Best Hiking Trails in Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods - Colorado Springs
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Colorado Springs is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with its stunning natural landscapes, breathtaking views, and miles of hiking trails. The city boasts a wealth of hiking opportunities ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging climbs that lead to panoramic vistas. From the iconic Pikes Peak to the majestic Garden of the Gods, there’s no shortage of hiking trails to explore in Colorado Springs. In this article, we’ll highlight the top 10 hiking trails in Colorado Springs, along with their key features, including trail length, difficulty level, elevation gain, and trailhead. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, these trails offer an unforgettable outdoor adventure for all skill levels. So, grab your hiking boots, pack some water, and let’s hit the trail!



Barr Trail

Trail Length: 12.6 Miles | Difficulty Level: Strenuous | Elevation Gain: 7,800 Feet | Trailhead: Manitou Springs

Barr Trail is a challenging yet rewarding hiking trail that leads to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s most iconic peaks. The trailhead is located in Manitou Springs, and the trail winds its way through stunning landscapes, including forests, meadows, and rocky terrain. The trail is 12.6 miles long with an elevation gain of 7,800 feet, making it a strenuous hike suitable for experienced hikers. If you’re up for the challenge, Barr Trail promises breathtaking views and a true outdoor adventure.

Reasons to Hike Barr Trail:

  • Experience a Challenging yet Rewarding Hike: With an elevation gain of 7,800 feet, the Barr Trail is a strenuous hike that promises an unforgettable experience for seasoned hikers.
  • Witness Breathtaking Views: As you hike along the trail, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Colorado’s landscapes, including forests, meadows, and rocky terrain.
  • Conquer Pikes Peak: The Barr Trail leads to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s most iconic peaks. Standing at 14,115 feet, it offers a sense of accomplishment to reach the top.
  • Explore Unique Landmarks: The trail passes by unique landmarks such as Barr Camp, a historic site that served as a stopover for hikers, and the A-frame shelter, a popular resting spot for hikers.
  • Escape into Nature: The Barr Trail takes you away from the hustle and bustle of city life, immersing you in nature and offering a much-needed break from the daily grind.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Hydration System, Trekking Poles, Headlamp, Layers, Snacks, First Aid Kit


The Incline

Trail Length: 1 Mile | Difficulty Level: Strenuous | Elevation Gain: 2,000 Feet | Trailhead: Manitou Springs

The Incline is a legendary hiking trail in Colorado Springs that has gained a reputation as one of the toughest hikes in the area. The trail was once a cable car route that was transformed into a challenging trail consisting of 2,744 steps that ascend 2,000 feet in just under a mile. With its steep incline and breathtaking views, The Incline promises a thrilling outdoor adventure.

Reasons to Hike The Incline:

  • Experience a Challenging Workout: The Incline is known for its steep and strenuous climb, making it a great workout for those seeking a challenge.
  • Enjoy Stunning Views: As you ascend the steps, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Colorado Springs and the surrounding mountains.
  • Join the Locals: The Incline is a popular trail among locals, and hiking it is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and connect with other hikers.
  • Achieve a Sense of Accomplishment: With its steep incline and tough climb, completing The Incline is a significant achievement and a source of pride for many hikers.
  • Experience a Unique Hike: The Incline is unlike any other hiking trail, with its hundreds of steps and challenging climb. It offers a unique and unforgettable hiking experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Recommended Gear: Trail Running Shoes, Hydration System, Trekking Poles, Lightweight Clothing, Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Snacks


Pikes Peak Summit Trail

Trail Length: 12 Miles | Difficulty Level: Strenuous | Elevation Gain: 7,400 Feet | Trailhead: Pikes Peak Highway

The Pikes Peak Summit Trail is a challenging hiking trail in Colorado Springs that leads to the summit of Pikes Peak, one of the most famous peaks in the state. The trail is a strenuous climb that requires stamina and determination, but the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sense of achievement upon reaching the summit make it all worthwhile.

