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There's Something for Everyone in These Eclectic Cultural Exhibitions and Museums

There's Something for Everyone in These Eclectic Cultural Exhibitions and Museums

There are countless museums and exhibitions for art aficionados, almost as many for history buffs, quite a few just for students, and then there are the ones that deserve a category of their own. They’re unusual and generally pretty surprising, covering everything from eclectic art, TV and music to sports heroes. But they’re not boring or elitist, and even if you’re normally “not a museum person,” we think at least one of these might appeal to you.

event_venue=###contact_name=###contact_phone=###contact_email=Photo Courtesy of Duffy Archive & David Bowie

David Bowie Retrospective
Berlin, Germany

This is the exhibition to visit in summer 2014 if you love rock gods, goblin lords or 1970s-1980s pop memorabilia. David Bowie spent three years there in the late 1970s, writing three classic albums: Low, Heroes and Lodger. Approximately 300 memorabilia pieces, from that era and others, will be on display at Martin-Gropius building from May 20-August 10, 2014. This is the summer stop for an international exhibition curated by Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and it's not to miss.

Game of Thrones Exhibition
Multiple Stops

This traveling exhibition embraces its sci-fi/fantasy (dare we say geeky) original fan base by offering an Oculus Rift experience that brings the epic Game of Thrones world to virtual reality. For the un-techies, Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset touted as the "next big thing" in gaming. The experience tested in New York before officially debuting at SXSW in Austin. It’ll travel to five more major cities this summer, though unfortunately, none of them are in the USA, but Vancouver and Toronto are on the list.

Photo Courtesy of Neon Museum

Neon Museum
Las Vegas, Nevada

Where do all the giant flashy neon signs go to retire once they’re torn off the ever-renovating Las Vegas Strip? Straight to the Neon Museum, that's where. With the really big signs resting in peace (some in pieces) outdoors, this museum is charmingly dubbed "The Boneyard." Found in downtown, this attraction is a big draw for amateur photographers and anyone nostalgic for Vegas’ seedy past. And in case you were wondering, it’s open for weddings!

"Give Peace a Chance" at Muhammad Ali Center
Louisville, Kentucky

John Lennon and Yoko-Ono’s 1969 “Bed-In” will go down in history as a landmark example of a celebrity stunt embraced positively by the media for a good cause. This exhibit was originally held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, but the traveling exhibition — largely comprised of stories and photographs — will be at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky from March 15-May 26. To really soak up that magical Lennon vibe, visit during the Beatles-inspired music festival “Abbey Road on the River” (May 22-26).

Photo Courtesy of Salvador Dali Museum, Inc.

Salvador Dali Museum
St. Petersburg, Florida

Yes, it’s an art museum and it's one that “museum people” have on their bucket list. But with his whimsical weirdness, surrealist painter Salvador Dali produced work that can be appreciated even by the most casual viewers. Serious students can spend years and still not be 100 percent sure what was behind his melting fever-dream imagery. The Salvador Dali Museum’s executive staff cater to all types and ages, offering weekly “Yoga + Dali” practice, family activities every weekend, and a Warhol exhibit (through April 27, 2014) with a dubstep teaser.

ABBA: The Museum
Stockholm, Sweden

An interactive exhibition dedicated to the Swedish pop/Euro-disco icons, this permanent collection opened in May 2013. The ABBA Museum's objective is to offer the “full ABBA experience” as though visitors were a band member. And yes, that means there will be karaoke, so you better brush up on your Fernando and Mamma Mia. There may also be dance parties, impromptu piano playing, and for sure plenty of awesome stage outfits from the Dancing Queen heyday to admire (though sadly, those are mostly behind protective glass and not available for interactive dance floor fun).

