One of the most obvious benefits to living in Colorado is the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains against the skyline. The snow-capped peaks against rosy fingered dawn makes for beautiful photography that’s reminiscent of a Bob Ross painting.
Author John Muir wrote in the novel The Mountains of California, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” Climbing the mountains will give you an up close and firsthand look at nature’s beauty. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or someone looking to get out and simply enjoy nature, there is a hiking trail for your skill level all across Colorado.
Colorado Springs Hiking:
1. St. Mary’s Falls (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
According to AllTrails.com, St. Mary’s Falls Trail is 6.3 miles long and moderately trafficked. It’s a local favorite among residents of Colorado Springs, Colorado as it features a waterfall and dense forest along its path. It’s almost enough to make any skeptic fall in love with nature and search for Colorado Springs real estate to be closer to the alpine terrain. If waterfalls are your thing, you can continue to follow the trail, for less than a mile, and capture a glimpse of the more impressive Virginia Falls.
2. Rocky Mountain National Park (76 miles NW of the Denver International Airport)
If you like the view from a summit, lake or waterfall, Rocky Mountain National Park is for you! The National Parks website lists out the trails sorted by view, difficulty, distance and terrain. With so many choices, you are bound to find the perfect trail to fit into your skill level. Be sure to check out their list of hiking essentials while planning your trip.
3. Garden of the Gods (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Garden of the Gods truly has something for everyone and every skill level, regardless of whether you like to off-road, bike, hike or rock-climb. Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. The Garden of the Gods website outlines the trails by terrain and difficulty and has resources for planning your trip.
4. Manitou Incline (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Are you an extreme hiker? This is the spot for you! The Manitou Incline is a tourist cable car track turned heart-pounding workout! According to the Visit Colorado Springs Convention Bureau, the Manitou Incline gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation over less than 1 mile. You can finish the Incline hike in as little as 30 minutes, but it could take an hour or more, depending on your fitness level. People from all walks of life (military personnel to soccer moms) have finished this hike!
5. Red Rock Canyon Open Space (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Red Rock Canyon has 6 trails of varying length and difficulty. About eighty technical climbing routes have been established at Red Rocks, but climbers must first register at the Garden of the Gods visitor center to attempt them. In addition to the hiking trails, the park features picnic areas, a free ride bike park and off-leash dog loops. Dogs, bicycles, and horses are allowed on most trails. Many of the trails make for good cross-country skiing on snowy occasions.
6. Lost Man Trail/Lake (near Aspen, Colorado)
According to HikingAndWalking.com, this moderate level hiking trail traverses two scenic valleys with pretty lakes separated by a panoramic pass. From the pass, wonderful views extend to the peaks and ridges of the Continental Divide, the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness and the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.
7. San Luis Peak (10 miles N of Creede, Colorado)
The Colorado Hiker rates this as an easy 14 mile hike with gorgeous views of the San Juan Mountains. However, be advised that it is isolated from major cities and towns. The climb is said to be extremely gradual and well worth the time and effort that it takes to get to the summit.
8. Flat Irons Vista (Boulder, Colorado)
Flatirons Vista Trail is a 3.5 mile loop trail that features fields with wildflowers and can be easily conquered by all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options. If you visit in the winter months, you’re likely to spot golden and bald eagles.
9. Crater Lake (near Aspen, Colorado)
Not to be confused with the National Park in Oregon, the Colorado Crater Lake Trail is a 3.9 mile hike rated for moderate skill sets. The trail passes through a beautiful Aspen grove most of the way with wonderful views of the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak that dominate the skyline. It is a gem if you love hiking, photography or camping.
10. Pulpit Rock Park (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
According to TheOutbound.com, this park is a network of a various small trails, with the highlight being the climb to the Pulpit Rock ridge line. The top provides beautiful views Downtown Colorado Springs, the surrounding city, and Pikes Peak. It is at an intermediate skill level and is a 2.2 mile hike.