From Canon City, Colorado, take U.S. Hwy 50 4 miles east to Phantom Canyon Road/Hwy 67; left on Phantom Canyon Road 1.6 miles to CR123; right on CR123 .2 miles to CR132/Upper Beaver Creek Road; left on CR132 10.7 miles to Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area parking (end of road). Road is periodically maintained and parking is usually accessible by car. The trail system in Beaver Creek State Wildlife Area includes the Beaver Creek Trail, the Trail Gulch Trail, the Powerline Trail and the Beaver Creek Loop, which is composed of all three. The easiest way to hike the loop is counter-clockwise. From the trailhead, travel approximately .75 miles to the Beaver Creek Trail/Trail Gulch Trail fork. Stay to the right at the sign ("Beaver Creek") and remain on Trail Gulch Trail until you reach Powerline Trail. Powerline Trail is well marked. It begins to ascend immediately and climbs to 7436 ft. before descending to East Beaver Creek. From East Beaver Creek, travel downstream until Beaver Creek Trail is picked up again, returning to the trailhead.
From I-25 in Colorado Springs take exit 141 and go west on Hwy 24. After the town of Cascade look for the Green Mt. Falls sign on the left. Take Ute Pass Ave. on the left and head for the center of town. You can park by the small lake or across from Hondo Ave. The trailhead is located by the Catamount Falls at the west end of town. You can take either the steep Hondo or Belvidere Avenue to access the trailhead. Once you enter the forest, the trail climbs up a number of switchbacks. Once you reach the top of the switchbacks you will enter a nice grassy area called Garden of Eden. The trail then continues along the creek, climbing gently curving to the south until you reach an access road that branch off the Pikes Peak toll road. Follow the dirt road to the South Catamount Reservoir dam.
From I-25 heading south take exit toward W Cimarron St and head west on US-24 for 5.5 miles. Turn right onto Cave of the Winds Rd and drive .8 mile to the Cave of the Winds. This historic cave has several tour options, including spelunking, plus a zip line, rope course, Terror-Dactyl swing that drops you 200 feet at almost 100mph, and various other attractions. Pricing varies for the cave tours depending on which tour you pick.
Take US-24 west. In downtown Woodland Park turn right on Elm St and then immediately left on Midland Ave. The trailhead will be on your right side at the Visitors Center. At first the trails goes downhill through the town for about 1.5 miles but soon you will be out in open country with a mix of meadows and forest. The trail follows the highway on the east side for about 5 miles, then it goes under the highway and switch sides. Manitou Lake picnic area marks the end of the ride. You can do a small loop around the lake and enjoy the view. Centennial trail goes downhill the whole time if you travel north so you might also consider doing one way downhill ride starting at the lake but remember that there is an entrance fee for vehicles.
Chapel trail is accessible only if you have an ID to gain access to the base. The trail begins at the Air Force Museum and ends at the Chapel. There are numerous other trails on the base with an abundant amount of wildlife to see.
Exit I-25 at exit 140. Go south on Tejon and bear right onto Cheyenne Blvd. This joins W. Cheyenne Canyon Rd about 50 yards from the Starsmore Discovery Center. Turn left on South Cheyenne Canyon Rd and then into the parking lot. If you want to start at the Middle or Upper trailheads, turn right onto North Cheyenne Canyon Rd. Columbine Trail has three trailheads. The lower is located at the Starsmore Discovery Center. This guide begins at this point. Park on the south side of the Center. The Middle Columbine Trailhead is on the right side of the road about a mile west of the center. The Upper Columbine Trailhead is a wide spot in the road, just past the entrance to Helen Hunt Falls, before N. Cheyenne Canyon Rd. joins Gold Camp Road. You can begin your hike at any one of these locations, depending on your interests, mood, or time.
From I-25 north take exit 174 and drive north on Frontage road for 2 miles. At the railroad crossing turn left on Tomah Road. Drive for 1.6 miles and then turn right into Dawson Butte Open space parking. Dawson Butte Ranch Open Space is located in Douglas county and was opened to the public in 2008. A 5 mile loop trail takes you through a gently rolling terrain with nice views of the Front Range and the Butte itself. This trail is popular with horse riders but it is great for hikers and bike riders as well. You will pass through forested areas and also nice open meadows.
