The Finest Hikes in Colorado Springs

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Boulder could get all the eye, however relating to mountain climbing Colorado’s Entrance Vary, there are riches within the hills close to Colorado Springs. This entrance level into the state’s mountains provides dozens of choices for mountain climbing, whether or not your sights are set on a brief however memorable trek, a difficult day-long tour, or a multi-day escape. 

For a lot of vacationers this city is synonymous with Pikes Peak. However there’s rather more to Colorado Springs mountain climbing, from partially paved however spectacular hikes via the Backyard of the Gods to the difficult endurance check of the Manitou Incline. 

Finest Dayhikes Close to Colorado Springs

Finest Hikes Close to Colorado Springs: Backyard of the Gods and Purple Rock Canyon

West Cimarron Avenue separates the landscapes of the Backyard of the Gods and Purple Rock Canyon, however the two public parks share an historic historical past: an inland sea, acres of dunes, and sandy seashores that left behind the good crimson spires that enchant hikers right this moment.

Palmer Path Loop

The Finest Hikes in Colorado Springs
Backyard of the Gods (Picture: Ronda Kimbrow Pictures/Second through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 4 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 597 toes
  • Path Kind: Loop
  • Problem: Average

There’s a purpose the Backyard of the Gods is so common. Copper-colored rock formations jut from the panorama in otherworldly formations with nicknames like Siamese Twins, Three Graces and Kissing Camels. The Palmer Path Loop (discover the trailhead close to the primary parking zone) avoids all however a tiny little bit of the paved walkway and dodges the worst of the crowds. And the loop’s elevation permits hikers to look out over a large panorama of the park’s most spectacular rock formations. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Purple Rock Rim Path and Purple Rock Canyon Path

Rock Quarry on Rock Canyon Trail in Red Rock Open Space Park
Rock Quarry on Rock Canyon Path in Purple Rock Open Area Park (Picture: SWKrullImaging/iStock through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 335 toes
  • Path Kind: Loop
  • Problem: Straightforward

Consider Purple Rock Canyon as a mini-Backyard of the Gods. House to comparable russet-colored rock hoodoos, slabs and ridges, the canyon was as soon as the positioning of a quarry that mined constructing sand, sandstone and gypsum. Within the coronary heart of the canyon, rock cuts and retention ponds stay from a century in the past, and have develop into a part of the panorama. Your complete loop is a memorable and numerous pure expertise, with colourful rock partitions, uncovered grasslands, honey-colored ridgelines and wildlife that frequents the ponds’ shores. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Finest Hikes close to Colorado Springs: Manitou Springs

The effervescent mineral springs of Manitou Springs have drawn consideration since prehistoric occasions. At present, the city’s location between downtown Colorado Springs, Backyard of the Gods and Pikes Peak makes it a great base for exploring the world’s outside points of interest.

The Incline Path

 View from Manitou Incline
View from Manitou Incline (Picture: Shunyu Fan/iStock through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 2 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 1978 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Exhausting

Constructed on the positioning of a cog railway that after led to the highest of Manitou Mountain, the Incline Path follows the route of the outdated tracks with 2,744 tough, uneven stairs that lead one mile straight up. Climbing the route has develop into a neighborhood endurance check, however past the bragging rights, the views from the Incline are heavenly. Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs and the plains past are nothing wanting magnificent, particularly within the early morning hours. To accommodate the massive quantity of people that climb The Incline, the Metropolis of Colorado Springs has instituted a compulsory free reservation system

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Ute Indian Path

  • Size: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 2,000 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Average

The Ute Indian Path begins close to Manitou Springs’ Incline Path and, in response to native park workers, ranks as one of many oldest migratory routes within the US, courting again roughly 10,000 years. The path follows a route used to entry Ute searching grounds, buying and selling companions and the sacred waters of Manitou Springs. Within the 1860s, the Ute Path remodeled right into a wagon street, linking Colorado Springs with the mining camps at Leadville. After a quick however steep incline, the Ute Path climbs extra steadily, passing via ponderosa pine and Douglas fir with spectacular views of Colorado Springs and the plains at factors alongside the way in which. Interpretive indicators level out websites related to the path’s lengthy historical past. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Purple Mountain Path

  • Size: 2 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 826 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Average

