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Open Spaces

Colorado Springs, CO, is world renowned for its numerous spectacular parks. While the city itself is the second largest in all of Colorado in terms of size and population, it’s nearly impossible not to feel like you’ve stumbled into a rural nature oasis. An abundance of incredible open spaces and natural oasis’ are easily accessible just minutes from the city (in some cases within the city itself). Locals, or those planning on staying for a significant period of time, can and should visit the upwards of 50 gorgeous parks located within city limits. However, for people pressed on time, we’ve compiled a list of 10 absolute must see parks during your visit.

 

Garden of The Gods

  Garden of The Gods is one of Colorado Springs most recognizable parks. Designated as a National Natural Landmark by the US Government in 1971, the sprawling 1,367-acre landscape has been pristinely preserved over the years. Populated with picturesque and often physics-defying rock formations, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the top parks in the entire country. With trails ranging from extremely accessible walking paths all the way to technically and expertly challenging climbs, this beautiful park has something for everyone. The park is free and open between the hours of 5am to 11pm, although this can vary depending on the season.  Address: Garden of the Gods Rd, Manitou Springs, CO 80829

 

Bear Creek Regional Park

Bear Creek Regional Park is truly a sight to behold. Featuring a glorious 546-acre scenic landscape with foothill views, it’s not hard to see why locals love this park. Aside from paved walking paths, this park has a great setup for athletic activities. There’s a number of open playing fields where recreational sports games regularly occur, along with an area designated for archery (have no worries, it’s clearly marked so as to avoid any accidents). A large pavilion in the center of the park makes for a great space to connect with other park goers and/or enjoy an afternoon family picnic.  Address: 21st St at Rio Grande, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

 

North Cheyenne Canyon Park

North Cheyenne Canyon Park is majestic regional park located in Colorado Springs. The park is relatively small compared to other parks in the area at just 147.7-acres, but it’s size hasn’t stopped it from landing on the National Register of Historic Places. As the name suggests, North Cheyenne Canyon Park, prominently features a beautiful and scenic canyon. Additionally, visitors can find 56 miles of trails designed for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. There are picnic areas scattered throughout the park. Visitors should note that most of the park is closed to vehicles and the dirt parking lot by the visitor’s center often has limited parking available.  Address: 2120 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

 

 

Monument Valley Park

Located in the center of Colorado Springs, Monument Valley Park stretches approximately two miles with a gorgeous creek, known as Monument creek, cutting through its center. The park is listed on both state and national historic registries and was developed over a century ago. Walking and biking trails are available throughout the entire park and are accompanied by numerous athletic fields and courts. The park is also home to the city’s very first public swimming pool. Anyone visiting Monument Valley Park would be wise to travel to the southernmost end of the park where they will be treated with a spectacular wildflower garden.   Address: 170 W Cache La Poudre St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903


Quail Lake Park

Quail Lake Park, located in southern Colorado Springs, is one of the area’s hidden gems. Considered a neighborhood park, this location carries as much beauty as anywhere in the entire state. The location is easily accessible by car and a short walk, yet it feels as if you’ve stepped into the heart of nature. Centered entirely around a stunning, crystal clear lake, with a 1-mile loop trail, this is a fantastic location for casual strolls or short runs. The park also boasts great fishing and paddle boards are often spotted perusing the lake during warmer months. A terrific spot for families and solo visitors alike.   Address: 15 E Cheyenne Mountain Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

 

Fox Run Regional Park

Fox Run Regional Park, located in northern Colorado Springs, is a gloriously beautiful park that has something for the whole family. The wooded landscape surrounds a pristinely maintained opaque lake with a series of walking and biking trails. Park visitors can often be spotted enjoying casual horseback rides through the gradually inclining woods. There are plenty of benches and rest areas available where you can marvel at the spectacular mountain views. Additionally, an amazing gazebo sits at the center of the lake, making for an unbeatable picnic location. Fox Run Regional Park has a number of wheelchair accessible paths and is dedicated to making sure everyone can enjoy their amazing park.Address: 2110 Stella Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80921

 

Red Rock Canyon Open Space Park

Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a city park adjacent to Manitou Springs, situated quaintly on the west side of Colorado Springs. With 1,474 acres of trails, varying in both length and difficulty, this space has something for everyone. There is plenty of visible sandstone rock formations, the same ones that make up the Garden of The Gods, which is only a few miles north of Red Rock, but has not been protected throughout history in the same fashion. For much of the 20th century, the area was exploited for industrial purposes, but has since been cleaned up after being bought by the city in 2003. The park is very popular among locals who enjoy walking, hiking, and biking the scenic trails that wind around the rock formations. Address: 3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

 

