Mt Herman Loop - 11 Miles

Trailhead / Access

The Trailhead for this course is at the intersection of Schilling Ave and Lindbergh Road. There is another trailhead in the area but this one is more direct for the trail for this course. To get to the trailhead, you have to go west through Monument on 2nd street. Turn left after crossing the tracks and take this to Mt Herman Rd. Right on Mt Herman Road to Nursery Road (3/4 mile or so). Left on Nursery Road and it will intersect with Schilling Ave where you will go right. At the sharp left in the road, look for a place to park. There is a gate at the entrance to the trail. This trailhead has been described as the "Monument Trailhead" to distinguish it from the "Mt Herman Trailhead".

Trail Summary

This course works its way south from the trailhead and around the southern side of Mt Herman. For the first 4 miles, it mostly climbs to the high point then works it way down except for a smaller climb at the northern end of Mt Herman. The course is hilly and mostly rocky/washed out single track.

The early part of the trail follows FS#715. Early on, there are a lot of trail options that can be confusing, but once you have gotten on the smaller trail at about 1/2 mile, the trail is easy to follow. At the northern end of the trail where it turns to head back towards the south, there is a section where the trail skits some private property. The trail is also a little difficult to follow so watch carefully. Do not enter the private property even tho there is a rough trail that direction. Stay west of this. I missed a turn somewhere and had to bushwack using my GPS to find my way back to the trail but once I found it, it was obvious.

The last part of the trail was easier, it joins up with the trails in the Monument Preserve and these are wider and softer

Course Description

At the trailhead, there is a nice wide trail inviting you to head south. Follow this trail for about 1/2 mile where you will reach Memorial Grove, dedicated to forest service personnel. You pass fs#715 trail but you will join it a bit later. At the end of grove, there is a narrow trail that takes off on the left. Take this trail. For the first couple of miles, you will wander up and down through scrub oak on a rocky narrow track climbing steeply at times and somewhat parallel to Mt Herman Road.

After a couple of miles, you will start getting into more treed terrain. The trail continues to climb to you hit the high point of the course at 4 miles. Mile 2.5 to 4 is quite steep. Hang in there, it becomes easier after that. You cross Mt Herman Rd at about 3.75 miles and climb up on #715 then start dropping down into the canyon behind Mt Herman.

At about 4.5 miles, the trail levels out a bit. It is downhill but compared to the earlier trail, it almost seems flat. This is a very pretty area with the stream running along and many wild flowers in bloom spring to fall. This will continue until about 6.9 miles where the trail will climb quickly to cross the ridge and back to the front side of Mt Herman. There is a tricky spot about 7.5 miles, where the trail splits. There is a wooden sign that says HZ Trail on the right fork. This is the trail you want to take.

This section of trail wanders up and down with a bunch of switchbacks some only a few feet away, however, do not cut over, this is bad for the trails and creates erosion points that will degrade the trails over time. At about 8.9 miles, we lost the trail and saw the private property. I think we took the wrong trail. At this point, using GPS navagation we corrected and found the proper trail. There is probably a fork and took the wrong one. If there is, take the uphill fork.

Once back on the trail, you will run into Red Rocks Drive, follow the road for a short distance and take the trail cutoff to the left side of the road where it joins Mt Herman Rd. The rest of the trail is more open, wide and soft. You will come out at the grove where you turn left and head back to the trailhead.