP the steep ascent to the summit. You’ll be boulder hoping for this last part, so be careful.
The climb ascends 1900 feet in 1.25 miles. The peak stands at 9368 feet and has dangerous cliffs on the east side. You don’t want to get too close to that eastern edge. A cadet fell 200 feet there in 2006. (The cadet actually survived.)
On the grounds of the US Air Force Academy are two parking areas that serve as trailhead parking. The first is the Arnold Hall Parking area, the second is the Visitor’s Center Parking Lot. Both are publicly accessible via the North Gate.
From either north or south of the Academy, take the North Gate Road exit off of I-25 and head through the North Gate.
Pass through the North Gate. It is usually open to the public from around 8 to 6, though this depends on secuity levels.
Continue straight on Academy Drive which will head west, then it will turn to the south and you will pass the athletic field complex on the left.
Both parking areas will be to the left and are easy to find.
You know you have gone to far if you try to pass through a small security checkpoint south of the Visitor’s Center.
Walk up the gravel road to the west (across the street) about a quarter mile. The trailhead will be on the west side of the road.
The Academy is very well signed and it should be easy to find the way. Base hours for visitors are 8am.-6pm so you won’t be climbing in the dark.