Palmer Park

A regional park in Colorado Springs, Palmer Park has a long list of accolades for being one of the best urban parks in the entire nation and it’s no mystery as to why. The park has a little bit of everything, ranging from open fields to marvelous rock formations. At 730 acres, the park is the largest in the metro area, although visitors insist that within minutes of being in the park they feel miles away from the city. Rocky bluffs offer unbelievable views of the mountains and often attract photographers from around the globe. Situated within the park are several picnic areas and a community playground. Visitors typically spend at least a few hours here.   Address: 3344-3376 Paseo Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

 

Ute Valley Park

Ute Valley Park is a popular attraction thanks to its picturesque beauty and readily accessible trails. As is the case with many Colorado Springs parks, this location is home to a robust variety of wildlife, vegetation and stunning geological features. Most of the trails are beginner and kid friendly, making it a great family destination. Despite its popularity, the abundance of trails ensures that you will enjoy the peaceful and natural serenity without interruption. Hiking and biking trails begin at the same location, but quickly diverge. Trail postings are easy to follow, allowing you to wander without fear of getting lost and take in all the natural beauty the park has to offer.Address: 705 Vindicator Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

 

 

Austin Bluffs Open Space Park

Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend just how spectacular Colorado Springs parks can be. With access points located in the heart of the city, Austin Bluffs Open Space Park still makes visitors feel like they’ve disappeared into rural nature. Spanning over 500 acres, Austin Bluffs serves as a nature preserve and hiking park to visitors. Park goers are treated with spectacular mountain views, vistas, and incredible rock formations. We recommend visiting Pulpit Rock Park – an easy walk and minimal rock scrambling is required, but the views are worth it. While this park does have walking trails, it’s not recommended for young children.  Address: Colorado Springs, CO 80918 (multiple entry locations around the city)

 

Stratton Open Space Park


Next to the aforementioned North Cheyenne Canyon, Stratton Open Space offers 318 acres of gorgeous trails and wildlife space in Colorado Springs. The stunning landscape is home to five distinct ecosystems and visitors can feel like they’ve transcended continents in a matter of miles. With hundreds of trails and a plethora of open space, this park offers enough variety to satisfy everyone. Visitors can lace up their hiking boots for a long day of adventuring or pack a lunch to enjoy by a lake. Parking lots are scattered throughout the space making it easily accessible regardless of where one chooses to enter. Address: 1504 Ridgeway Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

 

 

Blodgett Peak Open Space

Rounding out our list of the best parks in Colorado Springs is Blodgett Peak Open Space park. Originally privately owned as part of Blodgett Ranch, the open space area continues to be the home of a variety of wildlife species and vegetation. Most prominently, visitors can view the majestic presence of the Peregrine Falcon, a once endangered bird that has since been removed largely because of the protection it received from Blodgett Peak. Paved and dirt trails are beginner friendly and offer spectacular views of various rock formations that include Manitou Limestone, Fountain Formation, and Pierre Shale. We recommend bringing a camera as you’re guaranteed to be treated with ample picturesque scenery.  Address: 3786 W Woodmen Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

City Parks

Acacia Park

 Starting off the list is Acacia Park is in downtown Colorado Springs and happens to be one of the first ever park located in Colorado Springs. In 1871, General William Jackson Palmer donated this park to the city. This 3.7 acre park features an outdoor Ice skating rink, only accessible between November and January. It, also, has playground facilities, sidewalks that are handicapped accessible, the Uncle Wilbur fountain and the Hub visitors center. Its band shell allows for different performances permitted by the park. Visit during the summer or spring and you will be in for a treat.

Address: 115 Platte Ave. (Tejou & Bijou Strts.)

 

Memorial Park

The second the list is Memorial park, also called Memorial Community Park. This beautiful park has a wide variety of sporting facilities to choose from, with the indoor and outdoor pool being the favorite for many. It also features a huge skate park, a recreation center, the very famous prospect lake and two 5K trails around the park. Some of the major sports you can enjoy are; bicycle racing, ice skating, soccer, hockey, and volleyball. The very stacked park, is, also, handicap accessible, including a wheelchair accessible fishing dock. There are, also, vending machines and public telephones available for use.
Address: 1605 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs.

 

Cottonwood Creek Park

Cottonwood Creek Park, like it’s name borders Cottonwood Creek.  Enjoy a walk along the creek, play in the wave pool, or meet your friends for a round of frisbee golf.  This park’s got a lot to offer.  It features a wide variety of recreational sporting equipment to choose from. With four soccer fields, three softball/baseball fields, tennis courts, in-line hockey courts, disc golf course and a playground, your kids will definitely have the time of their life. It, also, features an indoor pool, restrooms, plus walking and running paths. The park is handicapped accessible.  It also connects to many of this Colorado Springs connected trails.

Address: 7040 Rangewood Dr. (Dublin Blvd. & Rangewood Dr.)

 

Antlers Park

The beautiful Antlers park gets is right downtown and gets its name from an early resort hotel built in the same area. This park can be though of as Landmark, because it has been in existence since the 1900s. It features a large locomotive vehicle, which is a beautiful tourist attraction and a great backdrop for memorable photos. Also, it is great for picnicking, as there are group picnic reservations shelter and restrooms available. It is, also handicapped accessible.

