Colorado Springs hikes amaze, with some featuring red rock formations, views of Pikes Peak, and sparkling creeks and ponds! Whether you’re out for a day with the kids or you want to try a lung-busting trek up a mountain, there’s something for every hiking ability.
I live in Denver, and Colorado Springs is a close enough drive that it’s easy to pop down for a day of hiking. Based on my personal experiences, I wrote up this list of some of the best hikes near Colorado Springs.
Each of these Colorado Springs hiking trails are marked as Easy, Moderate, or Difficult, and I’ve included links to Google Maps (tip: click, then hit “Save” on Maps). Note that if you want to take an overnight trip, some trails have campgrounds nearby or allow dispersed camping.
Table of Contents
- Best Hikes Near Colorado Springs
- Central Gardens Trail
- Red Rock Rim To Red Rock Canyon Trail
- Broadmoor Seven Falls
- Manitou Incline
- Cheyenne Mountain Short Loop
- Palmer Loop Trail (Section 16)
- Austin Bluffs Main & Pulpit Ridge Trail
- Barr Trail To Pikes Peak
- Bear Creek Dog Park Loop
- Ute Valley Park Loop Trail
- Seven Bridges Trail
- Helen Hunt Falls Loop
- Fountain Creek Nature Trail
- Midland Trail
- Intemann Trail Loop
- Mount Muscoco Trail
- Tunnel Drive Trail
- Paint Mines Loop
- Mount Cutler Trail
- Lovell Gulch Trail
- Crags Trail
- Lost Pond Loop
- Pancake Rocks & Horsethief Falls
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Best Hikes Near Colorado Springs
Central Gardens Trail
An easy, paved path that passes several iconic attractions in Garden of the Gods
Hiking in Garden of the Gods is one of the best things to do in Colorado Springs. There are many easy hiking trails at Garden of the Gods, and most of them are paved. This lollipop loop takes you by popular Garden of the Gods sights like the Tower of Babel, the Three Graces, and the Kissing Camels.
📚 Related Reading: If you’ll be in Colorado Springs for a while, check out our list of fun day trips around Colorado Springs!
Red Rock Rim To Red Rock Canyon Trail
Enjoy views of Red Rock Canyon Open Space on this family-friendly trail
Red Rock Canyon is popular with a variety of outdoor adventurers from rock climbers to mountain bikers to hikers! This Colorado Springs hiking trail is one of the easier trails in the park and takes you by a pond and quarry.
🥾 Read Next: Best Colorado Hiking Trails
Broadmoor Seven Falls
“The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado” is easily one of the best hikes in Colorado Springs
Follow a paved path to the falls, where there is a restaurant, bathrooms, and stairs leading up to the top. If you continue on from the top of the falls, you’ll come to Inspiration Point with beautiful views of the surrounding area.
During the summer, the falls are illuminated by multicolored lights at night, providing a unique show.
👉 My Favorite Gear: Bugs can be pesky, especially when you’re hiking near water! Ranger Ready is mosquito repellent with no DEET, and no lingering scent.
Though only a mile in length, this Manitou Springs hike challenges even top athletes
The Manitou Incline has been used for training (and bragging rights) by everyone from Olympic athletes to military members.
Famed as some of the most difficult hiking near Colorado Springs, The Incline is basically a set of stairs… that stretches for a mile with a massive 2,000 foot elevation gain. You’ll definitely want to train before tackling it!
👉 Pro Tip: Free reservations are required to climb the Manitou Incline.
Cheyenne Mountain Short Loop
Adjust to the altitude at Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Cheyenne Mountain State Park has lots of beautiful Colorado Springs trails. This 4.2-mile loop is a good one for families or people not used to the altitude.
Palmer Loop Trail (Section 16)
A scenic trail in Bear Creek Cañon Park, offering panoramic mountain views
This loop trail has a summit pretty much smack in the middle, so you can reward yourself with downhill the rest of the way. It’s best hiked from March through November.
Note that due to rock slides in May 2022, this loop is currently closed. However, Bear Creek Cañon Park is one of the best places to hike in Colorado Springs, and offers many other trails to explore.
Austin Bluffs Main & Pulpit Ridge Trail
Climb to the top of Pulpit Rock in Austin Bluffs Open Space
One of the best trails in Colorado Springs, this loop through the Austin Bluff Open Space heads to the top of Pulpit Rock. You’ll get views of Pikes Peak and the Rockies. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
Barr Trail To Pikes Peak
Hike to the summit of Pikes Peak, a famous Colorado 14er
As one of Colorado’s 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation), hiking Pikes Peak is a serious undertaking; you shouldn’t try it unless you have trained for it. Barr Trail is the most popular trail to the top and starts in Manitou Springs.
👉 My Favorite Gear: Trekking poles can make a huge difference in helping you get up a hill! I have REI poles like these and I love them.
