Trail Between Chipita Park and Catamount Reservoir
This 5.0 mile section of the trail climbs steeply out of Chipita Park to Crowe Gulch. From there follow the Mt. Esther Trail to the northwest. In about 1.5 miles, you join the service road for an electric power line. Watch for a large cairn marking the point where the trail leaves the service road on the right. This trail brings you out at the foot of the dam for Crystal Reservoir. Here, follow water department service roads. No private motor vehicles are allowed on these roads. Watch for Ring signs, as there are several roads in this area. As you climb out of the drainage for Crystal Reservoir, you pass turnoffs for several gravel pits. Stay on the main road (under the power lines). Once you pass the gate at the top of the road you will be walking on the exit road from North Slope Recreation Area until you reach the parking for Portal 3. Watch for traffic.
Motorized Vehicles: From the South Catamount Reservoir dam west you are on a Water Dept. service road. While it is closed to private motor vehicle traffic, you should be prepared for Department vehicles. Approximately 0.7 miles west on the service road, you join the exit road from North Slope Recreation Area. From here to North Catamount Reservoir dam the road is open to all motor vehicles.
A side trip to the summit of Mount Esther affords the hiker some nice views of Crystal Reservoir and Pikes Peak.
The Mount Esther Trail is signed Foot Traffic Only at the base trailhead. The Pikes Peak Highway provides an alternate route for bikes. Instead of taking Chipita Park Road, go to the Pikes Peak Highway tollgate. Tell them you're going to North Slope, as the fee is less. Go to the Crowe Gulch picnic area. A trail goes from there and connects to the North Slope trails for Ring the Peak at the top of the Mount Esther trail.