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Colorado Springs Hiking: 14 Amazing Energizing Trails

Colorado Springs hiking trails beckon visitors from all over the world, and it is one of the best ways to enjoy the scenic and natural beauty of Colorado Springs.

You can experience some of the best hiking trails in the United States if you plan to go on one of the Colorado Springs hikes. There are a lot of Colorado Springs hiking trails spread over the Colorado Springs area and within city limits making it a haven for visitors to enjoy the spectacular views of nature.

Colorado Springs Hiking
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Colorado Springs

The El Paso County of Colorado, United States, Colorado Springs, Olympic City, USA, is the perfect place to visit for all adventure and outdoor enthusiasts. Are you planning a vacation to Colorado Springs? Breathe in the fresh and clean air of the mountains, soak in the colors of its various rock formations, bike, hike, and walk.

The best way to experience all of this is to go on one of the Colorado Springs hiking trails in Colorado Springs. From mild to moderate to challenging, the Colorado Springs hiking trails will expose you to great and limitless ways of appreciating the place’s natural beauty and creating everlasting memories.

Colorado Springs Hiking Trails

Colorado Springs Hiking
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Looking to take a break from your mundane routine or hectic life, the Colorado Springs hiking trails are one of the best hiking trails you can choose. Be one with the grandeur of nature and get back home rejuvenated and refreshed. Make sure you carry your camera to create eternally wonderful memories of the hike.

1. Barr Trail

Difficulty Level – Difficult

This is the most difficult trail on the Pikes Peak and is recommended only for those trained to hike. The trail is difficult because of its length and elevation gain. The first section of the trail is known as ‘W’s and can be busy because of other hikers from the Manitou Incline.

The first three miles of the climb are the hardest part of the hike and can be quite hot during summers. The trailhead starts at the Barr Trail parking area by Hydro Street. It is better to start the hike early morning and finish by noon.

2. Bear Creek Falls Hiking Trail

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Difficulty Level – Intermediate

This scenically beautiful trail takes you up to the Bear Creek Falls and passes through many other trails, including Ballard Mountain, Gold Hill, and the La Junta Basin, to name a few. This trail is also open for cyclists, making it a hotspot for visitors who enjoy mountain biking.

The trail begins at Highway 550, also called the Million Dollar Highway, near the Bear Creek Falls, with an elevation gain of 1000 feet. There are many spots with ledges and creeks, and you get fabulous views of the waterfall from the steel platform that overhangs the edge of the gorge. This platform is free of charge and gives you stunning vistas of the San Juan Mountains and Southwest Colorado. The platform can be accessed all year through to enjoy the beauty of the landscape during different seasons.

3. Crags Trail

Difficulty Level – Moderate

The Crags Trail in Pike National Forest begins at the end of the Crags Campground loop; the left-side branch of the trail is more difficult than the other side and is less shady. The elevation gain is quick in this trial; the right-side and left-side branches connect at the top via a scramble to make it a loop trail.

This out-and-back trail will take you to give splendid views of granite pinnacles on the Pikes Peak, one of the most visited trails in the Pikes Peak region. You can see wildflowers, Aspen trees, and the Fourmile Creek before you land in the broad valley, where the stunning views of orange and pink granite cliffs will leave you amazed.

4. Catamount Falls Hiking Trail

Difficulty Level – Moderate

The Catamount Falls trail is a scenic trail located near Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. The trail starts at Thomas Trailhead, climbs from the Green Mountain Falls town, and goes up to the Catamount Reservoirs. You get to see three different waterfalls and two different creeks on this hike. If you are looking for a weekend of excitement and thrills, this Colorado Springs Hiking Trails is one of the best you can do.

The Catamount Reservoir and the Catamount Falls are named after Catamount, a mountain lion. The varied terrain of this hike makes it different from some of the many trails in Colorado Springs. It takes you to the Garden of Eden, filled with unconventional rock formations and a burst of colors with wildflowers, chipmunks, and fishes in the stream.

