The Best Scenic Hiking Trails in Colorado Springs

posted in: Colorado, Travel, United States, West | 1

This post is sponsored by Visit Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, situated at the eastern edge of the Southern Rocky Mountains, is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Located at the base of Pike’s Peak just one hour south of Denver, the city beckons hikers from all walks of life to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. Start planning your next vacation with the best scenic hikes in Colorado Springs.

Check out the best hiking trails in Colorado Springs including Palmer Loop Trail, Seven Bridges Trail and Manitou Incline.

1. Garden of the Gods Loop Trail

Elevation Gain: 561 feet

Distance: 3.7 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Let’s start with Garden of the Gods because the National Natural Landmark offers some of the best hiking in Colorado. With glowing red rock formations and panoramic views, the geological wonder is a sight to see.

The Garden of the Gods Loop Trail connects four trails together where you’ll see unforgettable rock outcrops and dancing wildflowers.

Tip: The park and visitor center are both free to the public. Best times to visit are March – October.

Check out the best hiking trails in Colorado Springs including Garden of the Gods, Palmer Loop Trail, Seven Bridges Trail and Manitou Incline.
Siamese Twins at Garden of the Gods – Photo Credit: Visit Colorado Springs

2. Seven Bridges Trail

Elevation Gain: 1,033 feet

Distance: 3.7 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

A popular hike in the Cheyenne Cañon area is the Seven Bridges Trail. The trail is named after the wooden bridges that cross it along the way. The gradual incline while meandering through the forest and listening to the flowing creek makes it a relaxing and enjoyable hike.

3. Helen Hunt Falls

Distance: .1 miles

Difficulty: Easy

If you are looking for a scenic waterfall hike in Colorado Springs, check out Helen Hunt Falls after hiking Seven Bridges. Located on the Cheyenne Creek, the trail is short and easy with a gorgeous view at the end.

Traveling with Kids? Read Next: 5 Easy Family-Friendly Hikes 

4. Manitou Incline

Elevation Gain: 1,922 feet

Distance: 4 miles

Difficulty: Difficult

Interested in gorgeous views of Colorado Springs and a cardio workout that will get your heart pumping? Then the 2,744 steps of the Manitou Incline it is. The old cable car route is not for the novice hiker but if you dare to climb you’ll be rewarded at the top.

Tip: Make sure you are adjusted to the altitude before attempting this hike. Take the Barr Trail back down.

The best scenic hikes in Colorado Springs, Colorado including the Manitou Incline.
Just a gradual climb at the Manitou Incline – Photo Credit: Visit Colorado Springs

5. Pulpit Rock Park Trail

Elevation Gain: 500 feet

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

A fun rock scramble to the top of Pulpit Rock provides expansive views of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak. If you are looking for a longer stroll, add a 2-mile loop around the unique rock formation.

Tip: Sunrise is particularly spectacular with glowing hues of the morning sun.

Related: Other Unique Things to Do in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts with hiking and biking within and around the city.
Colorado Springs Downtown – Photo Credit: Visit Colorado Springs

6. Palmer Loop Trail – Section 16

Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet

Distance: 5.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

If you want a long hike with scenic views but not as steep of a climb as the Manitou Incline, saunter on over to the Palmer Loop Trail / Section 16. The climb is gradual, making the hike a bit more pleasurable. At the top, you’ll have sweeping views of forest-covered mountains.


Be Prepared – Day Hiking Must Have Essentials & Tips

  • Wear a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, whichever applies. I prefer trail runners or hiking shoes that don’t cover my ankles since it tends to rub, but if you prefer hiking boots, make sure to pick a durable and breathable pair. 
  • Bring a good day pack to carry supplies. 
  • Pack snacks for short hikes and a lunch for any long ones.
  • Stay hydrated. Always bring more water than you think you need. Limit waste by bringing along reusable water bottles.
  • Wear a hat and/or sunglasses.
  • Apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
  • Leave No Trace: Stay on the trails and always pack it in and pack it out.

Hiking Trails Colorado Springs Map

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The top scenic hiking trails in Colorado Springs. Enjoy the great outdoors on your next trip to the city.


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Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

  1. Yara

    Wonderful breakdown of the different trails/hikes and what to expect! Cannot wait to make my way to Colorado. Thanks for sharing!

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