Address: Located in the heart of the downtown area, across the street from the old Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Terminal.

 

Goldfield RV Park

411 S 26th St Colorado Springs, CO 80904 

This Park is a little tight but it is close to downtown Colorado Springs and nestled close to the mountains. It is clean, efficient and friendly. Very close to Manitou springs, Garden of the gods, and red rocks open space park. Right across the street from old Colorado city. You can walk across the street from here and have many choices for really delicious food, art galleries, and shops. The location is excellent for hiking and seeing the area sites. The laundry  had plenty of brand new machines that worked great. With 3,5 out of 5 stars Google rating. Most reviews was complaining about the Dog areas that were overgrown and unusable, there was no grass for dog to potty. Also, the noise from delivery trucks was pretty bad

Bonforte Park

2323 N Wahsatch Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80907, USA

Awesome well kept park. Good place to eat your lunch and is actively utilized by the local neighborhoods.There is a baseball field and a very large open space. There is a really nice, new playground with benches around it. There are also trees around the playground, an integral part of what makes it great. Good for walking the dog, taking a jog, or just strolling. With 4.4 google rating. Nice park, but the restrooms were locked and the grass is very spotty and rough that needs a little bit of maintenance.

 

 

Village Green Park

3590 Carefree Cir N Colorado Springs, CO 80917

Multiple baseball & soccer fields, picnic areas & a playground on 19 acres, plus sledding in season. Great place for a quick picnic, shade in some areas, a play  swing area for the kids, and hooded picnic table area. Has tons of open grassy areas, close parking. With 4.3 out of 5 stars google rating. Most complaints were about the restrooms that rarely or close to never been open and when it is bathroom is disgusting and looks neglected.

 

 

Castlewood Canyon State Park

2989 S Hwy 83 Franktown, CO 80116

Castlewood Canyon State Park is a Colorado state park near Franktown, Colorado. The park retains a unique part of Colorado’s history, the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam. Visitors can still see the remnants and damage from that dam which burst in 1933. If you have any interest in geology, native vegetation, birds and birdsong; then this place should be on your list of places to visit. Waterfalls, caves, damn ruins, old homestead and natural rock bridges.  There are several short, easy hiking trails and a more challenging 2 mile hike through the inner canyon. With 4.8 out of 5 stars google rating. Most reviews were pretty positive Most complaints were coming from customers who encounters poor service with some employees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neighborhood Parks

Neighborhood Parks In Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is quite popular for its variety in different parks for tourists to choose from. This fact, combined with its deep roots in sports, definitely makes it  an amazing choice of location to spend your next vacation. With a wide variety of neighborhood parks full of the necessary amenities, having fun and relaxing will be a breeze. For easy navigation, here are some of the top neighborhood parks you should try;

 

Mountain Shadows Park

This park is designed with keeping the basic necessities of Colorado Springs dwellers in mind. This is one of the few parks in the locality that are quite accessible to the handicapped. The size of the park is relatively bigger than the other neighborhood parks. With an area of 6.5 acres, this park is able to give a lot of space for different activities.

Another unique feature of this park is the horseshoe pits. You won’t find too many of these in the area. It also has lots of arrangements for different sorts of sporting events. The volleyball court, playground, sledding, and multi-purpose fields are like dreamlands for the kids living in the surrounding neighborhood. Also, adults can have a great walk in the morning and outdoor workout sessions.

For a family outing, the Mountain Shadows Park is indeed quite blissful. It has a dedicated picnic shelter for the neighboring families to come and enjoy themselves.

This awesome neighborhood park is located at 5151 Flying W Ranch Rd.

 

Alamo Square Park

The Alamo Square Park is very interesting to be honest. The park is established on the site of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum located at the restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse building. If you visit this park, you can take a look at the museum and its collections. That’s 2 in 1 for the neighborhood!

The museum is free and remains open from Tuesday to Saturday. In the June-August period, it remains open from Tuesday to Sunday.

The compound of the main building is really charming. With beautiful green areas and sitting arrangements under shed, it is very convenient for the people of the locality to come and relax.

Major attractions of the Alamo Square Park are the sculptures and Gazebo. The museum houses itself are historic edifices and host fine art exhibits every now and then. People who love culture and art will find this park suitable.

All kinds of information about the local history can be found in the Starsmore Center, situated in the middle of the park. This museum store sells different kinds of souvenirs for the art lovers. This park is very unique compared to the rest.

The location of the park is at Alamo Square, 215 S. Tejon St.

 

Ford Frick Park

The Ford Frick Park is another great option for sports lovers. Situated in the heart of the city, this park is a hub for many sports and fitness enthusiasts living the surrounding area.

