The Lovell Gulch loop is a vigorous four mile trail with some good climbs and great views of Pikes Peak. The trail is an excellent place for runners and mountain bikers to train, and for equestrians to exercise their horses.
To get to the trail head just take highway 24 to Woodland Park. Turn north on Baldwin Street and drive a couple of miles until you see the filtration plant. The parking lot for the trail is just on the south side of the building.
If you are a first timer on this trail just stay to your right and avoid the network of trails in the area that lead away from the main trail. The first segment of the trail meanders down to the stream where there is an easy crossing over shallow water. Just on the other side of the stream is a sign pointing both directions for the Lovell Gulch loop. Turning left will take the hiker to the west side of the trail first. This part of the trail is flatter and has some very nice views of the mountain peaks west of Woodland Park. The right turn follows the creek through beautiful aspen stands and pine covered ravines. Wildlife, including mule deer, elk, fox and coyote are frequently seen foraging for food and fresh water along the creeks in the Pike National Forest.
The north and west areas of the trail follow the power lines over steep climbs through the pine forest. Beautiful vistas open up towards the south providing fantastic views of Pikes Peak and the surrounding wilderness area. These meadows are an excellent place to stop and recharge with some food and beverage while taking in the magnificent views.
At the very north end of the hike the trail connects with Rampart Range Road where there is a lot of unnerving gunfire. There is a shooting area near there and it is always busy. Just hustle past and the sound will diminish quickly. If you have taken the west side of the loop first, do not go onto the road. Turn right at the sign and go down the trail back into the forest. Otherwise, turn left onto the trail under the power lines.
Whether you use the trail for running, hiking, exploring or horseback riding, the Lovell Gulch trail is a beautiful place to spend a day.