5. Dixon Trail

Difficulty Level – Difficult

Dixon Trail in Cheyenne Mountain State Park is an intense hike that will take you to the top of Cheyenne Mountain. Mountain bikers are allowed here; it is a fun hike for those who love hiking trails. The trail run honors the iconic status of the Cheyenne Mountain State Park even though it is in the Pikes Peak region. The summit of the Cheyenne mountain was not open to hikers for a long time till the Dixon Trail happened.

The hike begins at the Limekiln Trailhead, and the rugged terrain makes it a challenging hike. The weather can be unpredictable, and camping is not allowed here. After a while, the Dixon Trail connects you with the Top of the Mountain Trail loops, and from there, you have an elevation gain of 2500 feet to the top.

6. Mount Cutler Trail

Difficulty Level – Easy

If you are looking for Colorado Springs hiking trails, then the Mount Cutler trail is one of the hiking trails you can choose to do. This is one of the easiest and most picturesque trails in Colorado Springs, and the trail is relatively short. Mount Cutler is located in North Cheyenne Canon Park, rising above Cheyenne Creek about halfway up the Cheyenne Canyon.

Colorado Springs Hiking
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The Starsmore Discovery Center at the park entrance gives visitors good insights about  North Cheyenne Canon Park to its visitors. The trail can be taken from the trailhead along the North Cheyenne Canon Park. If the North Cheyenne Road is closed, the park can be accessed from the Gold Camp Road.

Once you reach the summit, you can see the Pikes Peak, Seven Falls, Stratton Open Space, and Will Rogers Shrine. The views and experience of this trail will leave you awestruck in its magnificence and splendor.

7. Mount Muscoco Trail, Manitou Springs, Colorado

Difficulty Level – Intermediate

This trail is close to Colorado Springs, and the trailhead is located at a small parking lot on North Cheyenne Canyon Road. The trek up to the top through the woodlands is breathtaking, and you get expansive views of the city, plains, and the Front Range foothills. You also get to see some unconventional rock formations on this hike.

Muscoco Mountain has some interesting trails for nature lovers, and it dominates the view from the south of Gold Camp Road below Helen Hunt Falls.

8. Perkins Central Garden Trail

Difficulty Level – Easy

Colorado Springs Hiking
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The Perkins Central Garden Trail is the best way to experience the rock formations, as the hiking takes you to the bottom of the tallest rock formations in the Garden of the Gods. There are many areas on this trail where rock climbing is allowed. You must take a permit from the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center before the park’s entrance.

There are lots to explore during this hiking trail, and it will also connect you with the other trails in the Garden of the Gods. You will be able to get beautiful views of Kissing Camels, Sentinel Rock, South Gateway Rock, and Three Graces. Start the hike early to avoid crowds and the heat.

9. Palmer Trail Hiking Trail, Manitou Springs, Palmer Park

Difficulty Level – Moderate

This is one of the magnificent trails in Colorado Springs hiking trails, and it is also referred to as Section 16/Palmer Loop since it begins at the Section 16 trailhead found on Gold Camp Road. This trail takes you up through the Scrub Oak and Red Rock, and you get to see the magnificence of the Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Open Space to the North from here.

The Palmer Trail intersects with the Intemann Trail and takes you into the Manitou Springs, which can lead you to Barr Trail, Manitou Incline, and Ute Pass Trail. The trail is well marked and gets steep after some time. It is a light forested trail, and you see yucca, cacti, and pine trees.

10. Rampart Reservoir Trail

Difficulty Level – Moderate

The Rampart Reservoir Trail is near Woodland Park, Colorado, an adventurous trail showcasing the unparalleled beauty of the Pike National Forest. Begin this exhilarating trail from the trailhead off Lake Circle Drive Road and see unique and exclusive views of the Reservoir and the sights of the Pikes Peak.