The size of the Ford Frick Park is quite big for a regular neighborhood park. While most of the neighborhood parks cover less than six acres, the Ford Frick Park covers a gigantic 12.5 acres of land. That has allowed the park to feature facilities for major outdoor sports.

There is a big baseball field at one side of the park with a soccer field at the other. It is possible to host two different games at the same time in these two fields. For elementary school children, there is a playground with modern equipment and installations.

To make sure that the people of the neighborhood can have more facilities at the park, seasonal restrooms have been installed. This is a great addition particularly for the picnic season since the picnic shelter of the Ford Frick Park is quite famous among the surrounding communities.

The park is located at the Ford Frick 8025 N. Union Blvd.

 

Village Green Park

Village Green Park is another quite famous park in the neighborhood it serves. This park has facilities and arrangements for different types of outdoor sports as well. There is a dedicated field for playing both baseball and softball. This field is frequently used to host local games from time to time.

There is another multi-play court that is used for different types of court games. The football and soccer fields here are not actually gigantic, but they get the job done and the neighborhood is quite a vibrant one, so the park is full of life most of the time.

For children, the park features some nice sledding areas and a playground. The families living in nearby communities can enjoy a nice family picnic on weekends in the picnic shelter. The view from the picnic shelter is quite charming and enjoyable.

Restaurants and cafeterias are nearby the main park area. The park environment and facilities are quite self-sufficient. You can still have a good time here even if you don’t bring anything like toys or food from home.

The location of the Village Green Park is Village Green, 3590 Carefree Cir. N.

 

Memorial Park

The second the list is Memorial park, also called Memorial Community Park. This beautiful park has a wide variety of sporting facilities to choose from, with the indoor and outdoor pool being the favorite for many. It also features a huge skate park, a recreation center, the very famous prospect lake and two 5K trails around the park. Some of the major sports you can enjoy are; bicycle racing, ice skating, soccer, hockey, and volleyball. The very stacked park, is, also, handicap accessible, including a wheelchair accessible fishing dock. There are, also, vending machines and public telephones available for use.
Address: 1605 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs.

 


Bancroft Park


Bancroft Park is one of Colorado Springs’ oldest neighborhood parks still active today. This beautiful park has a reservable band shell that is still active for performances up till today. Asides from the band shell, it also, has hiking trails and sidewalk paths that are handicapped accessible. The park makes available picnic shelters and event restrooms for its visitors. Also, there is set to be more renovation done to make available even more facilities.
Address: 2408 West Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs 80904.

 


Nancy Lewis Park

Nancy Lewis Park is one with a myriad of activities to choose from. The 8.9 acres, breathtaking park with a hospice tree dedication legacy wall, features other sporting activities you might interested in. The hospice tree dedication legacy wall is always a favorite for many visiting for the first time. The park, also, has a sand/volleyball court, a playground with fitness facilities and a picnic shelter. Furthermore, within it is a beautiful waterfall/fountain, a putting green and hiking trails. The park is handicapped accessible, hence, wheelchairs are allowed. This kid friendly location is great for holidays and a family vacation.
Address: 2615 N Logan Ave

Thorndale Park

Thorndale Park happens to be one of the most frequented neighborhood parks in Colorado Springs. With so many amenities to choose from, it’s little wonder why the locals and tourists love this spot. The stunning location possesses a multi-play court that welcomes different sport events. It, also, features other valuable amenities you would love. A baseball/softball field, playground and picnic shelter are some of the options to keep you engaged all day long.
Address: W Uintah St. & 24th St., Colorado Springs, CO. 80904.

Sagebrush Park

651 Crestline Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80916, USA

There’s a playground, basketball court, and a bridge over Sand Creek, so lots to do! The creek and greenbelt makes it very scenic while walking dogs.  It has a three-quarter mile walking loop around it. Anytime of day or evening one can find people out there walking their dogs, stretching their legs, or just passing through. When it snows, there is a hill that is very popular with the kids for sledding. Nothing too dangerous, but they seem to have a good time. With 3.9 out of 5 stars google rating. Some reviews were complaints about the water fountains that doesn’t work, the playground is always in trash condition and the field looks like a warzone and cigarette butts tossed around for children to see and pick up as they play.

Soda Springs Park

35 Park Ave Manitou Springs, CO 80829

 

Nice little park in the center of Manitou Springs. Close to shops, restaurants and Penny Arcade. Fun family park. Great for families and picnics too. There are numerous unique shops in the area and the atmosphere is very relaxed and laid back, even when there are a lot of people. You can get some fresh mineral water from the spring, which is easy to access and surrounded by local statues and art. Men bathroom beware, there are no doors for the stalls, so don’t be ashamed when other guys see you sitting down. With 4.5 out of 5 stars google rating. Most reviews were pretty positive about this park only downside is you will a lot of homeless people around.

