DIRECTIONS: From I-25 in Monument, Colorado, take 105 east and turn right (south) on 83. Turn left (east) on Hodgen Road. Turn right (south) on Eastonville Road and left (east) on Sweet Road. Turn right (south) on Elbert Road briefly and another left (east) on Sweet Road. Follow Sweet Road and turn left (north) on Bradshaw Road. Turn left on Cleese Ct, good dirt road, and right (west) on Lovaca Drive. The trailhead is at the end of Lovaca Drive
Homestead Ranch Regional Park, in the Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, is a great place for a hike in the plains. The trail system at Homestead Ranch explores an evergreen filled bluff that rises from the plains. The main trailhead for this park has a large parking area, playground, picnic area, and a fishing pond. However, if you want to explore a less visited trailhead, then check out the Lovaca Trailhead on the park's eastern edge. From this trailhead, you can access the Homestead Ranch Trail and link to other loops, such as the Rattlesnake Trail.
The Rattlesnake Trail is a short but beautiful hike. From the trailhead, follow the Homestead Ranch Trail west and turn left (south) at the first junction. The trail heads towards the trees and soon reaches the rocky edge of the bluff. A single track trail parallel's the main trail and is a nice alternative to the wide main trail. The trail skirts rocky ledges and provides nice views of the surrounding area.
As you follow the trail, you'll soon reach the overlook and you'll know it when you see it. The overlook is a large clear area with a sharp cliff face and a view stretching all the way to Pike's Peak and the Southern Front Range Mountains. This is a stunning spot and would be an amazing place to watch the sunset. The trail continues to follow the edge of the bluff past the overlook. If you are following the single track then it will join up with some power lines and return to the main trail near the junction with the Homestead Ranch Trail. The main trail does the same, just a hundred feet or so to the east.
The trail junction with both the Homestead Ranch Trail and the Wagon Wheel Trail is located at an interesting park feature with a windmill, small pond, and horse tie-up area. At this point you have two options for your return. The Wagon Wheel Trail heads north to explore the northern reaches of the park for about a mile before returning to the trailhead. The Homestead Ranch Trail heads straight back to the trailhead for 1/2 a mile. We took the Homestead Ranch Trail back as the weather turned bad and started to hail.
This short loop is great for kids and great for a short hike along the butte. The views are truly impressive and well worth the visit. Homestead Ranch Regional Park may be a small park, but it has a lot to offer. Enjoy!
HIKES BY REGION
NATIONAL PARK HIKES
- BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
- COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT
- CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT
- FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
- MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
- GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK
- HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT
- SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT
- HIKES BY CATEGORY
- $UPPORT GHC
- INTERACTIVE MAP
Homestead Ranch Regional Park
Date Hiked: April 19, 2020
Distance: 1.7 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 200ft
Elevation: 7,348 to 7,386 ft
Trailhead Lat/Long: 39.07906, -104.51579
Managing Agency: El Paso County Parks