MUSA (Cancun Underwater Museum)
Cancun, Mexico

It’s interesting to see a destination putting such a literal spin on the “immersive experience.” You will in fact need to scuba dive 30 feet deep to appreciate the bizarre, beautiful, and ever-evolving collection of life-sized statues sunk by the Cancun Underwater Museum off the shores of Cancun and Isla de Mujeres. Nearly 500 pieces are down there, including a VW Bug, a disturbing piece called Time Bomb, and a crowd of 450 figures cast from real people. As was the intention, the pieces are turning into an artificial reef, with lobsters and eels lurking about and coral growing over the entirety. You can see some of the works from above if you’re snorkeling, but not with the same effect.

Museum of Russian Icons
Clinton, Massachusetts

Throughout its long, violent and controversial history, Russia has been consistent in bringing forth epic creative works in every medium. In the Museum of Russian Icons, visual arts are on full display and are intertwined with the Russian Orthodox religion. Every piece of iconic artwork in this collection is venerated, each with a faith-based origin — doors, plates, lacquer boxes, and more. It goes without saying that the Easter egg decorating workshops here take crafts to the next level.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


Best Trails: Must-Do Hikes in Colorado Springs

Here’s our Top 10 of local trail networks. Make it your bucket list if you’re a newcomer or revisit forgotten favorites if you’re a longtime local.

Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers some of the best trails in Colorado Springs. Photo by Victor Farmiga.

We love our trails in Colorado Springs. We hike them, bike them, run them, walk them and roll them. If you put together all 650 miles of trail in the Pikes Peak region, it would get you from Colorado Springs to the Grand Canyon with mileage to spare. Everyone has a favorite, and the best trails can vary by what kind of experience each individual is looking for. But every Springs hiker should visit these trail networks at least once. If you’re new to the Pikes Peak region, here is your introduction to the wealth of trails and open spaces. If you’re a long-timer, consider this your bucket list for exploring different sides of the city or revisiting old favorites. We’ll see you out there!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park — Trails Plus Amenities

The local state park on the south side offers amenities like established camping and an archery range. It also delivers a well organized network of 21 trails that cover more than 27 miles. It’s easy to create your own routes, but the 3.5-mile Blackmer Loop is a favorite through rock gardens and forest. The easy 3.2-mile Sundance Trail stays lower in open, sunny terrain. And those looking for challenging adventure can take the difficult Dixon Trail to the top of namesake Cheyenne Mountain. Just plan ahead. You’ll cover more than 17 miles round trip and gain about 2,500 feet of elevation. Note that you have to pay an admission fee to the park: $9 for a daily vehicle pass.

Garden of the Gods — Geologic Wonder

The Perkins Central Garden Trail weaves among the iconic rock formations. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

The registered National Natural Landmark and icon of natural beauty is a favorite among visitors and locals, meaning it can get crowded. But with 21 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The paved 0.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail is an easy loop through the heart of the signature rock formations. Deeper into the park, the Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1-mile round trip trail where kids will enjoy climbing around the keyhole rocks. And you can ring much of the Garden away from traffic with a moderate 4-mile loop connecting the Palmer, Scotsman, Hamp, Buckskin Charley, Niobara, Ute and Bretag trails. No matter where you are in the park, it’s always easy to bail out or circle back to a road or parking lot.

The Manitou Incline — Legendary Beast Mode

The legend. The Manitou Incline is clearly one of Colorado Springs best trails. Photo by Liz, Adobe Stock.

There’s nothing quite like the Incline. It historically took a cable railway to reach the top. Now the Incline is a long set of 2,744 stairs — steep stairs that gain 2,020 vertical feet in 1 mile. Locals and visitors love to test their mettle on this fitness legend. Olympians and record-holders can reach the top in under 30 minutes, but average hikers take more than an hour. Before you go beast mode, remember that medical rescues are fairly common. Note that reservations are currently required.

