12 Of The Most Beautiful & Best Hikes in Colorado Springs To Uncover!

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Enjoy a retreat into nature when you explore some of the best trails Colorado has to offer. Here are 12 of the best hikes in Colorado Springs worth exploring.

While Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state of Colorado and the 49th largest city in the entire country, it is also home to exquisite nature.

It is the perfect place to escape into the great outdoors to enjoy fresh air, picturesque landscapes, and some of the best hiking trails in the country. Not to mention the many springs that can be found along the hiking trails in the area!

The area gained notoriety in the early 1800s when explorers flocked to the base of Pikes Peak. However, at that time, it hadn’t yet been bestowed with its name.

By the 1870s, many natural springs had been found in the area, while four chalybeate mineral springs had been discovered along Monument Creek by 1980. In and amongst all of these discoveries, the area was named Colorado Springs by the end of 1979. 

Ever since then, the city and its surroundings have been revered for their beautiful scenery and awesome trails.

Of course, it’s no secret that the US is blessed with an abundance of stunning natural beauty and offers outdoor lovers literally thousands of hikes to choose from. Hikes in Lake Arrowhead, those on offer in Sedona, Arizona, or even the myriad of hikes to be found in the National Parks on the East Coast, as well as those on the West Coast too. 

Thankfully, Colorado Springs holds its own amongst these renowned stomping grounds. If you’re visiting the area, you’d be remiss to not explore one or many of the awesome Colorado Springs hiking trails that traverse the mountains and hills. 

Without further ado then, here are 12 of the best hikes in Colorado Springs.

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5 Must-Have Hiking Essentials 

  1. A hiking day backpack
  2. Comfy pair of men’s boots, or woman’s hiking boots
  3. Hiking water bottle for hydration
  4. A cozy men’s and woman’s windbreaker for those gusty summits
  5. A set of hiking poles

12 Top Colorado Springs Trails & Hikes

1. Austin Bluffs Open Space

Austin Bluffs - South Ridge and Pulpit Rock Loop © Image Courtesy of Barbara Hockersmith from Alltrails
Austin Bluffs – South Ridge and Pulpit Rock Loop © Image Courtesy of Barbara Hockersmith from Alltrails
  • Location: Austin Bluffs Open Space, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Ranging from easy to moderate
  • Type: Mostly loops
  • Distance: Various trails ranging between 1 mile to 5.2-miles

If you’re on the hunt for fun and interesting Colorado Springs hikes, then the Austin Bluffs trails are for you. The Austin Bluffs Open Space contains 534 acres of open land, including several popular trails and other interesting sights along the way too. It is renowned for its unique rock formations.

These rocks are not only distinctive – they’re also incredibly old. In fact, there is one particular formation that has been dated back to the Eocene period of the Tertiary. Other notable formations to visit include the Denver formation, the Arapahoe formation, and the Dawson arkose. Thus, visiting this area is about exploring history as well as nature.

Austin Bluffs has many trails to choose from, ranging in levels of difficulty and boasting different sights along the way. They vary in difficulty levels and distance, ranging from only a mile long to about 5.2 miles. 

Some of the most popular trails are the Pulpit Rock Short Route, the Pulpit Rock Peak Trail, and the Santa Fe Hike to Pulpit Rock.

2. Seven Bridges Trail

Seven Bridges Trail © Image Courtesy of Hunter Jones from Alltrails
Seven Bridges Trail © Image Courtesy of Hunter Jones from Alltrails
  • Location: Gold Camp Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 3.5-miles

Just over 3 miles long, this is one of the best hikes near Colorado Springs on a hot, summer’s day. It starts and ends on a gravel road, but once you’re on the trail, the path is shaded nearly all the way, making it nice and cool.

The majority of the hike allows you to wander alongside the North Cheyenne Creek, making for gorgeous scenery. It’s also useful to be able to enjoy some cool water while you’re walking – there’s nothing better than an icy splash when you’ve worked up a sweat on the trail.

The trail is well maintained, and it should take you around two hours to complete, depending on how quickly you hike and whether or not you choose to have a picnic at the halfway point.

Owing to its name, this hiking trail is home to seven different bridges that cross the creek, all of which are marked with their numbers. Make sure to keep an eye on them as you go so you can monitor your progress.

3. Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods © Image Courtesy of Sean Pavon from Getty Images by Canva
Garden of the Gods © Image Courtesy of Sean Pavon from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: 105 Gateway Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: Various trails starting at 0.5-miles, includes 21 miles of trails

Garden of the Gods is an American National Natural Landmark and has been enjoyed by visitors for many years since it was made a national park in the early 20th century. It boasts incredible rock formations, many of which have been named after the things they resemble.