An ideal choice for these searching for solitude, shade, and surroundings with solely a brief window to hike, the Purple Mountain Path leads up above the city of Manitou Springs, only a brief distance from the extra common Incline Path. After a gradual ascent via scrub oak and grasses, the path snakes upward via ponderosa pine and Douglas fir earlier than breaking out onto the height’s uncovered rocky summit, with pretty views of the Entrance Vary and Manitou Springs. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Finest Hikes close to Colorado Springs: North Cheyenne Cañon Park

Positioned southwest of Colorado Springs, this park is dominated by its 1,000-foot-deep canyon and the creek that carved it, the North Cheyenne. Discover the area’s winding trails and fairly waterfalls only a brief drive from downtown.

Seven Bridges Path

view from trail in North Cheyenne Canyon Park
view from path in North Cheyenne Canyon Park (Picture: “18 June 16 Cookstove Mountain” by ethanbeute is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.)
  • Size: 3.5 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 912 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Average

The Seven Bridges Path follows North Cheyenne Creek, a fairly spring that tumbles via a boulder-strewn reduce close to the foot of Kineo Mountain. Up and over rocky footpaths, twisted tree roots, and the gurgling creek, the path provides simply sufficient problem to be attention-grabbing. An added attraction is the trail’s seven wood bridges, which cross over the water and provides the route its identify. Proceed onward to hitch up with different space trails Forest Service Path 622A, 668 or 720, or head again after the seventh bridge. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

St. Mary’s Falls Path

St. Marys Falls
St. Marys Falls (Picture: “18 June 16 Saint Mary’s Falls” by ethanbeute is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.)
  • Size: 6.5 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 1,395 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Average

Towering evergreen bushes, a fairly creek and two waterfalls appeal to hikers to this path that begins in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, southwest of Colorado Springs. Observe the path’s gradual incline because it winds via Buffalo Canyon and after almost two miles you’ll encounter the primary cascade, the smaller of the 2. After three miles, observe the spur to Mount Rosa for terrific views of the encompassing mountains, or proceed to the bottom of the second waterfall, the 300-foot St. Mary’s Falls.

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Finest Hikes Close to Colorado Springs: Metropolis Parks

It appears each neighborhood in Colorado Springs lies near a metropolis park or “open house.” They’re very best for household hikes, canine walks, a night exercise or alternatives to acclimate to the elevation earlier than hitting the area’s tougher trails. 

Templeton Path

Palmer Park, Colorado Springs
Palmer Park, Colorado Springs (Picture: Daaku026/iStock through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 3.9 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 860 toes
  • Path Kind: Loop
  • Problem: Average

Colorado Springs is dwelling to quite a few metropolis parks, a lot of them crisscrossed by mountain climbing trails. 

Palmer Park, set northeast of downtown and traversed by greater than 25 miles of trails, is without doubt one of the most interesting. Observe the Templeton Loop to expertise the park’s numerous landscapes: wide-open grasslands common with mule deer, heavily-shaded forest walks, boulder scrambles and uncovered crimson rock overlooks with views of the busy metropolis beneath. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Ute Valley Black and Blue Loop

Ute Valley Park
Ute Valley Park (Picture: “Ute Valley Park” by timmarshall is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.)
  • Size: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 193 toes
  • Path Kind: Loop
  • Problem: Straightforward

Ute Valley Park lies simply north of Colorado Springs. The Black and Blue Loop permits a fast shot of nature and a nice hike within the midst of the town, tracing the perimeters of a gorge and revealing views of the park’s signature rocky outcroppings. Preserve an eye fixed out for the park’s mule deer, snakes, and foxes as you stroll, in addition to colourful birds just like the lazuli bunting and green-tailed towhee.

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Finest Hikes close to Colorado Springs: the Royal Gorge Space

A simple drive from the town, Royal Gorge is a well-liked weekend escape from Colorado Springs. The immensity of this canyon and its scenic 20 miles of trails makes the gorge value a go to. 

