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:
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
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
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
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.
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Broadmoor Seven Falls
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.
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
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
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
Take this loop trail 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
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
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 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
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
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 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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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Lost Pond Loop
Mueller State Park
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
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!