Take CO-83 north and turn left on Old North Gate road. At stop sign turn right on the Roller Coaster road. After 1.5 miles turn left on Stella Drive and the Fox Run Park entrance will be on your right. Several miles of hiking trails are available in gently rolling hills in ponderosa pine forest. Number of playgrounds, picnic areas and pavilions are located in the south part of the park. Two small lakes and a gazebo create a pleasant place to picnic and relax.
From I-25 take Exit #146 (Garden of the Gods Road). Go West for 2.5 miles. Turn Left onto 30th Street drive a mile and the Visitor & Nature Center will be on the left. There are 15 miles of trails to explore in the Garden of the Gods. Start at the main parking lot for the Perkins Central Garden Trail. This is an easy, 1 1/2 mile roundtrip over a concrete foot path, with less than a 30 foot rise. Wheelchair and stroller accessible, this loop is in the heart of the Park at the base of the highest rock formations. Other great trails include Ridge Trail, a moderate, 1/2 mile loop, with less than 100 foot rise in elevation. This path gives you the feeling of being among the rocks. Siamese Twins Trail is an easy 1 mile roundtrip, with less than a 150 foot rise. There is a unique view of Pikes Peak through the natural window of the twins. Chambers/Bretag/Palmer Trail is a moderate, 3 mile circle with less than a 250 foot rise. Nearly circling the entire Park, this trail covers rolling, rocky terrain away from the traffic. Scotsman/Buckskin Charlie Trail is a moderate trail that loops through the Park. Enjoy the distant views of the Central Garden formations from these rolling, rocky trails.
Take US-24 west past Manitou Springs to town of Cascade. Turn left at the light following directions to Pikes Peak Highway but right after crossing the highway turn left again on Emporia Ave. Turn left again on Park St and then to Amenome Hill Rd. You can park by the "Snow Plow Turn Around" sign on the left. From there walk up to the trailhead up the hill. Heizer trail is an old but not very well known trail. It climbs relentlessly from the town of Cascade up to Cascade Mountain. After passing the trailhead sign start your ascent through the first series of wide switchbacks. As you gain elevation, views of westbound US-24 and North Pole amusement park open up below. The trail continues climbing until you reach a rocky overlook point. Continue another ½ mile until you reach the top of Cascade Mountain. The trail goes on, descending gently, until you reach the sign pointing to trail #703. Official trail ends here but you can follow pink/orange ribbons on trees and steeply descend down until you reach trail #703 "French Creek" which connects to Barr Trail and other trails in area.
From I-25 South take exit 140 for Nevada Ave/Tejon St. Turn right onto Tejon Street and follow it right as it becomes Cheyenne Boulevard. Just as you enter the park, turn right onto North Cheyenne Canyon Road. Follow it to the large parking lot and small visitor's center at the base of Helen Hunt Falls on the left.
Horsethief park is located off Highway 67, half way between Divide and Cripple Creek. There are three main trails in the area. They all share the same trailhead located at the parking lot next to the closed Little Ike Tunnel. At first the trail gains elevation for about 0.8 miles. At that point it levels out and you can turn left, crossing the creek into a nice valley with beaver ponds. This trail is part of Ring the Peak system and continues north. Going straight east you will see a sign pointing to the Pancake Rocks or The Falls. It's only 1/2 mile east to reach Horsethief Falls. Pancake Rock trail is about 2.2 miles long. At first you will climb up through a series of switchbacks and then follow an easy trail until you reach interesting rock outcroppings at the end. Rocks seem to be stacked on each other hence the name. This trail offers great views south and west towards Cripple creek. The trail does not continue further south and you must turn back and return to the trailhead.