The park boasts a plethora of lovely trails that are ideal for hiking. With so many to choose from, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs – whether you’re visiting as an experienced hiker or with your family and young children. The park also has rock climbing facilities as well as various types of tours.

One of the best, and most popular, trails in the Garden of the Gods is the Palmer, Buckskin-Charlie, Neobrara, Ridge Trail, and Bretag loop, to name a few. This route involves a good yet easy walk and allows visitors to see some of the main rock formations. It’s just less than 4 miles long and is popular for hiking and trail running due to its pleasant terrain.

4. Cheyenne Mountain Short Loop

Cheyenne Mountain Short Loop © Image Courtesy of Tionna Gormley from Alltrails
Cheyenne Mountain Short Loop © Image Courtesy of Tionna Gormley from Alltrails
  • Location: Fort Carson’s Gate 1, Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 4.2-miles

Ideal for hiking, trail running, or even birding, the Cheyenne Mountain Short Loop trail is considered one of the nicest easy hikes in Colorado Springs, suitable for beginners and children too. The loop is about 4.2 miles long and should take about an hour and a half.

There isn’t much shade along the trail, so make sure you prepare accordingly – wear hats, and sunscreen, and drink lots of water. You’ll be able to enjoy lovely views and a pleasant walk in the Colorado Springs fresh air.

If you park inside Cheyenne Mountain State Park, you’ll have to pay $9 per vehicle as you enter. However, by parking just outside Fort Carson’s Gate, you can save yourself some money by simply walking through the gates. You have to walk a little bit further, but it’s worth the effort – and you’re absolutely allowed to do this too.

5. Midland Trail

Midland Trail © Image Courtesy of Heaven Jackson from Alltrails
Midland Trail © Image Courtesy of Heaven Jackson from Alltrails
  • Location: CR 304, Buena Vista, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 7.9-miles

This trail may be considered easy, but covering about 7.9 miles, it’s definitely a reasonable distance. Found within Vermijo Park, the Midland Trail is popular among both hikers and cyclists, and it is dog friendly too. However, note that there aren’t very many bins or any other facilities along the way, so ensure that you’re prepared before you set out.

The Midland Trail is mostly flat, with only an 86-meter elevation gain. So, if you’re looking for a long, flat stroll, this may be the route for you. Set in a desert-like terrain, this trail follows the same route as the old Midland Railway Line that operated between 1887 and 1918. The trail was established in the early 1990s.

6. Manitou Incline

Manitou Incline Stairs © Image Courtesy of R Rees from Getty Images by Canva
Manitou Incline Stairs © Image Courtesy of R Rees from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Hiawatha Gardens, Manitou Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 4-mile

Another one of the best hikes in Colorado Springs, this trail doesn’t have the word “incline” in its name for nothing! Boasting beautiful views and interesting history, the Manitou Incline is a steep, tough climb, but it’s well worth the effort. This route gains about 2,000 feet of elevation! However, the views from the summit are breathtaking and serve as a well-earned reward.

The Incline Trail serves as the remains of what used to be the Cog Railway that used to run all the way to the top of Manitou Mountain. Today, the route is made up of a rough staircase that will eventually lead you to the top.

Note that since this trail is very steep and not suitable for large crowds, visitors are required to make reservations before embarking on their adventures. 

In addition, it’s advised that you park at Hiawatha Gardens parking lots – it costs $1 per hour. Make sure you take a photo of your receipt to show the attendant at the Incline starting point!

7. Broadmoor Seven Falls

Seven Falls © Image Courtesy of Nicholas Wojetlwicz from Alltrails
Seven Falls © Image Courtesy of Nicholas Wojetlwicz from Alltrails
  • Location: 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: Various from 0.8-miles to 3.0-miles

One of the best hikes Colorado Springs has to offer, Broadmoor Seven Falls boasts a picturesque, tiered waterfall, unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Best of all, there are a few different options when it comes to hiking at Broadmoor.

A short 0.8-mile hike through the South Cheyenne Canyon will lead you from the parking lot to the falls. The trail winds upwards in the shadow of the Pillars of Hercules, enormous twin rocks that tower over the trail below.

It’s a relatively easy hike to the base of the falls, and when you get there, you have a few choices. You may choose to leave it at that and head back down, however, if you’re hoping for a better view or more of a hike, there are options.

A staircase of 224 steps will lead you up to the top of the falls, providing you with an exquisite vantage point. From there, you’ll find the beginning of three additional hiking trails that traverse the landscape above the Seven Falls.