Reasons to Hike Pikes Peak Summit Trail:

  • Experience an Iconic Hike: The Pikes Peak Summit Trail is one of the most famous hikes in Colorado, offering a challenging and unforgettable outdoor adventure.
  • Enjoy Breathtaking Views: The trail provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests that are simply stunning and worth the effort.
  • Challenge Yourself: The trail is a challenging climb that requires stamina, determination, and a willingness to push your limits, making it a great way to challenge yourself physically and mentally.
  • Achieve a Significant Milestone: Reaching the summit of Pikes Peak is a significant achievement and a source of pride for many hikers, making this trail a bucket-list item for many outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Immerse Yourself in Nature: The trail takes you through alpine tundra, past waterfalls, and over streams, giving you the chance to experience the beauty of nature up close and personal.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Layers, Sun Protection, Trekking Poles, Hydration System, Snacks, Map, Compass


Garden of the Gods Loop Trail

Trail Length: 3.8 Miles | Difficulty Level: Easy | Elevation Gain: 256 Feet | Trailhead: Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center

The Garden of the Gods Loop Trail is a must-do hiking trail in Colorado Springs that takes you on a journey through a surreal landscape of towering red rocks, ancient sandstone formations, and panoramic vistas. The trail is an easy hike suitable for all ages and abilities, and it’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of this unique geological wonder.

Reasons to Hike Garden of the Gods Loop Trail:

  • Experience Unique Geological Wonders: The trail takes you through a surreal landscape of towering red rocks and ancient sandstone formations that are unlike anything else in the world.
  • Enjoy Stunning Views: The trail offers panoramic views of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, and the surrounding mountains and valleys that are simply breathtaking.
  • Suitable for All Ages and Abilities: The trail is an easy hike suitable for all ages and abilities, making it an ideal way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
  • Educational Opportunities: The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center offers educational programs and exhibits that provide insights into the geological history and cultural significance of the area.
  • Year-Round Hiking: The trail is open year-round and offers different experiences in each season, from spring wildflowers to winter snowscapes.

Recommended Gear: Comfortable Hiking Shoes, Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses, Water Bottle, Camera, Light Jacket 


Mount Cutler Trail

Trail Length: 2.1 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 804 Feet | Trailhead: Starsmore Discovery Center

The Mount Cutler Trail is a popular hiking destination in Colorado Springs, known for its stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains. This moderate trail is a great choice for hikers of all skill levels, offering a well-maintained path through beautiful scenery and a chance to experience the great outdoors.

Reasons to Hike Mount Cutler Trail:

  • Beautiful Views: The trail offers stunning views of Colorado Springs and the surrounding mountains.
  • Accessibility: Mount Cutler Trail is easily accessible and is a great choice for hikers of all skill levels.
  • Wildlife: Hikers may have the chance to spot local wildlife such as deer and birds along the trail.
  • Exercise: Hiking is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the great outdoors at the same time.
  • Serenity: The trail offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, allowing hikers to connect with nature and find inner peace.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Shoes, Water Bottle, Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses, Light Jacket, Snacks


Red Rock Canyon Open Space Trails

Trail Length: Varies | Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate | Elevation Gain: Varies | Trailhead: Red Rock Canyon Open Space

The Red Rock Canyon Open Space Trails in Colorado Springs are a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 15 miles of trails, there’s something for hikers of all abilities to explore. The trails offer stunning views of red rock formations and the surrounding landscape, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Reasons to Hike Red Rock Canyon Open Space Trails:

  • Stunning Views: The trails offer stunning views of the red rock formations and the surrounding landscape, making it a great destination for nature lovers and photographers alike.
  • Diverse Trail System: With over 15 miles of trails to explore, there’s something for hikers of all abilities to enjoy, from easy strolls to challenging climbs.
  • Wildlife Watching: The open space is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, and birds, making it a great spot for wildlife viewing.
  • History and Culture: The area has a rich history and culture, with historic quarries and homesteads to explore along the trails.
  • Accessibility: The trails are easily accessible from the city and offer plenty of parking, making it a great destination for a quick hike or a day trip.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Shoes, Water Bottle,  Hat, Sunscreen, Backpack, Snacks, First Aid Kit


Palmer Trail

Trail Length: 7.8 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 1,968 Feet | Trailhead: Section 16 Trailhead

Palmer Trail in Colorado Springs is a popular trail among locals and visitors. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the city. The trailhead is conveniently located near the city center and offers a variety of hiking options, from easy to strenuous. It’s a great way to spend a day exploring the beautiful outdoors of Colorado Springs.

