Signal Butte is one weird way off the beaten path, straight up ½ mile hike. Not long but gosh, so worth the views. 

 

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I debated writing about Signal Butte since it’s such a quick little trail and out in the middle of nowhere, but we loved it and I decided to share.

 

After a lot of driving to actually find this hidden gem it was a great climb simply to get out of the car! (Below I added simple directions to reach this hidden gem). Not the way we eventually found it.

 

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Its an unmarked Trailhead #719, but the Conical Peak sticks up so high, it can’t be missed. The very beginning of the trail we hiked through a tiny forested area that quickly opened up to what the Hayden fire years ago left behind.

 

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We hiked counterclockwise spiraling upward 1000 ft over very loose rocks, some crumbled rock steps that lead us up a very steep trail to finally reach the summit.


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The expansive views along the way made stopping often a treat. And we stopped often to take a look and take a breath.

Go on a clear Colorado day and come just to witness the stellar views in every direction.

Binoculars are now on our hiking gear wish list. We did not have any and really wished we did today!

 

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Two golden eagles flew slowly off just before we crested the top.

It was so unexpected and so startling that I forgot all about my camera and watched in awe as they gracefully left us across the sky and over the valley.

 

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Scrambling across the top of Signal Butte the feeling of being nowhere is intense.

The conical peak is the tallest thing in a vast valley floor that stretches for miles.Farther beyond having astounding views of Pike Peak, the Sawatch Range, TenMile/Mosquito Range and the Lost Creek WIlderness.

 

IF PLANNING A DAY HIKE this is not it … its certainly worth checking out but I’d plan more for your day. Add it to a road trip or a mountain bike trip. Loads of backcountry 4×4 and MTB trails surrounding the Butte. Hop off and go up this unique trail. 

So many day hikes in Colorado from mild to adventurous trails … these are a few of our favorites:

Beginner Trails in Colorado’s Backcountry 

McCullough Gulch Trail is as Good as it Gets!

Astonishing Views Hiking Raspberry Mountain

Lower Cataract Lake Trail, a Colorado Hiking Gem

 

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We found this metal plate embedded in the rock and were happy to see we actually were on Signal Butte. Its small and dates 1955. Unsure the meaning but did find a curious website: The Geological oddity of Signal Butte

HOW TO FIND THIS HIDDEN GEM: from the traffic light at US 24 and Hwy 67 in Divide, turn north for a short distance and veer left. Stay on CR 51 for about 11 miles. Turn right onto FSR 363. (Only a small Forest Service Road marker). Watch for it its easy to miss! Go 1/2 mile and veer left at the intersection onto FSR 362 (easy to miss marker so make sure you veer left. Follow for 3.3 miles until you reach FS 363A. You can’t miss it as the Butte is on your left and the road visibly leads right into a parking area.

 

TIDBITS:

Rated: moderate

1 mile out and back

Dog friendly with a leash

Start elevation: 8900 ft – End elevation: 9423 ft

Phantom Creek / Signal Butte Loop – popular Colorado 4×4 off road. 

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