Raspberry Mountain near Divide delivers on views and berries | Take a Hike | North Springs Edition

From Colorado Springs, head west into the mountains on U.S. 24 for about 25 miles to Divide, then south on Colorado Highway 67 for about 4.25 miles before turning left on Forest Service Road 383. Follow the winding dirt road for about 2.5 miles to the large parking area on the left. Note that this location is now the official trailhead for Raspberry Mountain.

Cross the sturdy bridge and continue into the shady spruce-fir forest where the reedy song of the Hermit Thrush can be heard echoing from the trees.

Follow some steep yet short switchbacks up a ridge, then swing northward across some flatter terrain with open meadows. After about .75 miles, cross a creek then intersect with FS 385 and bear right.

Head northeast on the old road for about another .75 miles and keep a sharp eye for an intersection and bear left on the Raspberry Mountain Trail, which begins on an old 4WD road. Head westward for a few hundred yards to another intersection and turn right to begin the climb to Raspberry Mountain summit.

The summit trail lacks switchbacks so the climb of about 500 feet is steep and direct but still moderate on the difficulty scale. Think positive as only about .75 miles remain to the 10,605-foot summit. The trail fades as hikers approach rocky areas and boulders, look for cairns marking the way up and to the left to finish the climb to the top.

The summit block features rock outcrops reminiscent of nearby Pancake Rocks. Scramble up the rocks for panoramic views, with the North Slope Reservoirs to the east, Pikes Peak and Sentinel Point to the south, the Sawatch and Sangre de Cristo ranges far off to the west and a wide open landscape to the north.

Hikers will indeed encounter raspberry plants along the route, including the summit area, but note that many of the plants on the summit with a different leaf shape and larger white flowers are a variety known as Boulder Raspberry. Boulder Raspberries are very seedy and basically non-edible.

After relaxing for a bit on the summit, retrace the route back to the trailhead.

Joe LaFleur has lived in Woodland Park since 2016 and is a hiking enthusiast who hits the trails weekly. Contact Joe with questions or feedback at joelafleur@peakinter.net. Hiking is great exercise, but can be hazardous. Always be sure to plan well, check the weather, bring a printed map, tell someone where and when you are going, and contact them when you return safely.

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