 

Jared Jensen Park

6724 Windom Peak Blvd Colorado Springs, CO 80923

 

This park has a playground area for big kids and little kids, swings, climbing rock, basketball court, a gazebo picnic area and a small skate area. There’s also a big green area. You will also have access to the skateboard area, inline skate court, basketball, picnic shelter, playground, .3 mi sidewalk loop. With 4.3 out of 5 stars google rating were most complaints was that there’s No restroom or water.  School right next to it so could be loud during the day.

Mountain Biking in the City

Colorado Springs parks offer a wide variety of fantastic activities, but it’s hard to top the spectacular and dare we say epic mountain biking trails. With trails that range from novice to advanced, it’s not hard to find something for people of all skill levels. Many trails converge with one another and it’s often possible to ride multiple trails during the same ride. If you’re looking for guidance on where to begin, consult the list of some of our favorite mountain biking trails below.

 

Ute Valley Park

If you haven’t mountain biked there yet, you need to.  This is without a doubt my favorite spot to go.  Much like Palmer Park, it’s got something for everyone, but it’s probably less crowded.  You can find downhill style single track and jumps if you know where to look.  You can get into semi technical cross country style riding, and then you can even find beginner smooth trails as well.  If you go to Ute Valley you’ve got lots of options to explore and check out.  If you want jumps, you can go to the highest point in the park, and that is where so far they’ve allowed these jumps to stick around.  They’re lots of fun without too much potential for pain.  You can hit them fast and get 20ft. far to hit a nice down slope or roll them if you’re not quite ready.  That’s what makes it great.  Ute Valley’s got a bit of everything.  To get there head to the northwest part of town off of Vindicator and Rockrimmon Blvd.

 

Pikes Peak to North Cheyenne Canyon

The ride from Pike’s Peak to North Cheyenne Canyon can only be summarized appropriately with one word: Epic. The 25.4-mile path begins at Pike’s Peak, which is best serviced by shuttling up to Elk Park Trailhead (accessing this route any other way makes the ride significantly longer). The trail itself is for expert riders, as it requires a distinct amount of technical skill to navigate the abundance of present rocks. At about the halfway point, the trail intersects with Barr Trail and leads into Barr Camp (a great place to enjoy a picnic if it’s open). Bikers should note that this is a multi-use trail populated by hikers and horses.

 

Tour of Garden of the God’s

Colorado Springs most popular park, Garden of the God’s, offers views of spectacularly majestic rock formations sitting gently amongst lush fields of green. For those looking to experience more of the natural beauty than is capable of being seen merely on foot, the Tour Biking Trail allows one to cover more ground and take in more of the sights. The 8.7-mile trail is an easy ride for people of all ages as the majority of the trail is paved with little elevation change. Those looking for a relaxing day of biking will find a perfect here, but riders should note that while parking is free, the lot often fills up quickly.

 

Palmer Park Loop

Situated on the northeastern edge of Colorado Springs, Palmer Park is a gorgeous in town attraction. The park itself offers scenic hikes and tremendous rest areas, in addition to mountain biking trails for all skill levels. Converging paths along the loop are marked to indicate their difficulty level, making it perfect for anyone looking to get a ride in. Even the more difficult paths are not terribly technical, but present challenging inclines that can keep even expert riders on their toes. While the loop is in close proximity to the city, the landscape blocks out noise and gives the aura of being deep in nature.

 

 

 




Nearby Mountain Biking Trails

Buckhorn Loop (Includes Captain Jack’s)

    No, we’re not kidding with this view. This is real. Buckhorn Loop is one of the best mountain biking trails in the entire nation, let alone Colorado Springs. The 6.9-mile loop is one of the most frequented and busiest trails in all of Colorado (for good reason), so riders should expect to deal with some traffic. The trail does not come without it’s challenges, as a hearty 1.5-mile climb is required. However, the ride down is worth the sweat as you’ll be treated with breathtakingly spectacular scenery. Be sure to hit the brakes occasionally to enjoy it. Buckhorn Loop is for moderate to advanced riders.  You can also ride up High Drive where all the uphill is on a smooth dirt road and then bomb downhill all the way down Captain Jacks, take Gold Camp road once you hit it, then drop down into Stratton Open Space. There are tons of super fun single track that will take you down to the parking lot.

Hogback Ridge Trail

Located within Red Rock Canyon Open Space park, Hogback Ridge Trail is moderately difficult but offers anything but modest views. The 2.8-mile loop begins with a steep climb on loose gravel, but once at the peak ridge, effort gives way to awe as riders are greeted with the spectacular Colorado Springs natural scenery. The short loop is mildly trafficked, making for quiet and peaceful riding conditions. Hiking and biking trails converge occasionally, but bikers mostly do not need to worry about avoiding other park goers. The trail is open year-round, but it’s wise to use common sense and take into consideration that extreme weather will impact trail quality and, consequentially, riding experience.

