View of the rock formation in Garden of the Gods

23 Best Hikes Near Colorado Springs for 2021

Colorado Springs has lots of amazing hiking trails including some that feature 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. So I thought I’d write up some of my favorite Colorado Springs area hikes to help you get out on the trails.

Easy hiking trail is marked as Easy, Moderate, or Difficult, and I’ve included links to Google Maps (tip: click, then hit “Save” on Maps). Note that some trails have campgrounds nearby, or allow dispersed camping, if you want to take an overnight trip.

Ok, let’s dive into the best hiking trails in Colorado Springs:

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Best Hikes Near Colorado Springs

Central Gardens Trail

Garden of the Gods

The red rock formation in Garden of the Gods during sunset

Easy | 1 mile | Google Maps | Garden of the Gods Website | 14 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

The lake in Red Rocks Canyon in Colorado Springs

Easy | 2.2 miles | Google Maps | Website | 10 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

Red Rock Canyon is popular with a variety of outdoor adventurers from rock climbers to mountain bikers to hikers! This trail is one of the easier trails in the park and takes you by a pond and quarry.

Broadmoor Seven Falls

Colorado Springs

View of the seven falls in a rocky area

Moderate | 3 miles | Google Maps | Broadmoor Seven Falls Website | 9 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: $16.50 for adults, $10.50 kids 2-12

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.

Manitou Incline

Manitou Springs

A woman hiking on the challenging Manitou Incline
(photo: Gary Reinwald / Shutterstock)

Difficult | 1 mile | Google Maps | Manitou Incline Website | 21 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

The Manitou Incline has been used for training (and bragging rights) by everyone from Olympic athletes to military members. The Incline is basically a set of stairs…that stretches for a mile and gains 2,000 feet in elevation. You’ll definitely want to train before tackling it though!

👉 Pro Tip: Free reservations are required to climb the Manitou Incline. 

Cheyenne Mountain Short Loop

Cheyenne Mountain State Park

The Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs from afar

Easy | 4.2 miles | Google Maps | Website | 14 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: $9 vehicle pass

Cheyenne Mountain State Park has lots of beautiful hiking trails. This 4.2-mile loop is a good one for families or people not used to the altitude. 

Palmer Loop Trail (Section 16)

Bear Creek Cañon Park

Moderate | 5.7 miles | Google Maps | Website | 14 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

Austin Bluffs Main & Pulpit Ridge Trail 

Austin Bluffs Open Space

View of the pulpit rock in Pulpit Ridge Trail in Colorado Springs

Moderate | 3.6 miles | Google Maps | Website | 17 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

Take this loop trail that heads by a lake and 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

Pikes Peak

The summit marker of Pikes Peak and the very clear blue sky

Difficult | 13.5 miles | Google Maps | Website | 19 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

Hiking Pikes Peak is a serious undertaking, and 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

Bear Creek Dog Park

Easy | 3/4 mile | Google Maps | Website | 11 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

Ute Valley Park

The scenic view from Ute Valley in Colorado Springs

Moderate | 3.8 miles | Google Maps | Website | 15 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

North Cheyenne Cañon Park

Moderate | 3.8 miles | Google Maps | Website | 21 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

North Cheyenne Cañon Park

View of the Helen Hunt Falls in Colorado Springs

Moderate | 2.3 miles | Google Maps | Website | 15 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

Fountain Creek Park

The view of Fountain Creek Nature Trail on the regional park

Easy | 1.7 miles | Google Maps | Website | 18 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

The Fountain Creek Nature Trail is a creekside trail. 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

Midland Trail

Manitou Springs

View of the Julie Penrose Fountain in Colorado Springs
(photo: Brian Kenney / Shutterstock)

Easy | 7.9 miles | Google Maps | Website | 4 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

Manitou Springs

Moderate | 2.3 miles | Google Maps | Website |16 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

North Cheyenne Canon Park

Moderate | 4 miles | Google Maps | Website | 15 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

The trail to the summit isn’t terribly long but 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

Cañon City

Easy | 3.9 miles | Google Maps | Website | 1 hour drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

This trail in Cañon City 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

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

The sandstone erosion geological formation in Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Easy | 3.4 miles | Google Maps | Website | 48 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

North Cheyenne Cañon Park

View from North Cheyenne Cañon Park

Easy | 1.9 miles | Google Maps | Website | 16 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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

Woodland Park

Moderate | 5.4 miles | Google Maps | Website | 32 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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.

Crags Trail

Pike National Forest

A stack of rocks that forms a triangle along Crags Trail

Moderate | 4.8 miles | Google Maps | Website | 51 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: free

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.

Lost Pond Loop 

Mueller State Park

The refreshing view from Mueller State Park

Easy | 2.9 miles | Google Maps | Website | 40 minute drive from Colorado Springs | Cost: $9 vehicle pass

Lost Pond Loop is an easy trail that takes 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

Divide

View of the Horsethief Trail on a sunny day

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.

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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! Do you have a favorite Colorado Springs hike? Let us know in the comments!

👉 Before You Go: If you want more hiking trails around the Front Range, be sure to check out my list of hiking trails near Denver or my post about the best hikes in the Boulder area!

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