A Hiker’s Guide to Colorado Springs
Traversing the wonderful mountainous region of Colorado Springs offers a hiking adventure of a lifetime. Here are the area’s best trails where you can test your skills.
The beautiful Colorado Springs has been inviting nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts for centuries. Even today, the area is a beloved destination for hikers from all around the United States and the world. There are many natural wonders and excellent trails available throughout the year after all.
If you’re getting ready to visit Colorado Springs, hiking is likely the first thing on your mind. Here are some of the best trails in the area, from the more relaxed to the most challenging.
1. Preparing for Hiking
Before you take to the trails, you should make sure to bring along certain essential items. Good hiking shoes are a must, as well as appropriate clothes. Those visiting during the summer should nevertheless prepare a light jacket since it can get cold in the shade.
You will need a backpack to carry the additional clothes and, of course, water. Bear in mind that several trails offer no protection from the sun, so it would be prudent to pack a hat and some sunscreen for those particularly sensitive to sunlight.
Although some of the trails are relatively short, don’t forget to bring some snacks, have a good night’s rest, and start early in the morning. What’s most important is to keep your energy levels high – this will not only help you finish the hike but also avoid injuries.
2. Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is an area full of relaxing hiking trails that provide amazing views and won’t be very difficult to traverse. You can walk, climb, and explore the environment all day long as you take in the fascinating sight of the Garden of the Gods lying below.
The trails are welcoming to hikers with pets, as well as bikers who love a challenging ride. However, Red Rock Canyon doesn’t only feature light trails – there are some moderate trails as well.
3. Pulpit and Ute Valley
Both Pulpit and Ute Valley are mild to moderate hiking loops, each offering a wonderful outdoor experience.
You can come to the Pulpit Rock Park Loop with kids and pets and enjoy the incredible vistas below the Rockies. But the main attraction on this hiking loop is certainly the ridge at Pulpit Rock.
Ute Valley Park also features a hiking loop with longer and shorter options. You’ll come across various terrain and a river and choose between the ridge or the valley bottom. The trail’s highlighted by gorgeous wildflowers and cheerful birds chirping away as you move along.
4. Cheyenne Mountain
When it comes to Colorado Springs hiking, it’s hard to top the beauty seen on Cheyenne Mountain trails. The sight of the city and the expansive plains stretching towards the horizon is breathtaking, as is the lush surrounding nature.
The trails have a total length of about 20 miles and you’ll encounter many resting points and campsites along the way. These will become especially useful as you progress up the mountain since the trails become more challenging. But the additional challenge is worth it for the scenery that gets more stunning with every step you make.
5. Helen Hunt Falls
In the area around Helen Hunt Falls lies a unique and impressive trail, highlighted by the waterfall with a charming small bridge above. The hike is scenic and exciting, going along an artificial trail that is relatively short.
But don’t get too relaxed when traversing this path. It can become rather challenging, especially regarding its length, and the trail gets very steep at certain points. When you walk through its half a mile, you’ll end up at a point about 200 feet higher than where you started.
Those arriving with kids will be better off taking photos by the waterfall and abstaining from hiking, as the trail isn’t particularly well-suited for children. But if you’re up for the challenge, getting through the 100 steps that lead to the trail’s end will prove extremely rewarding.
6. Bear Creek Canyon
If you’re the active type who revels in long trails with exciting sights and a promise of adventure, you can’t go wrong with visiting Bear Creek Canyon. Several options are available as the trail splits near Jones Park Meadow and each branch leading you to impressive landscapes.
Along the way, you’ll pass by waterfalls and traverse bridges hidden within the greenery. Keep an eye out for some abandoned mining tunnels, too. The feeling of adventure and exploration is guaranteed. In fact, Bear Creek Canyon might be the ideal place for those with an active imagination.
It’s easy to set up a picnic or just take a rest at one of the picnic tables near the creek. And if you feel extra energized afterward, you might want to tackle a local peak like Mount Garfield.
7. Manitou Springs Incline
Manitou Springs Incline is often considered the ultimate challenge when it comes to Colorado Springs hiking. This trail is quite unique, as it follows the wooden remains of the cable car track that used to run the distance.
The steep 40-degree incline is the main reason why many people consider conquering this trail an achievement. It really is a test of endurance, as you’ll find out if you decide to take it on.
While the Manitou Springs Incline doesn’t reach a mile in length and is relatively short, it’s a trail you should take seriously.
8. Blodgett Peak
Presenting the most difficult path to traverse, Blodgett Peak is perhaps not as celebrated as Manitou Incline but it’s among the rare hiking trails that might require some special equipment.
This trail has steep sections that are made even more challenging because of the gravel that goes loose under your steps. The conditions make the trail somewhat tiring and there’s even a real risk of injury.
It should go without saying that if you accept the challenge, you shouldn’t bring pets or kids along.
Take to the Mountains
Colorado Springs hiking is a huge attraction of the region, and for good reason. The wonderful nature and excellent exercise are very appealing, presenting a great incentive to take on the challenges of the area.
If you like hiking in nature, you’ll love Colorado Springs.