Take US-24 west and turn left on S 26th street. Drive for about 2.4 miles and park at the Bear Creek Park parking lot on the side of the street. Then hike via High Drive until you reach the trail head in 1 mile. Alternate approach is to drive through N Cheyenne Canyon road past Helen Hunt falls all the way until you reach High Drive. This is a one way unpaved gravel road with a bunch of switchbacks. Drive 2.4 miles and then park on the side by the trail head sign. This road may be closed in winter. Bear Creek Trail (Trail #666) is a intermediate hike through a nice canyon that was part of an old trail going up to Pikes Peak. You can either start where Gold Camp Road meets High Drive or drive the one way gravel High Drive from Cheyenne Canyon and save about one mile of hiking. The trail climbs through the forest, then the canyon opens up on the right side sloping sharply down. After passing Josephine Falls the trail stays closer to the creek. The trail ends when it meets the Jones Park Trail (also known as Captain Jacks trail). Do not cross the stream but continue straight on trail #667. You will pass an old mining tunnel. Eventually you will reach a nice meadow called Jones Park. From there you can take number of other trails (continue on Jones Park trail, 7 Bridges, Pipeline Trail...) or summit some peaks in vicinity (Mount Kineo, Mount Arthur, Mount Garfield).
Drive west from Colorado Springs on US Hwy 24 to Divide. Go south from Divide on CO Hwy 67 about 9 miles to the Horsethief Falls trailhead (just around the corner from a sealed off old tunnel). If you want to begin at the Putney Gulch trailhead, turn off Hwy 67 at the sign for “Crags Campground.” Follow this road about three miles until you see another sign for the campground. Continue past the sign (not turning onto the campground road) for about a half mile. The road will dead end at the trailhead. Starting at this end will cut off about 1.5 miles from the entire trek, because you could turn around at the trail junction with the Horsethief Falls trail – unless, of course, you want to turn left there and continue on up to the falls (another .7 miles).
Located 5.2 miles north of Woodland Park along CO HWY 67. From Angler's Covey head west on US 24 W/Cimarron St. for 16.7 miles. Turn right at CO-67 N towards Deckers, 7.5 miles. Manitou Park Lake Picnic Area is on the right. Manitou Lake is a 5 Acre reservoir where the entire family can enjoy fishing and hiking with a trail that runs around the lake. There is a Day Use Fee.
From I-25 take exit 161 (Hwy 105) and head west through the older section of Monument (Hwy 105 turns north just past the Interstate; keep going west on what is now 2nd Street). After you cross the railroad tracks, turn left at the T-intersection onto Mitchell Ave. In .5 miles you’ll see the sign for Mt Herman Road; turn right. From this intersection the trailhead is 5.1 miles. First you’ll see a small parking area and a trail sign for Forest Service Trail 716. Continue past this spot, until you come to the trailhead for trail 715 about .1 miles later. About a mile into this leg of the trip, the pavement stops and the rest of the road is dirt. Monument Creek flows north through the Front Range, around the north side of Raspberry Mtn, and down into the town of Monument, where it turns south, paralleling I-25. Then it runs down through Colorado Springs, where it finally joins Fountain Creek on its way to become part of the Arkansas River on the south side of Pueblo, CO.
Driving south on I-25 take exit 140 Tejon street to W Cheyenne Blvd. Follow it all the way until you reach the Starsmore Discovery Center where you keep right and enter the canyon. The parking lot is on the left side after 1.5 miles. The trail is well defined and popular with families. Starting from the trailhead off the road you will start climbing through the forest. At the saddle under the summit you will be rewarded with nice view of the Seven Falls. Once you reach the top, a small spur to the north leads to the true summit but it's worth continuing a little bit further east to an outcrop with great views of the city.