Bear Creek Dog Park Loop
Take your pup to Bear Creek Dog Park, where you’ll find pet-friendly hiking in Colorado Springs
The dog park has an agility area and space to run and fetch, but it also has open prairie, hills, and creek access. There are a few walking trails, including a ¾-mile loop you can walk in the park. This is definitely one of the best dog-friendly hiking trails near Colorado Springs.
Ute Valley Park Loop Trail
Trek along the river in Ute Valley Park
The Ute Valley loop has amazing views of the Rockies and Colorado Springs below. The trail also features a river. It’s kid and dog-friendly, though dogs need to be on a leash.
👉 My Favorite Gear: If you’re hiking with your pup, don’t forget to bring extra water! We use a collapsible bowl when we hike with our dog.
Seven Bridges Trail
Cross bridges in North Cheyenne Cañon Park to reach waterfalls and a historic cabin
This trail does, in fact, cross seven bridges, as it follows North Cheyenne Creek past waterfalls and up the mountain. After the seventh bridge, you can continue on Trail 622A to Loud’s Cabin or turn back.
📚 Related Reading: Looking for more things to do in Colorado? Check out my complete list of stuff to do across the state!
Helen Hunt Falls Loop
Reach this overlook in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, or hike your way to the top of the falls
A very short drive (or walk) from the start of the Seven Bridges Trail is the trail for Helen Hunt Falls. The walk to view the falls is just 1/10 of a mile to an overlook, but you can do a loop that takes you on a short, intense hike to the top of the falls as well.
Fountain Creek Nature Trail
Meander along the water’s edge in Fountain Creek Park
The Fountain Creek Nature Trail is a creekside trail, and is one of the best easy hikes in Colorado Springs. The park also has a Nature Center and stocked ponds where people can fish.
👉 Pro Tip: If you’re staying near Denver, or just want to head north for the day, be sure to check out this epic list of the Top Things To Do In Denver This Weekend!
This paved trail connects America the Beautiful Park with Manitou Springs
The Midland Trail goes from America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs to Manitou Springs. It follows Fountain Creek and is an easy, paved corridor.
Intemann Trail Loop
Enjoy mountain views on this scenic trail in Manitou Springs
This is a pretty popular loop with scenic views of the mountains and of Colorado Springs below. Dogs are allowed if they’re on a leash.
📚 Related Reading: Check out more places to visit in Colorado here!
Mount Muscoco Trail
Push to the summit at North Cheyenne Canon Park
The trail to the summit isn’t terribly long but with a 1,300-foot elevation gain, it is a consistent uphill the entire way. Mt. Cutler and Mt. Muscoco share the same trailhead and you could even do both trails in one day. The best time for this hike is May through late October.
Tunnel Drive Trail
Walk through expansive tunnels and take in Arkansas River views in Cañon City
One of the best hikes around Colorado Springs, this Cañon City route follows the Arkansas Riverwalk Trail. There are three different tunnels along the path, and you’ll get beautiful views of the Arkansas River Gorge.
Paint Mines Loop
See colorful rock formations at Paint Mines Interpretive Park
See the colorful, unique rocks that Native Americans used to make paint on this loop trail through the park. Dogs, bikes, and horses are not allowed at the park.
Mount Cutler Trail
An easy trail in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, home to some of the best hiking in Colorado Springs
The trail is easy and great for families and dogs. You’ll also get nice views of the Seven Falls along with views of Colorado Springs.
Lovell Gulch Trail
Follow this meadow trail in nearby Woodland Park
This trail is northwest of Colorado Springs, near Woodland Park. It crosses a stream, then follows it up to a meadow. You’ll get views of Pikes Peak and Ute Pass.
A popular winter route in the Pike National Forest
Crags Trail leads to rock pinnacles and is popular in winter for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. This is a fairly gentle trail, but you can continue on to the summit of Pikes Peak (if you’ve prepared) for more of a challenge.
🥾 Read Next: Best Fort Collins Hiking Trails
Lost Pond Loop
Take the family on this mellow loop in Mueller State Park
Lost Pond Loop is an easy trail with little elevation gain, taking you through a valley with wildflowers and wildlife, and by a pond. It’s an easy one for families with young children to meander.
Pancake Rocks & Horsethief Falls
Traverse this long, picturesque trail in Divide, Colorado
🥾 Difficult | 12.5 miles | Google Maps | 21 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free
You can choose to visit just Pancake Rocks, or head on to the falls as well. There is also usually lots of wildlife, and one of the popular hiking trails in summer and fall, and a snowshoeing trail in winter.
🥾 Read Next: 15 Best Colorado Hiking Trails
Whether you’re a Colorado Springs resident or stopping in for the day to hike, hopefully you found enough ideas here to keep you busy! Which of these do you think are the best hikes near Colorado Springs? Let us know in the comments!
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