 

Captain Jack’s Downhill Trail

If you’re an avid mountain biker, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Captain Jack’s downhill ride in Colorado Springs. The 3.4-mile single track is one of the most famous downhill rides in the area. Almost the entire trail is downhill, with only a few short uphill sections, making it very, very fast. Fortunately, there are no intersections to worry about, so you can pin your ears back and let loose. It’s worth noting – motocross bikes have recently been allowed back on Captain Jack’s so be on the lookout. Access the start of the trail at the top of High Drive and be sure to look up occasionally to enjoy the spectacular views.  You can connect this to Stratton open space for a truly epic downhill ride.

 

 

D-Loop #1

 

The D-Loop #1 mountain biking trail is great if you’re familiar with the Red Rocks as there are numerous intersecting trails that require some knowledge of the area. Given the complexity of the trail, we recommend downloading a GPX file to help you keep track of where you’re going. The 12.2-mile is deceptively challenging, ultimately leading to a nearly 2,000-foot elevation ascension. The northern most part of the loop runs parallel to Highway 24 where riders can stop at a tremendous little BBQ restaurant named Rudy’s. This is a moderately challenging ride with awesome views of the sprawling landscape.

 

Canyon Climbfest

 

 

For the more sadistic amongst us, or more politely put, for those looking to push the limits of their riding abilities, Canyon Climbfest trail is one big uphill battle. The 24.2-mile trail is grueling, but rewarding. Little technical skill is required, but you’ll need an immense amount of dedication and grit to get through this ride. Take off from the Stratton Open Space parking lot and head towards Columbine Trail. From there you’ll be lead towards The Chutes, followed by Gold Camp Road and ultimately Buckhorn. Paths are clearly indicated and navigating the trail is not difficult. The final summit somehow feels more challenging than the entire ride, but the downhill descent is epic.

 

 

Jones Park Loop


36.7-miles. 4,526 feet of ascent. 4,526 feet of descent. The Jones Park Loop is in a league of its own. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, we recommend taking this a shuttle ride. Or slip your friend a few bucks to drive you to the top. We promise starting from the peak is the best possible way to enjoy this ride. Should you choose to do so, you’ll be greeted with 4,000+ feet of spectacular downhill riding that features technical challenges along with smooth fast banked turns, rock gardens, root drop offs, tight turns, and small stream crossings. It’s no mystery as to why this one of Colorado Springs most popular trails.

 

 

Sesame Canyon Trail

What Sesame Canyon Trail lacks in length, it more than makes up for in difficulty. The short 1-mile single track downhill ride is riddled with technically challenging rocks, logs and banked turns. The descent is just over 700 feet and you’ll fly through this trail before you know it, but the views of the canyon make the journey worth it. The best way to access Sesame Canyon is via the aforementioned, world famous Captain Jack’s trail. For those who have ridden this particular trail in the past, it’s worth mentioning that it has undergone significant upgrades. What was once predominately loose gravel has been transformed into one of Colorado Springs premier downhill trails.

Great Trails Nearby

We’ll let you in the world’s worst kept secret: Colorado Springs is home to unimaginably beautiful wildlife, mountains, and natural landscapes. While we’d love to keep this a hidden oasis, it’s too incredible not to share with everyone. Most people attracted to the area are physically active and enjoy exploring on foot. We share a similar desire for exploration and have obliged by creating a list of some of our favorite hiking and running trails below.

 

Barr Camp Out-and-Back

This running and hiking trail is a great opportunity to gain a significant amount of elevation with over 3,600 feet of ascent. The 

trail is 13.5 miles one way – thus, the name out-and-back. There’s a fair amount of traffic at the beginning of the path, thanks connecting Barr and Manitou Incline trails, but once clear of those there is very little chance of seeing more than just a few people. A few good rest stops pop up intermittently along the way, but the majority of the run will be a rather unforgiving climb. It’s reasonable to anticipate a significant amount of power hiking to occur. The best part comes when it’s finally time to turn around and let gravity do its thing.

 

Heizer Trail to Manitou Reservoir

Another out and back, Heizer Trail is a 6.9-mile uphill climb at an average 14% incline grade (reaching as high as 45%). Therefore, this trail makes for better hiking than running. However, situated along the northeast ridge of Cascade Mountain, those up for the challenge will be rewarded with unrivaled views of Pikes Peak, Ute Pass, and the canyons below. Upon reaching the summit, one can enjoy excellent photography opportunities and boulder climbing. Although the trail is very safe, it contains a significant number of switchbacks and reasonable caution is advised. The closest parking available is a half-mile away on Emporia Street.

 

Pikes Peak Ultra: 50-Mile

Thus far, we’ve endorsed easy to moderate trails that are somewhat challenging, but mostly enjoyable. Now, in the spirit of fairness, we have to discuss a trail that most people look at and respond simply, “No way.” The name of this trail is actually a lie. The Pike Peak Ultra: 50-Mile is in fact, 51-miles long. As if that’s not challenging enough, elevation change registers at a remarkable 10,702 feet. Clearly not for the faint of heart, this ultra-trail is worth it for some thanks to the unbelievable views of Bear Creek Regional Park and Cheyenne Canyon. Annual ultra-races occur multiply times a year. We’ll be there to watch.   