Monument Creek Trail 715
12.3 Miles RT
For Mt.Esther trailhead take US-24 west. Exit at the traffic light in Cascade. Take Fountain Ave but keep right at the Pikes Peak Highway sign. Drive 1.5 miles on Chipita Park Rd and then turn left on Picabo Rd. Turn left on Mountain road. The parking for the trai head will be on the right side of the dirt road, near the intersection of Mountain Rd and Picabo Rd. Mt.Esther trail is a part of Ring the Peak trail system. Starting from Chipita Park it climbs up steeply through series of switchbacks for just under a mile. Once you reach the top you will enter a nice mountain meadow. Turn right and continue through a mostly flat area passing through a mixed forest. After about a mile you will continue on a forest road following the power lines. Watch out for a cairn and a sign that marks the spot where you exit the forest road on the right side. The final segment of the trail passes through a rocky area eventually opening up to a great view of Pikes Peak to the south. After descending down the hill you will arrive at more Ring the Peak markers. You can either follow those and continue north to the Catamount reservoirs or just go on another quarter of a mile to the Crystal reservoir which makes a good turn around point. There are number of other trails in the North Slope Recreation Area. Crowe Gulch trail starts at the picnic area off the Pikes Peak highway about 1.8 miles up from the toll gate. When paying the toll make sure to mention that you are not going all the way up to get a lower price. The trail is about 3/4 of a mile long and is a pleasant walk through a grassy meadow climbing gently up to a spot where it connects with Mt.Esther trail. Length: Mt.Esther Trail to Crystal Creek Reservoir 7 Miles RT. Crowe Gulch 1.4 Miles RT.
From I-25 take exit 161 (Hwy 105) and head west through the older section of Monument (Hwy 105 turns north just past the Interstate; keep going west on what is now 2nd Street). After you cross the railroad tracks, turn left (south) at the T-intersection onto Mitchell Ave. In .5 miles you’ll see the sign for Mt Herman Road; turn right. From this intersection the trailhead is 5 miles. You’ll see a small parking area and a trail sign for Forest Service Trail 716. If you pass this spot, you’ll come to the trailhead for trail 715 about .1 miles later; 715 will not take you to the top of Mt Herman. About a mile into this leg of the trip, the pavement stops. The rest of the road is dirt, washboard in many places, narrow in some. Drive slowly and be prepared for people approaching you on the way down the hill — they seem to drive somewhat faster.
From Colorado Springs take Old Stage/Gold Camp Road 12.5 miles to 379. Turn north on 379 and travel on the 4WD road to Frosty Park for another 1.5 miles. This is a large clearing on the right with no apparent signs other than the tracks of many mud rides. At the north side of this clearing is the trailhead for Nelsons Trail.
Mt. Esther / Crowe Gulch Trails
There is also another route which I have not taken that originates in the North Cheyenne Cañon Park heading up to St Marys Falls. This is a much longer hike with more elevation if you're looking for more of a challenge.
From US-24 exit on 26th street. After driving through two switchbacks turn right to Gold Camp Road and the trailhead parking lot will be on the right side after about 0.9 miles. Palmer Trail Loop is a popular hike north of the Bear Canyon. The trail loops from the trailhead on the Gold Camp Road coming back along the High drive. Going counterclockwise the trail starts with great views of Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks Canyon to the north. Then the trail starts climbing rather steeply through the pine forest. After passing a series of switchbacks you can take a small detour to an overlook that offers great views to the north and south. As you continue on the trail you slowly make a turn back, crossing Hunter Run creek. Eventually you descend down to the High Drive dirt road and hike back to the trailhead.
Gold Camp Rd trailhead can be reached by taking either 21st or 26th street off US-24. High Dr is a one way street and so you can't drive west from Bear Creek Road. The ridge west of Gold Camp road, just north of Cheyenne Canyon offers great views of Colorado Springs. Using a combination of trails you can hike across the whole ridge or hook up with adjoining trails for more options. The southern trailhead is located on the Gold Camp Road, about quarter of a mile after it turns into a dirt road. Park on the left side of the road. There is no official marking for the trail, just head uphill next to a rock wall. The trail quickly climbs up the ridge via some switchbacks. Once you get on top the trail becomes more level as it continues north. Soon the path meets up with Cpt. Jack's Trail. This is a popular place for motorcycle riders so watch out for those. Eventually this trail turns west while you must continue north on to Sesame Canyon Trail. Since there is no marking of this intersection use these coordinates - N 38° 48.430, W104° 53.240. You will start descending into a heavily forested canyon. Some nice rock formations can be seen around. Right before the end you will pass a small waterfall called Esmos Falls. The end of the trail where it meets up with High Dr is again unmarked.