Canyon Rim and Far Out Loop

Royal Gorge
Royal Gorge (Picture: narawon/iStock through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 7.23 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 1,303 toes
  • Path Kind: Double lollipop
  • Problem: Straightforward 

The most well-liked path within the Royal Gorge, Canyon Rim follows the lip of the canyon (as its identify suggests) to scenic views of the Sangre de Cristo vary, the gorge and the Arkansas River alongside the way in which. The trailhead sits on the midpoint of Canyon Rim Path on Route 3A, the primary entrance to Royal Gorge Park and fewer than one mile from the guests middle and points of interest on the Royal Gorge Bridge. Take the western lollipop for a shorter hike. The japanese lollipop consists of the Far Out lookout level, with among the most spectacular canyon views within the park. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Made within the Shade

  • Size: 3 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 380 toes
  • Path Kind: Loop
  • Problem: Average

Via evergreen forest, throughout uncovered rose-colored granite, up and over a rocky facet canyon of the Royal Gorge, Made within the Shade provides numerous spectacular surroundings and selection in its brief 3 miles. To the west, you’ll see the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo vary, however your gaze will continuously be drawn downward, the place the soil sparkles with shards of mica, quartz, and idiot’s gold. This path can be common with mountain bikers. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Finest Weekend Backpacking Journeys close to Colorado Springs

Positioned on the sting of the Entrance Vary and simply over an hour from Denver, you’ll discover dozens of choices for mountain climbing journeys of a weekend or extra. But when time is tight and also you’d moderately rack up miles in your boots than in your odometer, you’ll discover good decisions inside a simple attain of the town.

Pikes Peak on the Barr Path

View from Pikes Peak Summit Colorado
View from Pikes Peak Summit Colorado (Picture: Shunyu Fan/E+ through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 25 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 7,434 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Exhausting

The quintessential ascent of Pikes Peak will check the endurance of even the very best hikers. Start your hike within the nice city of Manitou Springs, the place shuttle service is accessible to move you to the trailhead. Constructed within the early 1900s and well-marked (supplied snow cowl doesn’t obscure the trail), the Barr Path begins with a bang, gaining some 4,000 toes within the first 6 miles. The route reaches Barr Camp on the halfway level, a preferred cease for individuals who wish to make a multi-day journey of the tour. Three miles from the summit the path reaches its most tough stretch, with tight switchbacks and rock scrambles that result in the hike’s final reward: the summit of Pikes Peak and knockout 360-degree views of the Rocky Mountains. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

The Crags and Satan’s Playground Trails

Sunrise on Pikes Peak
Dawn on Pikes Peak (Picture: Sparty1711/iStock through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 14.5 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 4,403 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Exhausting

Climbing Pikes Peak from its western flank is the lesser-known route up Colorado’s well-known summit, however starting your ascent from Crags Camp means you’ll have the ability to begin 3,000 toes greater than for those who had been to observe the Barr Path. The route begins with a hike alongside Crags Path, a preferred, reasonably tough route brightened by wildflowers in spring and good foliage in fall. The hike turns into tougher as soon as it merges with Satan’s Playground. Observe the lengthy gradual climb to the summit for unsurpassed mountaintop views overlooking Colorado Springs. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Ring the Peak Path

Views from the Intemann Nature Trail
Views from the Intemann Nature Path (Picture: SWKrullImaging/iStock through Getty Photographs)
  • Size: 50 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 1,650 toes
  • Path Kind: Out and again
  • Problem: Average

Nonetheless a piece in course of, the Ring the Peak Path goals to fully encircle Pikes Peak when it’s completed for a complete distance of round 75 miles. However a lot of the path is already in place. The present upside-down U-shaped path begins close to the city of Divide and ends simply south of Manitou Springs. There are quite a few entry factors alongside the route and good signage, with inexperienced arrows guiding these touring the route counterclockwise and brown arrows guiding these touring clockwise. Standard Ring the Peak segments embrace Pancake Rocks close to Cripple Creek, The Crags, and the Intemann Trails. 

Discover the route on Gaia GPS right here.

Climbing Close to Colorado Springs: Gear Recommendation

So it’s heat and sunny within the metropolis? That doesn’t imply it’ll be heat and sunny on the path. Simply an hour from Colorado Springs, greater elevations could produce snow, even in summer time. The realm’s thinner air can lead to sunburn and dehydration even on the coldest of days, and ridgeline treks can see highly effective wind gusts. Gown in layers, and at all times convey a water resistant shell, hat and gloves simply in case. If you happen to’re mountain climbing in late winter or early fall, think about packing microspikes for high-elevation hikes, and at all times pack extra water than you suppose you’ll really want.