Serpents Trail

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3.9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5050-5840 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Usage: Hiking - No Dogs
Time: 1 hr. 45 mins.
Facilities: Toilet at Devils Kitchen Picnic Area
Trailhead: Devils Kitchen
Fee: $5 individual - $10 vehicle - $25 annual pass
 

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The Serpents Trail is located near the east entrance to the Colorado National Monument. The trail follows the original road that was built before the construction of Rim Rock Drive to provide access to the Glade Park area. It had at the time the nickname of the 'Crookedest Road in the World'.


Besides the Serpents Trail the Devils Kitchen trailhead provides access to the Echo Canyon, Old Gordon, Devils Kitchen, No Thoroughfare Canyon trails and the No Thoroughfare Canyon Petroglyph site. The parking lot at the trailhead is often times full but there is even more parking at the Devils Kitchen Picnic Area. Even when the parking areas have a lot of vehicles the trails never seem crowded with so many different places to hike.


It is amazing to look at all  the work that was required for the construction of the road using the means available in the early 1920's. Thousands of rocks both hewn and uncut were stacked and cemented together to contour the road over the boulders and to fill in the low spots.


The trail rounds numerous switchbacks, climbing steadily higher and higher. There are plenty of incredible vistas in all directions to entertain the mind and give a sense of fulfillment that the strain of the sometimes arduous journey was being rewarded with more than the promise of a healthier body but also of a renewing of the soul.


The upper end of the trail rejoins Rimrock Drive where there is another trailhead and parking area big enough for 4 or 5 vehicles. There is a tunnel for the present day road that passes through the cliff beneath the last section of the Serpents Trail.


You can get a good view of some of the switchbacks looking down the side of the mountain.


How much longer can this boulder stay upright? It looks like a flying saucer from some angles.


A cute little Rock Wren poses for the camera.


How fitting to see a gopher snake on the Serpents Trail. They are said to bring good luck if you see one.


There are locals that hike or jog the Serpents trail as part of their daily fitness routine. The distance and elevation gain of the trail provide a good cardio workout that once you get used to it is easy to repeat at least 4 or 5 times per week. If you would like to try this historical trail for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.