Fremont County, Colorado
View this on the Colorado Trailheads Map
Nearby Towns: Cripple Creek, Canon City
Nearby Trails: Shelf Road, Phantom Canyon
Trail Length: 7.28 miles
Elevation: 6,324 to 7,412
Named after a big campground not too far from the trailhead, The Bank trail is a large loop full of bumpy sections, hill climbs, steep descents and scenery. The start and end are very close to each other, which is also very close to the end of the Shelf Road trail.
The Bank could be run in either direction, and both directions would be fun and different from each other. If you run it in the counter-clockwise direction, you start at the end of the pavement and follow signs to The Bank and the campground.
There is a lot of camping just inside the trail. It is very modern, with a large group camping area. You may want to stop to review the maps at the campground, including maps of the trail itself. Though you can find lots of additional trails on a topographic map, a lot of the trails you see are not available to 4x4 vehicles. The map at the campground is very informative. Also note that some of the trails seen on a topo map are now on private, developed land.
After you pass by the campground, the trail stays down in Espinosa Gulch where the climb is rocky and bumpy. Soon you follow the trail as it climbs out of the canyon and it gets much smoother. There are some good views from up at the top.
When you come to the "Y" in the road, stay to the right following road 5825. Though you can go uphill to follow road 5830, it dead-ends and offers no additional views or challenges.
There are many mines in this area, and all of them are private. Do not explore these mines, as they are not available to the public and they can be very dangerous. You should stay on the trail, but if you walk away from the trail you should always be careful. There are open holes everywhere.
There is one section next to the trail that is fenced off, with an opening in the fencing at the trail. You can walk through this opening and into the large crack, but it doesn't continue for very long.
As you start coming back down switchbacks and off of the big hill, take care to always follow the road that looks the most traveled. This will keep you on the main trail. You will circle back around and end up where you started.
You may want to turn around and go back around the loop the opposite way to enjoy an entirely different trail.
Information last updated on June 24th, 2008.
From Highway 50 at Canon City, turn right on Dozier Avenue, then right on Field Avenue. You will see signs for The Bank when the pavement ends in 11 miles.
Meet at the large air-down area at the trailhead.