The Crystal Trail is a beautiful trail through dense pine forest reminiscent of the Great Northwest, complete with legends of Big Foot sightings. Crystal Falls, steep switchbacks and a spectacular views of Pikes Peak make this a journey well worth the effort.
The Crystal Trail is located in Green Mountain Falls near Highway 24 just northwest of Colorado Springs. There is no parking at the trail head, so hikers must park in town and walk. A steep walk up Hotel Street to Boulder Street takes a few minutes followed by an even steeper walk up Boulder street to the top of the hill and the trail head. This segment of the trail takes you to Crystal Falls where you ford the creek over some stepping stones. Waterproof hiking boots are a good idea here as you may have to take a few steps in the water.
A short hike on the mountainside takes you to the Crystal Trail segment where you will turn right and head up the side of the mountain. It is a tough climb up a couple miles of switch backs with great views of the town of Green Mountain Falls, the Pike National Forest and Bald Mountain on the other side of the valley.
A little more than an hour of hiking will bring hikers to the top of the ridge where the trail winds through the Notch, the pass through the walls of Ute Pass. From there it is only about another mile along aspen lined Crystal Creek to the Pikes Peak Highway and dam. Late September hikers are rewarded there with glorious autumn color on the mountainside of Pikes Peak and the awesome blue depths of Crystal Creek Reservoir under the amazing deep blue Colorado sky.