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West Monument Creek Loop - Stanley Canyon

Up, Down, and All Around, Behind USAFA
id_3442638
Rating: 1 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 9 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview:  One of the easiest ways to experience many different pieces of terrain is to trek through a “loop hike.” This particular loop hike... more »

Tips:  Directions: Enter the Air Force Academy at the South Gate, exit 150 off of I-25. You’ll need photo ID, and you must be willing to have... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

This is a popular hike, but I’ve never seen the lots full. Exit the parking area onto a service road leading up into the mountains. Follow the signs to Trail #707. Once you leave the road, the trail begins its ascent up the canyon. Take your time; watch where you’re walking.

2. Stanley Reservoir Dam

1388 feet above the trailhead (8865 ft altitude) is the top of the dam holding in the Stanley Canyon Reservoir. This is a lovely lake and is a popular destination in its own right (see the guide for Stanley Canyon elsewhere on Everytrail.com). For now consider it only a brief stopping point on your way around the mountain. Hike across the dam and ... More

3. Trail #713

At first glance, the Trail #713 sign seems to be incorrectly placed. To the right is a large downed tree, which blocks your view of the trail. Work your way around the tree and start down the path (and down the mountain as well). The path is faint as it wends its way through the grassy meadow, but it never quite disappears. Down this section of... More

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4. Forest Service Road

The trail intersects another Forest Service road at this point. An old, dilapidated bridge like structure will appear in front of you as you emerge from the woods. I did not use this. A spur trail heads off to the right, where you’ll find a place you can cross West Monument Creek in a single bound. Turn left onto the FS road and continue down the ... More

5. Resume Trail #713

The marker for the resumption of trail #713 is an old stick, held up by some rocks; no sign with numbers here. The trail is barely visible at first glance. When you reach this point, you’ll see a power line pole down the hill and the road bends to the right. Don’t kick yourself if you walk right by the junction; I’ve done this twice myself.

6. Trail Split

The trail splits here. You’ll want to stay to the left as it curves back on itself. Fortunately there is a large rock arrow on the ground indicating the correct way to go. When you reach the bottom of the hill, you’ll be back beside the creek and on the FS road again. Turn left and follow this to the macadam road using the #713 signs as your guide.

7. Tesla Power Plant

The trail/road ascends past the Tesla Hydro Electric Plant. As it does it reverts to trail status and leads you over the hill and down the slope back onto USAFA property. Stay on the trail.

8. Falcon Trail

Approximately 1 mile from the Tesla Plant, you’ll come to a “T” intersection. This is the “Falcon Trail,” an eleven mile loop through the Academy. Turn left onto the trail, which will take you north again, back toward the trailhead. The trail is mostly single track, and you might encounter bicyclists; so stay alert. The trail is clearly marked... More