Whether you’re in the mood for a little wander with a view or a full-on hike, Broadmoor Seven Falls is an absolute must-visit. Note, however, that it does get rather busy during peak times and visitors are required to pay a small entrance fee. 

8. Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Paint Mines Interpretive Park © Image Courtesy of Faina Gurevich from Getty Images by Canva
Paint Mines Interpretive Park © Image Courtesy of Faina Gurevich from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: 29950 Paint Mine Road, Calhan, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 3.7-miles

Just shy of 4-miles long, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park trail is one of the most fun Colorado Springs trails to do with the family. The trail follows a figure-eight pattern and involves a few little inclines, adding just a little bit of difficulty to this route.

Paint Milnes boasts a collection of fascinating clay formations that are sure to be enjoyed and appreciated by both children and adults alike. While your furry friends aren’t allowed to join you on this trail, it is ideal for hiking, running, and cycling if you’re feeling adventurous.

9. Red Rock Rim to Red Rock Canyon Trail

Red Rock Rim to Red Rock Canyon Trail © Image Courtesy of Sofia Barbato from Alltrails
Red Rock Rim to Red Rock Canyon Trail © Image Courtesy of Sofia Barbato from Alltrails
  • Location: Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.2-miles

Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you hike the Red Rock Rim to Red Rock Canyon trail. If you visit in the summer or spring, you’ll be able to enjoy lovely flowers, many cacti, and maybe even spot a few deer if you’re lucky.

The trail is only about 2.2 miles long, making it an easy and enjoyable route if you’re wanting to get some fresh air while hiking in Colorado Springs. 

Note, however, that there isn’t much shade along the route, so be sure to wear sunscreen, hats, and take along enough water to sustain you during the hike.

10. Ute Valley Park Loop Trail

Ute Valley Park Loop Trail © Image Courtesy of Jessica Mamula from Alltrails
Ute Valley Park Loop Trail © Image Courtesy of Jessica Mamula from Alltrails
  • Location: 705 Vindicator Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 3.7-miles

Scenic and peaceful, the Ute Valley Park loop trail is a great hike to do if you’re looking for something pretty yet simple. About 3.7-miles long, the route is relatively easy – moderate for those who don’t enjoy a little bit of scramble – and will provide you with gorgeous views.

Make sure you check the maps and follow the trails so that you can be sure you’re on the correct path. 

Along the way, you’ll be able to enjoy wide, open spaces as well as majestic rock formations and mountain scenery that these hikes near Colorado Springs are known for! 

11. Pulpit Rock – Hikes in Colorado Springs

Pulpit Rock © Image Courtesy of Bekah Krause from Alltrails
Pulpit Rock © Image Courtesy of Bekah Krause from Alltrails
  • Location: 6411 Nevada Avenue, Austin Bluffs Open Space, Colorado Spring, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 4.2-miles

One of the best hikes in Colorado Springs is the Pulpit Rock Park loop. It boasts a fair distance to cover, at just over 4 miles, as well as some awesome views. This hike should take about an hour and a half to complete and is a great choice if you’d like to take your dogs along with you. 

The Pulpit Rock trail is lots of fun if you enjoy variations of flat trails and inclines, as well as a little bit of scrambling and exploring the terrain. Keep your eyes open for deer!

12. Mount Cutler Trail

Mount Cutler Trail in Cheyenne Canyon © Image Courtesy of SWKrullImaging from Getty Images Signature by Canva
Mount Cutler Trail in Cheyenne Canyon © Image Courtesy of SWKrullImaging from Getty Images Signature by Canva
  • Location: North Cheyenne Canyon Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 1.7-miles 

Named after Henry Cutler, the good friend of General Palmer who was a renowned historical figure in the Colorado Springs area, this trail is perfect for a family day out. It rises above the Cheyenne Creek and when you get to the top, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the forests and springs below.

The Mount Cutler trail is well-marked, and you shouldn’t have much trouble finding your way. It should take you about an hour in total and really is one of the best Colorado Springs hikes if you’re looking for an escape into nature.

12 Most Beautiful Colorado Springs Hikes to Explore! Colorado Springs Hiking, Hikes near Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Hikes, Colorado Springs Trails, Hiking in Colorado Springs, US Hiking Trails, Hikes in the US, Easy hikes in Colorado Springs
12 Of The Very Best Hikes in Colorado Springs! Colorado Springs Hiking, Hikes near Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Hikes, Colorado Springs Trails, Hiking in Colorado Springs, US Hiking Trails, Hikes in the US, Easy hikes in Colorado Springs
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