Reasons to Hike Palmer Trail:

  • Scenic Views: Experience stunning views of the red rocks and lush vegetation along the trail.
  • Wildlife spotting: Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of wildlife, including deer and foxes.
  • Varied Terrain: Enjoy the variety of terrain, including rocky climbs, wooded areas, and open meadows.
  • Hiking Options: Choose from several different routes and distances, making it a great trail for hikers of all skill levels.
  • Historical Significance: Learn about the history of the area, including the historic Sanitarium, as you hike along the trail.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Shoes, Sunscreen, Hat, Water Bottle, Backpack, Trekking Poles, Snacks


Seven Bridges Trail

Trail Length: 4.1 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 951 Feet | Trailhead: North Cheyenne Cañon Park

The Seven Bridges Trail in Colorado Springs is a scenic hike that takes you through a beautiful forested canyon with multiple creek crossings. As the name suggests, the trail crosses seven bridges, each one offering picturesque views of the surrounding area. The hike ends at a stunning waterfall, making it a must-do for nature lovers and photographers.

Reasons to Hike Seven Bridges Trail:

  • Beautiful Scenery: The trail offers breathtaking views of the Colorado Springs area, including stunning waterfalls and rock formations.
  • Challenging Hike: The trail is steep in some areas, providing a challenging workout for hikers who are up for it.
  • Nature Experience: The trail passes through the Pike National Forest, allowing hikers to experience nature up close and personal.
  • Dog-Friendly Trail: The trail is open to leashed dogs, making it a great option for dog owners who want to take their furry friends on a hike.
  • Great for Photography: With its picturesque scenery, the trail is perfect for capturing memorable moments on camera.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Shoes, Backpack, Water Bottle, Snacks, Sunscreen, Insect Repellent, Hat


Cheyenne Mountain State Park Trails

Trail Length: Varies | Difficulty Level: Easy to Strenuous | Elevation Gain: Varies | Trailhead: Cheyenne Mountain State Park

Cheyenne Mountain State Park Trails offer a variety of hiking options through the beautiful and rugged landscape of the southern Colorado Rockies. The park covers over 2,700 acres of stunning terrain, including rolling hills, rocky outcroppings, and dense forest. With over 20 miles of trails to explore, hikers of all skill levels can find a route that suits their preferences.

Reasons to Hike Cheyenne Mountain State Park Trails:

  • Beautiful Scenery: The trails offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a great opportunity for nature lovers and photographers.
  • Varied Terrain: The park has a variety of trails with varying terrain, including steep inclines, flat areas, and rocky terrain, providing an exciting challenge for hikers of all skill levels.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including mule deer, black bears, and mountain lions, making it a great place for spotting wildlife while hiking.
  • Well-Maintained Trails: The park’s trails are well-maintained and marked, making it easy to navigate and reducing the chances of getting lost.
  • Family-Friendly: The park offers a range of trails that are suitable for families, including stroller-accessible trails and trails with educational exhibits, making it a great outdoor activity for the whole family.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Hydration Pack, Sunscreen, Hat, Trekking Poles, Portable Phone Charger, Insect Repellent


Ute Valley Park Trail System

Trail Length: Varies | Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate | Elevation Gain: Varies | Trailhead: Ute Valley Park Trailhead

Ute Valley Park Trail System in Colorado Springs offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all levels of hikers. With over 330 acres of park space, visitors can explore the diverse natural landscapes of Colorado Springs. Hikers can enjoy scenic views of the city skyline, rock formations, and abundant wildlife. The park also offers facilities for picnics and outdoor activities, making it a great destination for families and groups.

Reasons to Hike Ute Valley Park Trail System:

  • Beautiful Views: Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the city of Colorado Springs.
  • Diverse Trails: With over 20 miles of trails to choose from, there are options for hikers of all skill levels.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for the park’s resident wildlife, including deer, rabbits, and a variety of birds.
  • Historical Significance: Learn about the park’s rich history, including its use as a sacred site by Ute Indians and as a quarry for the construction of local buildings.
  • Accessibility: The park is conveniently located in the heart of Colorado Springs, making it easily accessible to hikers from all over the area.

Recommended Gear: Comfortable Hiking Shoes, Daypack, Water Bottle, Snacks, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Hat


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