 

 

Almagre Mountain

Dialing it back a bit leads us to Almagre Mountain via FSR 379. Compared to Pike Peak Ultra, this trail seems like a walk in the park. However, for most of us, the 15.8-mile loop is quite challenging. Almagre Mountain trail is a hassle to access, but ultimately proves worth it (just take a look at the picture above). We recommend parking at the intersection of Gold Camp Rd. and FSR 379, where you’ll find yourself 1.6 miles from the FSR trailhead. It’s wise to take this part of the journey slowly, as you’ll soon be greeted with a steady 6% incline for most the run. Drinking water is not readily available so you will definitely want to bring your own.

 

 

Rattler Trail

Rattler Trail, home of the immensely popular annual Rattler Trail 10k Race, is a gorgeous 6.5-mile loop designed to show off the incredible Palmer Park. Topping at 630 feet of ascension, this trail is both very fast and very technical. Palmer Park visitors can enjoy backdrop views of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak. Located in the heart of the city, this trail provides a feeling of isolation due to the sandstone bluffs. The trail has been determined to be of intermediate difficulty, but strong running skills are recommended for participation in the 10k race.

 

Mays Peak Ramble



Last, but certainly not least, is Mays Peak Ramble. This 5.7-mile loop can be either ran or hiked, and usually ends up as some combination of the two. Trail-goers are greeted with endless scenic views as the trail winds in and out of pine forests and through old railroad tunnels. The incline is mild at just 5%, but reaching the summit will mean you have ascended nearly 1,000 feet. We recommend bringing a camera as you’ll be treated to unobscured views of Mount Buckhorn, Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and Hellen Hunt Falls. This trail loop truly has it all.

 

Edmondson Trail Head

250 E Woodmen Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, USA

 

Wide, flat, alongside a creek, conveniently accessible, cows and horses nearby. Even allows you onto the Air Force Academy’s property. 

Great place to take your dog on-leash for a fun hike. With 4.8 out of 5 stars google rating. Most reviews were pretty positive but some were complaining about the parking lot is fairly small and fills up quickly.

 

 

The Broadmoor Seven Falls

2850 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA

Located less than one mile from The Broadmoor, Seven Falls is one of Colorado’s most captivating natural wonders. This magnificent series of waterfalls is situated in a 1,250-foot-wall box canyon between the towering Pillars of Hercules. Take in stunning vistas of verdant valleys, striking rock formations and golden prairies as you climb the challenging 224 steps to the hiking trails and the banks of glistening streams that feed Seven Falls, and its 181-foot drop of falling water. The stairs that you climb to go up the side of the waterfall can be intimidating but once you make it up, you’ll be fine. With 4.4 out of 5 stars google rating. Most reviews were positive, some said it’s not recommended to small children  or very elderly making the climb up, one wrong step and it can be bad. So expensive when they make you walk to it by yourself, no real bathrooms.

Stratmoor Valley Park and Trailhead

Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA

 

Great location to pick up the trail, north or south. It has a gorgeous little creek that runs through it and a cool disc golf course. With 4.5 out of 5 star google rating. Most reviews stating how nice the trail is but some didn’t enjoy it much. Some even said that It’s a nice place BUT it is overrun with trash. Many homeless have claimed some parts of this trail. Smaller playground than I recalled and no restrooms that I found.

 

Sondermann Park

740 W Caramillo St, Colorado Springs, CO 80907, USA

Great scenic view from trails. A great place to take the dogs for a walk.  It is right in the city but you feel like you are really outdoors. Accessible by wheelchair, the park includes an environmental center, trails & a picnic shelter. With 4.4 out of 5 star ratings in google. Some said this trail is a jem in the heart of Colorado Springs, too bad all the new construction along the extension of Centennial Boulevard is encroaching of this riparian oasis. Lots of dog poop. Otherwise the park would be lovely even though homeless folks camp there at night and are a fire risk. The parking lot and playground have gone downhill over the years since Catamount took over the center. More garbage and weeds and they sometimes lock the gates at 4:30 which means park goers snag street parking from people who live in the neighborhood.

Hikes within the City

Ute Valley Loop

One of our favorite parks also happens to be home to one of our favorite running trails. The 3.8-mile trail is moderately difficult, with only a few hundred feet of elevation change. You’ll experience a variety of scenery along the way, including sunflower-covered hilltops and scattered, gnarled oak trees (pictured above). Although the trails are not well marked, it’s contained enough that there’s no concern of getting lost. It’s important to note that there a number of popular mountain biking trails that intersect this path and walkers/joggers should be cognoscente that bikers are often not on the lookout for pedestrians.

