It is high time to break out the Patagonia and walking stick. With the number of people getting vaccinated rising and school being done this coming week, many are gearing up to get outside safely this summer.
Colorado Springs and its surrounding areas have a number of breath-taking hikes for just about everyone, from beginner levels to the seasoned hikers who are ready to add more fourteener mountain hikes to their list of conquests.
Here are five hikes in or around Colorado Springs that students should check out this summer:
1. Seven Bridges Trail (Colorado Springs, CO)
This trail is a part of North Cheyenne Cañon Park. The trail is aptly named for the seven bridges you cross over throughout the hike as your traverse up the canyon along a river. The trail is heavily trafficked and is relatively easy for those who want to see some natural waterworks this summer. Most will turn back after crossing over the seventh bridge; however, the trail continues on into harder terrain.
If you want an easy trail with some beautiful waterfalls and wilderness scenery, this is the hike for you!
2. Mt. Cutler Trail (Colorado Springs, CO)
If you are looking for a quick hike with beautiful views, easy enough to help you get back into hiking after a lazy winter, look no further than Mt. Cutler. This is another trail located within North Cheyenne Cañon Park. This trail is also on the easier side but has beautiful views from the top. The Mt. Cutler trail is also connected to Mt. Muscoco which is more difficult to trek.
So, if you are looking to challenge yourself, hike Mt. Cutler then continue on to the other side of the mountain to Mt. Muscoco. You will not be disappointed with these stunning mountain sights.
3. Catamount Falls Trail (Green Mountain Falls, CO)
Located in Pike National Forest, this trail is more moderate. If you want to take your furry friend on this hike, just make sure they are on a leash. The summit of this trail ends with a beautiful view of Pikes Peak and the reservoir located beneath. This is a natural reservoir, so (clearly) swimming is not allowed, but it is still a lovely view. Pack a snack or lunch and hang out on the shore before heading back down the trail.
4. Blodgett Peak (Colorado Springs, CO)
This trail is located in Blodgett Peak Open Space, a hidden gem in Colorado Springs. The trail is located about 15 minutes away from campus and is one of the best trails to see incredible views of the city. Blodgett Peak is definitely a hard hike with pretty severe inclines and areas where you must carefully traverse rocky terrain. While the trail is difficult, Blodgett Peak Open Space is also a great park to explore even if you do not feel quite ready to take on the peak.
5. The Incline Trail (Manitou Springs, CO)
Most Colorado Springs natives know of this infamous trail, but it is still a staple for those who want to test out their fitness on this stair-stepper workout from Hell. The trail, located in Pike National Forest, features about 2,700 steps that extend just one mile with over 2,000 feet in elevation gain. The Incline Trail is currently open but does require reservation to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
So, if you are up for this strenuous hike, make sure to plan accordingly. Pack light and lather on the sunscreen – this climb might take a while. You may be exhausted once you reach the top, but the views do not disappoint. While you may see people hiking back down the steps, you should hike back down the mountain using the Barr Trail, as it is dangerous to walk down the steps.
For more ideas about nearby hikes to do this summer, download AllTrails or simply google search ‘nearby trails’ to find hikes appropriate for your fitness level and enjoyment. Please remember that these trails are in nature and it is always important to leave no trace. Most of all, enjoy the Earth and all that it provides us!