There is an entrance fee for these Colorado Springs hiking trails. The parking lot can be busy due to visitors coming for fishing, but the trail is usually not crowded. The lush forestlands and the cobalt blue waters of the lake will leave spellbound with its serenity.

11. Red Rock Canyon Trail

Difficulty Level – Easy to moderate trails

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The Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs has a series of eroded canyons and parallel red rock ridges (hogbacks) and offers multi-use trails to visitors through its intertwining paths. There are easy trails, trails with moderate difficulty, and difficult trails for hikers to decide from.

If you plan one of your hiking trips to Colorado Springs, run through the trails at the Red Rock Canyon Open Space, as they give you some of the best Colorado Springs hikes. The Quarry Pass is one of the main areas of the Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Enjoy wandering amid the red rocks during the hike.

12. Siamese Twins Trail

Difficulty Level – Easy

This is one of the best trails in the Garden of the Gods Park and has an elevation gain of 108-foot. The Garden of the Gods Park and Nature Center is a National Natural Landmark. The hike works both on the north and south sides, and you get impressive views of the sandstone formations. The Siamese Twins formation is of two sandstone pillars, and there is a fun hole for kids to play with because of its formation. A view of the Pikes Peak cannot be missed from here. Rock Climbing is allowed here if you have a permit from the Visitor Center.

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13. Seven Bridges Trail

Difficulty Level – Moderate

This popular trail with its wooden bridges, mountain streams, waterfalls, and the scenery is named after the seven bridges you will cross while on the trail. The Seven Bridges Trail is in the North Cheyenne Canyon near the Helen Hunt Falls visitor’s center. The North Cheyenne Creek runs along the down part of the Canyon.

The trailhead begins at the North end of parking lot 18. Hikers can also park at the Helen Hunt falls parking lot and walk up the hill to reach the trailhead.

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Many towering trees on this trail provide good shade from the sun, especially during summer. The seven bridges are well-maintained. The creek alongside the trail creates small and beautiful waterfalls, and once you cross the seven bridges, you reach Jones Park. Dogs on leashes are allowed on the Palmer Trail.

This is one of the popular Colorado Springs hiking trails. This exciting adventure through the North Cheyenne Canyon and hiking to Helen Hunt Falls is a favorite among visitors.

14. Ute Pass Trail

Difficulty Level- Intermediate / Difficult

The Ute Pass Trail, Manitou Springs, Colorado, runs along the north side of Pikes Peak, and it was believed the Ute Indians used the Ute Valley Park to travel through the Ute Pass. The placards along the trail will take you back in time and give you historical facts.

The hike begins at the base of the Manitou Incline, and records showed the Ute Pass being used in 1779. The views appear larger and bigger as you gain elevation. There are a lot of stories you will get to know on this trail, and this is one of the Colorado Springs hiking trails that gives a piece of history that makes you realize how special Manitou Springs is.

In The End

Be it the Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak, or the North Cheyenne Creek, Colorado Springs beckons many visitors throughout the year. The Colorado Springs hiking trails have some of the best trails in the country for those who love to indulge in adventure and outdoors during their vacation.

Colorado Springs Hiking
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The above trails are good suggestions if you are planning on any of the Colorado Springs hikes as a getaway weekend holiday. Hike, go horseback riding, mountain biking, bask in the virgin beauty of the mountains and landscape, and experience some of the best trails of your life here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • The prettiest hike in Colorado is Emerald Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a classic Colorado trail that accommodates all skill levels. On this hike, visitors enjoy views of alpine lakes, wildflowers, and breathtaking mountain peaks.
  • The Manitou Incline has been hailed as the holy grail of cardio for locals and athletes, alike. The once railroad track now consists of approximately 2,744 steps made entirely of railroad ties!
  • The best months for summer hiking are June until late September when Colorado trails tend to be snow-free and all of the scenic mountain highways are open for driving. Winter hiking is also fun if you dress properly and pack spikes and poles.

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Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by somya909