Lincoln Mountain has two trails. One climbs the mesa and loops around on top. The other wanders around some smaller hills to the northeast.
Here’s the mountain from the parking lot.
The trail head (although I didn’t take this photo until the end of the day).
I did the Lincoln Mountain loop first. The trail took a lot longer to get up the mountain than it needed to. Some of the switchbacks only gained about three feet of elevation.
The top was prairie with grass and not much else.
But the views …
Looking east to southwest, with the parking lot in the middle and Pikes Peak on the right.
Another shot looking east from the mountain top. The elevation is 361 feet above the parking lot.
Pikes Peak to the southwest
Looking straight west
When I finished that trail, it was just a little after 3:00, and I was feeling good. I decided to walk the other trail too.
It climbed a little outcrop called Dewey’s Hill.
The trail wound through some pine woods on the hill, then dipped down into the grasslands and took a long time to get back to the parking lot.
The highlight of this section was a Northern Shrike who flew perch-to-perch ahead of me for a while. Shrikes are songbirds, but they’re also predatory. You can see the hook on its bill. They catch mice and small birds, but since they don’t have talons to hold their prey while they rip it apart, they impale it on a thorn or barbed wire fence.
If you’re looking for an uncrowded, pleasant, but not-too-strenuous hike, this place is great. The mountain loop definitely goes uphill, but the views from the top are spectacular. The ridge loop is flatter, and the Dewey’s Hill portion is beautiful, but at least half the trail just wanders through short grass prairie. Or, you could do like I did, and walk both. Together they make for an easy 8.6 mile hike.