Cheesman Canyon Hike, Pike National Forest

Sedalia is our go-to for hikes when there is still snow or mud in the higher elevations. While I prefer to hike in the trees, Cheesman Canyon is perfect when the weather is cooler, and you need a little sun exposure to keep you warm. I don’t love hiking when it’s hot, so this isn’t a hike I would personally do in the middle of summer unless I started out really early in the morning.


You can get there by taking Highway 67 or via Highway 285. Either way, it’s a beautiful drive. Highway 67 was just graded, so it’s nice and smooth, although I’ve driven up in years past when it was a rough ride. Parking for the Cheesman Canyon Trail hike is located at the Cheesman fishing access lot. The lot fills up pretty quickly as it is a very popular fly fishing area.

To get to the canyon opening, you will cross a service road and take a half-mile hike through the woods. It looks a lot like any other wooded hike in the beginning, but once you hike past the sign detailing the fishing below, you will soon be hiking along the South Platte River and taking in some amazing views.


The trail is narrow, and while it does go up and down some as you go along, you are traversing the side of a mountain the entire time. If you are afraid of heights, this isn’t the hike for you. There is a lot of loose gravel, so hiking with small children or dogs wouldn’t be ideal either. Good shoes are a must, and hiking poles would be helpful. However, the lack of elevation gain makes this a relatively easy hike.

The rock croppings are stunning, and seeing the fly fishers casting their lines is just so quintessentially Colorado. There are spots to stop along the way to have your lunch or lay on a rock and soak in the sun.

Once you get to the sandy beach area, the trail gets pretty scrambly, but keep going; you’re almost to the reservoir!

The sound of the rushing water, the rock formations, and the blue skies make this a memorable hike worth the scrambling along the way.

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