Scenic hikes to take during winter in Colorado Springs

February 07, 2017

Halle Thornton

hthornto@uccs.edu

     Four essays, two exams and a scattered work schedule might get you down. When that happens, it’s a good idea to take a breather and experience one of the best hikes that Colorado Springs has to offer.

     Whether you need a quick outdoors fix, or are willing to skip your class for a day outside, these places are close, convenient and beautiful.

Pulpit Rock

Location: North of North Nevada Avenue just before Woodmen Road

Difficulty: Easy

     This convenient hike is located right next to the Lodges. The hike is relatively easy and is a great place to take your date or your dog. The trail is a 20-minute hike up, and, once at the top, you can see a nice view of the city.

     Although Pulpit Rock has a marked trail, you can find multiple ways up if you are feeling adventurous, and the elevation gain is only about 300 feet.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Location: 3550 W. High St.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

     Red Rock Canyon Open Space is the perfect place to explore the rocks and scenery along Highway 24. Walking and biking trails and even a small bike park where you can practice tricks are included in this area.

     Seven open spaces are available to relax and enjoy the wildflowers, scenery and hillsides. It is the perfect place for activity and relaxation.

     The six trail options range in distance from 1-3 miles. The trails also have different difficulty levels, ranging from tier one to tier three.

     Tier one trails offer a stable foundation to walk, bike or jog on with the help of landscape buffers. Tier two trails are the same terrain, but without landscape buffers. Tier three offers gravel and natural surfaces to hike on and provides access to major residential and commercial areas of Colorado Springs.

Garden of the Gods

Location: 1805 N. 30th St.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

     The tourist-ridden park is beautiful and has great trails to hike. Up to 15 miles of trails are available that range from .5-3 miles.

     If you are not much of a hiker, rock climbing is always available, or if you want to just sit and enjoy your lunch, this park is for you.

      It is recommended to go to Garden of the Gods on a weekday, because parking may not be available on weekends.

Gold Camp Road

Location: Past Helen Hunt Falls, parking lot at intersection of Gold Camp Road and Cheyenne Canyon Road.

Difficulty: Moderate

     Gold Camp Road is a 5.9-mile trail that is moderately busy. The views are spectacular, and the only downside to the hike is the traffic during the day.

     This trail is for the more experienced hiker, as the terrain can get slippery and steep at times. Make sure to bring your camera or phone on this hike, because the views are worth the trip.

     If you want to take a break from hiking, you can also drive through the three different tunnels, one of which is said to be haunted, according to hauntedplaces.org.