Cougar Clearing/ Cheyenne Mtn. State Park  LbNA # 49780 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateAug 16 2009
CountyEl Paso
LocationColorado Springs, CO
Planted ByGirl Scouts Trp. 326    
Found By CMSPRanger
Last Found Sep 13 2010
Hike Distance?

[Letterbox removed by Park Rangers Sep2010 after it was destroyed by animals and the log completely ruined. --Choi]


This letterbox was placed by Girl Scout Troop 326, from Gold Camp Elementary- home of the “Cougars”. It is located at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, across Hwy. 115 from Fort Carson. It’s approximately 4+ miles roundtrip. The hike is kid friendly, although dogs are not allowed at Cheyenne Mtn. State Park. Plan to share the trail with bikers, and make sure to beware of your footing (rattlesnakes are known to be in this area).

To begin, pass by the visitor center and go through the entry fee station ($6/car). Then head down to the Day Use Trail Head. Walk forward to the trail registration and take a left where you should see a small bridge to cross. Follow the blue markers to stay on ZOOK LOOP. You will soon come to another fork in the trail, which you should take a right on to stay on Zook Loop. At GPS marker # 60 look to the right and you should be looking over Fort Carson.

You will enter a boulder field, with a bench in the middle of it. Three trails meet here. You should take the left onto BLACKMER LOOP. Then at the next fork stay on Blackmer Loop (the left path). After walking a ways, you’ll come to where Blackmer Loop splits. Stay to the right (going north on Blackmer). At the GPS marker # 93 smell the ponderosa pine behind it (do you smell butterscotch or vanilla?). Then you will soon reach an open space. Take a sharp left and stay on Blackmer Trail. On the left of the trail you will come up to a HUGE tire. After walking up the trail, stop at the park bench and read about the pioneers and native americans and enjoy the view.

At the next fork in the road take a right onto COUGAR SHADOW. Continue up the rocky trail, and turn right into a forest area, staying on the trail. Wind towards the right into an open area, straight ahead of you will be a big rock in the middle of the trail. Once you pass this rock continue straight up the hill into another forest area, the trail will now narrow. As you come up on the right hand side you will see some rocks and an old cut down tree. Continue on the trail until you step over a small boulder in the middle of the trail. The trail will then curve to the left, where you’ll walk between two boulders. Keep walking and look up ahead of you. You’ll see a large upside down trapezoid shaped boulder off the trail. Staying on the trail, veer to your right and continue straight on the trail. You will soon step over a few small rocks in the trail. After this, keep going straight up the hill towards the tall Ponderosa Pine. At this point the trail will take a U-turn, but you will need to stop at the base of the U, where the large Ponderosa stands.

The Ponderosa Pine will have a boulder behind it as well as a clearing (the clearing is to the right of the trail), which is “COUGAR CLEARING”. Starting from the boulder that is behind the Ponderosa, walk between two boulders and take 15 paces (which is every right step), staying on the left side of the clearing. Stop in front of the first set of trees-a large pine with a skinny pine tree to its left. To your left, you’ll see a grouping of trees. This is where you’ll find the letterbox. Search between a tree base and rock for the letterbox. Hope you had fun finding our letterbox. Please contact us with feedback.