From HWY-24 head west into Manitou Springs, take the US-BUS exit and keep right at the fork, follow signs for US-24 BUS/Cog Railroad/Garden of the Gods. At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Ruxton Ave for .7 mile to the Cog Railway. The area is usually really overcrowded, but there are a few short term parking spots so you can go reserve tickets for the cog ride. It's best to make your reservations online but sometimes you can just show up and they usually have fill in spots on each cog.
From Colorado Springs take Highway 24 West to the town of Cascade. At a stoplight you will see a sign for the Pikes Peak Toll Road. Follow the signs to take the toll road up to Devils Playground. The current rate for the road is $20 per car. At Devils Playground you will find a large parking lot on the right side. Park your car here. During Spring and Fall the road is frequently closed at this point so this hike may be your only access to the summit. From the parking lot walk across the road back to the Northeast side and look for the hikers path that begins by paralleling the road. Do not hike on the road as you will be fined by the Pikes Peak Toll Road authorities that regularly patrol the road. The path will take a more direct route to the summit than the road. Once at the summit house enjoy some food from Colorado's highest restaurant before you begin your hike back to your car.
This lake is in the middle of the city and has a paved pathway used for various activities for all skill levels and is accessible all year-round. There are a couple playgrounds on opposite ends of the lake.
Penrose / Sesame Canyon Trail
From Woodland Park take CO-RD 22/Rampart Range Rd for 1.6 miles then turn right onto Loy Creek Rd for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Rampart Range Rd and continue another 2.3 miles to the trailhead. Rainbow Gulch Trail is 2.5 miles RT and will give you access to Rampage Reservoir.
The trailhead for Raspberry Mountain is on the Upper Fourmile Road, just south of the center of Divide. Travel US 24 to the town of Divide, and turn south on CO 67 South. Go 4.25 miles from this turn to a poorly signed left turn onto the Upper Fourmile Road. On the way, you will pass a turn for Meuller State Park. Once you pass the park, look for a sign that says, "Rocky Mountain Camp," and then another sign 100 meters from there for, "Crags Campground." Turn left here. Cross a small bridge, and begin to travel uphill on the dirt road. The road is rough, but passable for passenger cars. This road also goes to the popular Crags Campground and the trailhead for the alternate trail to Pikes Peak. Travel 1.1 miles up this road until you reach a sharp switchback. You will see a gate straight ahead with a small pulloff. Park here. This is the trail head. The road beyond the gate is prohibited to motor vehicles. This mountain is easy accessible, and offers an easy hike-up route to its rocky summit. It is a great day trip for Teller County and Colorado Springs residents. The standard route takes you through beautiful Pike National Forest Pine and Aspen, and leads you to a boulder strewn summit of the familiar pinkish Pikes Peak region rock.
Exit from US-24 to Manitou Avenue and drive to downtown Manitou Springs. On the roundabout turn on to Ruxton Avenue. Continue up the hill and try to find parking on the side of the street somewhere by the Iron Spring gazebo. Red Mountain used to have its own incline train just like the more famous Manitou Incline. Some remains of the summit structures can still be seen. Start at the Iron Springs trailhead for Paul Intemann trail. Follow the trail through Spring Street and through the gate. About half a mile past the gate you will reach the trail junction with Red Mountain trail spur to the right. From here the trail starts climbing rather steeply through the forest. Once you reach the bare saddle keep left to the summit. You can combine this trail with other portions of Intemann Trail.
Rainbow Gulch Trail to Rampage Reservoir
From I-25 heading north take exit 141 onto US24 W/Cimarron St. Continue west for 3.3 miles and Red Rock Canyon Open Space will be to your left on the south side of the road. The park is 789 acres with several spur trails and a couple lakes in the middle. The Upper and Lower Dog Loops are off-leash areas, and there is a free-ride bike park near the east end of the first parking lot. Here is a list of all the trails available.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Contemplative/Sand Canyon-1.75 Miles
Upper Dog Loop-1 Mile
The Quarry-2 Miles
From Colorado Springs take HWY-24 west through the town of Woodland Park, turn north onto HWY-67 towards Deckers. Drive another 4 miles to a sign on your right for Red Rocks Campground. Turn in here and go for a mile, staying right, to a small parking area by a log fence. This is the trailhead. After heading through the opening in the fence head for the path beneath the power lines and follow it southeast until just before the steep section. Look to your left and you will see the Red Rocks formations. There are many trails in, around, and over these rock formations. Explore the many alcoves and cracks of these formations but be careful it is easy to get turned around in this area so remember if you want to head back, just go downhill.
