Sometimes a vacation can be as simple as a break away from the routine. For some, an excursion into nature is the perfect getaway. With fresh, clean air, and towering lush trees, plus peace and quiet, brought only by the soothing sounds of the outdoors, there is no better escape than exploring the trails.
The hiking trails around Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, have everything a nature-lover craves and more. Southern Colorado offers superb hiking trails and destinations for both experienced and casual hikers. Either way, you’ll enjoy these Woodland Park hiking trails, where there’s no shortage of scenic views.
Rampart Reservoir is located North of Colorado Springs and West of Woodland Park. The clear and quiet water is popular amongst fishers, but the trail that wraps around the reservoir itself offers a wonderful view of Pikes Peak, the reservoir, and the dense green forest of aspen, spruce, and fir trees. The trail is not too difficult and is great for families.
Rampart Reservoir is located North of Colorado Springs and West of Woodland Park. The clear and quiet water is popular amongst fishers, but the trail that wraps around the reservoir itself offers wonderful views of Pike’s Peak, the reservoir, and the dense green forest of aspen, spruce, and fir trees. The trail is not too difficult and is great for families.
Helen Hunt Falls
In Colorado, they say if you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes. The state’s balance of heavy rains, snowfall, and sunshine is what makes Colorado so breathtakingly beautiful. Helen Hunt Falls is a wonderful destination all year round.
In the fall or winter, see the sparkling white snow on the ground, the waterfall frozen as if time were standing still, and the snow-dusted trees. Or, if you want the woodsy spring or summer view without the hazards of ice, Helen Hunt Falls has many trails of varying difficulty perfect for people and canine companions of all ages.
Silver Cascade Falls
If you continue to walk past Helen Hunt Falls, beyond the bridge, you will run into Silver Cascade Falls. This trail gets a bit steeper here and is perfect for experienced hikers or those who are used to higher levels of elevation. Climbing up to the top, you’ll get a spectacular view of the falls that makes the difficult hike worth every breath.
Pulpit Rock Park
Pulpit Rock Park is located close to I-25 and is near enough to town for anyone who has somewhere to be but wants a morning outdoor excursion. The outcrop of rocks along the unmarked trails are striking, and the view of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak in the background make Pulpit Rock Park worth a stop. It’s also a short hike–you can make the round trip in about an hour–which makes it popular with locals and tourists who have a jam-packed itinerary.
Though there are no edible pancakes at the summit of this trail, the difficult hike up will probably make you pretty hungry. Pancake Rocks Trail has a steep incline at varying points throughout the trail and is a six-mile hike to the rocks and back. It is part of the “Ring the Peak” trail system and stops once you get to the rock formations, so you’ll have to retrace your steps back down the trail to get back to your car. Though the trail is on the challenging side, the view from the top where the pancake rocks reside is incomparable, especially at sunset.
You can’t really speak of great hiking and stunning views in Colorado without mentioning the famous Pike’s Peak. There are many ways to get to the peak, the most popular being by car or cog railway. However, the hikers out there will want to try Barr Trail to get to the summit. The hike is 26 miles round trip, usually broken up into a few days. The views are spectacular and well worth it, no matter how you made it to the top.
Ghost Mines – Victor/Cripple Creek
If you are looking for a nearby historical trail that will interest both kids and adults, check out the Vindicator Valley Trail. This historical trail in the town of Independence Colorado highlights the gold rush of the late 1890s with several signs that describe the many abandoned mine buildings and shafts. The trail is an easy two-mile hike from the trail head, just off Co-81.
There are plenty more Southern Colorado, Colorado Springs, and Woodland Park hiking trails to explore. There are so many, in fact, that it would likely take a couple of months (or more) to explore every beautiful trail comfortably. If you’re in the area for a while, check out our cabins at Bristlecone Lodge, where adventure and leisure meet.