Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cathedral Spires Trail, Custer State Park


This is another beautiful trail in Custer State Park. The Cathedral Spires are a group of granite pillars located in the Needles area that have been designated a National Natural Landmark. Besides lots of interesting rock formations, we got to watch a few climbers along the way.


The trail map said this one was 1.5 miles and strenuous, but it seemed shorter. There were some difficult, steep, rocky areas, but it wasn’t as bad as the Little Devil’s Tower trail. There were no majestic views at the end, as the trail brings you to the base of the Cathedral Spires, but we enjoyed the rocks and other scenery.

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We had to go back through the narrow tunnel on our way home, and this time the tour bus was in front of us. Yes, he made it slowly through, again with a big audience. Cheap entertainment!


We passed right by Sylvan Lake, so I asked Jim if he would mind trying to find a parking place so we could walk around the mile long lake trail. I bribed him by letting him get an ice cream cone. Also the tour bus was in the parking lot and he wanted to speak to the driver. He said the bus is 96” wide and the tunnel is 100”. At the narrowest point the mirrors touch the sides. They make this run daily so it’s no big deal to the drivers. Must be fun for the passengers, though.

This has got to be one of the prettiest lakes we’ve seen, with all the huge rocks in and around it. And it was fun climbing up on them along the way.

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We’ve got one more day left on our Custer State Park pass, so today we are planning a hike in a different section of the park. Because of the elevation here, temperatures have been quite pleasant, unlike much of the country. And no mosquitoes. We did have severe thunderstorms several evenings, along with some small hail, but we survived unscathed.


  1. Hi Guys ...I really like seeing where you are now because we were there when Debbie was a little girl. I'm so loving having her here and will be able to see her in the winter too. Great pictures. Pat

  2. Awesome pictures!! Very scenic and beautiful. We are hoping to make it to this area next year. Can't wait. :)

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  3. What interesting rock formations! I'm going to look up Custer State Park so I can feed the info to my navigator...aka Jonathan.

    BTW, Jonathan said the best book you can get on camping in Colorado is called Colorado Campgrounds. Here's the link:

    That's how we've found all our sweet spots! He has that book highlighted, tabbed, and I think I even see spots with lip prints from him kissing it. He seriously LOVES this book!

  4. Thanks Nellie. We just made reservations for 5 days at Rocky Mountain NP for the middle of August. Will check with you for further recommendations as we get closer to CO.

    I hope you are limiting Jonathan's time alone with that book.