Drive north on I-25, take exit 163 and drive west on County Line Rd. Right after crossing some railroad tracks turn right on Spruce Mountain Rd. Drive for 3.5 miles and then park at trailhead on your left. There are number of trails you can take from the trailhead. The most direct trail climbs up for about 1.2 miles through a series of switchbacks. Once you reach the upper loop you can enjoy a more leisurely hike on the flat top. The traverses through a mix of forest and meadows with a rewarding view of Pikes Peak's north face at the end. Once you are in the area check out other trails in the Greenland Open Space.
Coming south on I-25 take exit 140 to access Cheyenne Canyon. The trailhead is located just above Helen Hunt Falls at the intersection of High Drive and Gold Camp Road. For the first mile the trail makes a U-shaped bend as it follows the Gold Camp Road. Exit the road after you pass a collapsed tunnel. Trail #624 then continue along a creek through the Buffalo Canyon. After about 1.7 miles you will reach the sign pointing to the base of the St Marys Falls. After enjoying the view of the falls you can continue up through several switchbacks to the top of the falls or continue to Mount Rosa.
Entering Air Force Academy though the South gate turn left on Pine Drive. About 3.9 miles later turn left onto a dirt road right in front of the hospital. Drive another 0.7 miles to the parking lot. Make sure you check on current visiting information for the Academy before you go. Stanley Canyon trail (#707) takes you through a canyon up to a nice secluded reservoir hidden on top of the Rampart range. The hike starts at the Air Force Academy but soon enters the Pike National Forest. At first the trail is pretty steep, quickly gaining elevation and offering great views of the Academy. Once you enter the canyon the views are obstructed by its walls. The trail then follows a creek with some waterfalls and a few rough spots along the way. Later it levels out as you walk through a pleasant forest until you reach the reservoir itself.
The Templeton Trail begins off the Bell Rock Pathway just north of Bell Rock, goes under Route 179 through a tunnel and heads northwest. It intersects the H.T. Trail at 1 mile. (New as of 4/20/2007: there is a new alignment for the Templeton Trail. A new box culvert has been installed to take the trail under the new road construction. Also, cairns have been installed to help people find their way. Go through the box culvert - it even has the trail name on it!)
Templeton Trail - Palmer Park
This trail has four access points: 1) from Bell Rock Pathway 1/3 miles north of Bell Rock; 2) from the Little Horse Trail parking area (Route 179 and mile post 309.8) and taking the Pathway south .3 miles to the H.T. Trail and then 3/4 miles southwest; 3) via the Cathedral Rock Trail for .3 miles from its trailhead off Back O'Beyond Road; 4) from the Baldwin Trail.
Take Highway 24 west past Manitou Springs. 2 miles after you pass the stoplight for Cave of the Winds there will be a large parking lot on the right side of the road. From the parking lot the trail is easy to find on the East end. Begin by going up some stairs through a couple of quick switchbacks. After hiking for 1.5 miles you will come to the intersection for the loop. There's not much difference on which direction you travel, they both wind up back at this intersection.
Take US-24 west to Manitou Springs. Take Canyon Ave north to reach Williams Canyon's Entrance. William canyon is located just north of Manitou Springs. To start the hike it's best to park in Manitou Springs and continue north on Canon Ave. Shortly after you pass under the US-24 bridge you will reach Cave of the Winds property with a No Trespassing sign. The trail continues underneath tall limestone canyon walls on both sides. After a while you will reach series of small waterfalls with great view south out of the canyon. Continue further north along the creek. Later on, a spur trail connects Williams Canyon to Waldo Canyon to the west. From this point the trail continues for another 1.3 miles eventually climbing out of the canyon and meeting with Rampart Range Road. Final section of the trails offers outstanding views of Pikes Peak, Cameron Cone and other mountains. The shooting range located at the end of the trail is currently closed so it's safe to hike the entire length of the canyon.