Top 5 Hikes in Colorado Springs

 So you just moved to the Springs and want to get your cardio on, or you’ve been living here for a while but just now decided to drop the donuts and start working out… Whatever the case may be, here we give you five options so you can get off that couch and start enjoying the nature and scenic views that this beautiful city has to offer.

 1. Garden Of The Gods

15 miles of paved and gravel trails accompanied by amazing red rock formations wind along this free public park. Many of the trails are interconnected and vary in difficulty, distance and elevation. Rated #1 U.S park by TripAdvisor, this gem is perfect for hikers, rock climbers and mountain bikers, with several parking lots available for easy access and even an off-leash dog area for the pooches.

Prices: FREE

Hours: May 1 – October 31 > 5:00 am – 11:00 pm / November 1 – April 3 > 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Garden Of The Gods


2. Red Rock Open Space

In 2003, the City of Colorado Springs was able to acquire almost 1,000 acres of Red Rock Canyon to be used as a park. Recent purchases of adjacent properties have expanded the total area to 1,474 acres. This huge open space offers a wide variety of trails (around 80) where you can actually get lost. Don’t panic though, there are signs and maps throughout the trails so you can forget about leaving bread crumbs along the way and enjoy the flora and fauna that surround you. Unique views of Garden of the Gods, two off-leash dog loops and a free-ride bike park are just some of Red Rock’s exciting features.

Price: FREE

Hours: Open from dawn until dusk

Red Rock


 

3.  Barr Trail

The Barr Trail is one of the most difficult hikes in the region and the standard route to get to Pike’s Peak. 12+ miles to the summit (26.2 miles roundtrip) and a 7,500 ft elevation gain give this hike its reputation and make it a true challenge. A section of the trail runs alongside the Manitou Incline, providing an alternative descent from the top. The complete ascent (up to Pikes Peak’s summit, 14,115 feet) takes an average time of 6-10 hours, so pack your energy bars and hydrate well. If you’re not up for a single-day marathonic ascent and descent, you can opt to stay the night at Barr Camp (includes picnic tables, clean restrooms and indoor seating) and split the hike in two. Dogs are allowed.

Prices: FREE. Parking is limited so check parkbarrtrail.com for fees and availability. Tent camping is available for free, but if you want to enjoy certain amenities such as breakfast, dinner or even a private cabin, Barr Camp has several options.

Hours: Open 24 Hours

Barr Trail


 

4. Palmer Park

Donated to the city by General Palmer in 1899, Palmer Park is conveniently located in the heart of the city. This 737-acre wildlife reserve offers several hiking and mountain biking trails, an enclosed dog park as well as separate off-leash areas, and an amazing view of the city at the top (Grand View Overlook). If Garden of the Gods and Red Rock took all the hiking out of you, you can still drive to the top of the mesa and enjoy the scenic view.

Prices: FREE

Hours: May 1 – October 31 > 5:00 am – 11:00 pm / November 1 – April 3 > 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Palmer Park


5. Cheyenne Mountain State Park

This vast state park is comprised of 2,701 acres with 18 trails that cover over 21 miles. Trails range from short and easy to long and moderate, exploring the region’s diversity through different eco-systems, and offering a great variety of views and experiences for hikers and bikers. The Limekiln Trailhead has quick access to parking, and is the perfect place for a picnic lunch, and even has an archery range. The park also includes 51 full service campsites year-round and 10 basic walk-in tent sites available during the peak months. This park did not allow pets in the past, but is letting hikers take their dogs on certain trails on a trial basis during this summer (Jun 1 – Aug 31), so please be respectful with you fur-babies and hopefully all trails will soon be open to dog owners. . Visit http://cpw.state.co.us for more information.

Prices: Daily pass: $7 / Annual pass: $70

Hours: Day Use Areas: 5am-10pm. Archery Range Is Open Sunrise To Sunset. 24 Hours For Camping, With Quiet Hours From 10pm-6am.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park


 

 

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