North Cheyenne Cañon Park — Wilderness Gateway

Helen Hunt Falls in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

Want to get away from it all — without driving more than 10 minutes from downtown? Cheyenne Cañon is a prime gateway into Pike National Forest and the higher elevations south of Pikes Peak. The 4-mile Columbine Trail winds along the canyon, starting easy along North Cheyenne Creek, then growing steeper as the canyon climbs. The short, popular Silver Cascade Falls Trail is easy, as long as you don’t mind climbing stairs. At 1.1 miles to the top, the Mount Cutler trail offers an easy to moderate peak hike with sweeping views of the city. And the Seven Bridges Trail gives a moderate 4-mile out-and-back classic hike that criss-crosses upper reaches of the babbling North Cheyenne Creek.

Paint Mines Interpretative Park — Cultural Treasure

Colorful rock striations at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

To the east of Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines are a cultural treasure and a unique natural beauty. The colorful clays striated throughout the rock layers here were used by ancient peoples to make paints and dyes. The hoodoos and spires glow with rich hues in the changing sunlight. There are 4 miles of easy trail loops. Dogs are not allowed. Stay on designated trails to avoid damage to the delicate soils.

Palmer Park — Urban Oasis

The maze of trails in Palmer Park criss and cross and can be confusing, but they make it easy to forget you’re surrounded by neighborhoods and the busy traffic corridors of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway. This is an urban oasis, set aside by city founder General William Jackson Palmer himself, that features more than 25 miles of trails. Don’t miss the Grandview Trail to the Grandview Overlook, which provides a sweeping view of downtown with Pikes Peak as its backdrop. The easy Yucca and Mesa trails offer a scenic loop on top of the mesa and pass through an off-leash dog run area. And the rugged Edna Mae Bennett Nature Trail will take you among forested canyon slots. You’ll never know you’re surrounded by city.

Pikes Peak — Long Classic

Looking down on Barr Trail from Pikes Peak summit. Photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

The Peak defines the region and orients our sense of direction, standing broadly over the city. The mountain offers exploration on all sides of its massive circumference, but everyone who’s able should trek to its 14,115-foot summit. Barr Trail is the classic long route, stretching 13 miles from Manitou Springs and gaining more than 7,500 vertical feet to the top. The shorter Crags Trail makes the ascent from the west side in about 7 miles, gaining 4,300 feet in elevation. Either way is difficult, but they rate moderate for a 14er. Just make sure you’re prepared and following safety precautions. Every time you see America’s Mountain dominating the horizon, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you walked to the top — even if you did catch a shuttle ride down.

Pulpit Rock — Central Sentinel

View of the Front Range from Pulpit Rock. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You can’t miss this prominent point as you drive up and down I-25. The sandstone tower above UCCS and University Village beckons hikers to its sweeping views. You can go up and back in an easy 1 mile round trip, but expect some rugged footing. The view is worth it. And if you want to explore farther, continue on through the 584 acres of the adjacent Austin Bluffs Open Space.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space — Reclaimed Variety

The Westside area covers nearly 1,500 acres of canyons, hogback ridges and wide open views of the city and Garden of Gods. There’s a vast trail network for all levels. The Red Rock Canyon Trail follows a wide dirt road (closed to vehicles) to the scenic pond and historic quarry. The moderate Contemplative Trail provides a hikers-only path (Red Rocks is popular among mountain bikers too.) And the Section 16 trail serves as a gateway on Red Rock’s southern side for quicker access to the park’s upper elevations and vistas.

Ute Valley Park — Craggy Hideaway

This Westside open space is destination worthy even if you don’t live among its surrounding neighborhoods. It offers varied terrain among craggy hideaways, pine forested hills and Pikes Peak views. You can circle most of the park on a moderate 4-mile loop by connecting the Ute Valley Regional, Rattlesnake Ridge, Triple Threat, Winding Woods Loop and BeaUTEtiful Loop trails. The Black and Blue Loop offers a moderate 2.5 mile loop on the park’s east side.

What’s Your Favorite?

Think we missed the best trail in Colorado Springs? Share your recommendation. Tag or message us on Facebook.


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