 

Heller Center to Pulpit Rock

A local favorite, the Heller Center to Pulpit Rock is an enjoyable trail perfect for leisurely runs. This run will take you past the Heller Arts Center and through parts of Austin Bluff Open Space park before ultimately winding up at Pulpit Rock. It’s a quick 2.2-mile loop with little to no elevation change, making it easier than some of the trails previously mentioned in this list. The sprawling scenery changes along the way and features beautiful juniper and pinion pine forests, stunning rock formations, and breathtaking views of Colorado Springs. While there is a significant amount of construction in the area, none of the run is affected nor is the experience impaired.  

 

High Chaparral Open Space Loop

Continuing the theme of beginner friendly, picturesque trails, brings us to High Chaparral Open Space Loop, a quaintly designed figure 8 style loop. At just 2.2-miles, and with less than 200 feet of elevation change, you’ll be able to set in for a comfortable run and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings. Runners are treated to spectacular views of Colorado’s Front Range, stretching from Mount Herman to the Spanish Peaks. The loop remains predominately close in proximity to Old Farm neighborhood, but is secluded enough to feel as if you’ve ventured deep into the wilderness. Dogs frequent this trail but must be leashed at all times.

 

 

The Red Rocks

The Red Rocks running trail is best described as simple yet stunning. At 3.7-miles and featuring only moderate changes in elevation, this is far from the most challenging trail in Colorado Springs. However, thanks to incredible views of Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Canyon, this particular trail is one the area’s most popular. The run begins by passing through two ridges (Hogbacks) which gives one an immediate sense of isolation, despite being close to highly populated neighborhoods. The first 1.5 miles can prove difficult as runners experience a gradual, but steady incline. However, just before the halfway point, the landscape levels and then declines, allowing you to settle in and enjoy picturesque views.

 

Garden of the God’s Loop

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Colorado Springs most popular natural attraction: Garden of the Gods. You’ve likely already heard about this spectacular park in some capacity, but it bears repeating. The stunning geological formations combined with sprawling Colorado landscape creates a mind-bogglingly beautiful aesthetic. It’s extremely easy to customize a run due to the large number of intersecting trails throughout the park. Our favorite is a 4-mile paved loop that provides endless views of rolling terrain, vibrant red rock, and scenic stopping points. The park’s glorious beauty is no secret and ends up being highly trafficked throughout the day. We recommend getting up a little earlier to enjoy a quieter run.

 

Local Discounts

Dog Parks - Dog Friendly

Enjoying the great outdoors is made much better when accompanied with your furry best friend. Thankfully, the city of Colorado Springs is both tolerant and accommodating of dogs and has gone out of its way to develop a number of incredible dog parks. From off-leash parks to majestic trail runs, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the great outdoors with your four-legged buddy.

 

Vermijo Park

Vermijo Park is one of Colorado Springs premiere, albeit relatively unknown, dog parks. Nestled between South 26th and South 27th street, the quaint little park offers a perfect oasis for dog owners to bring their furry friends. Gorgeous trails cut through scenic landscape making this a perfect location for morning and nighttime runs. A clean, opaque creek runs parallel to the park that is just shallow enough to wade into comfortably. Despite offering a plethora of scenic features, the small park remains relatively unknown and is therefore not frequented with heavy foot traffic, making it a great spot to bring the family for a quiet afternoon stroll.  Address: 2601 W Vermijo Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

 

Bear Creek Dog Park

 Widely considered one of the best dog parks in Colorado Springs, Bear Creek Dog Park offers 25 acres of fully-fenced acres to roam and explore. There’s a variety of terrain to enjoy, including open prairies, hills, and wooded forests along with a number of creeks. Dogs can run off leash, but due to its popularity, the park is better for dogs who can handle a crowd. There’s a dedicated space for small and elderly dogs that is less populated and quieter. Conveniently located near the heart of the city, this dog park will surely shoot to the top of your favorites list.  Address: S 21st St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904

 

Cheyenne Meadows Dog Park

Unlike Bear Creek, Cheyenne Meadows Dog Park is a small, relatively unknown neighborhood dog park. Dogs must be kept on a leash outside of specified areas, but they will definitely love the luscious greenery found here. There are separate play spaces for large/active and small/elderly dogs where they are allowed to roam free. There’s not a lot of shade to speak of, so sunscreen is highly recommended.  Address: 1560 Charmwood Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

 

Palmer Park Dog Park

The Palmer Park Dog Park is unique as it’s only accessible by trail. This rather isolated park was once a baseball field, but has since been converted into an entirely encapsulated dog park. Dogs are permitted to run off leash while their human companions rest on tree trunk seats. The park comes fully stocked with bag dispensers and water dispensers, making it easy to clean up should your dog make a mess. This area offers a tremendous opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy stunning views of Palmer Park.   Address: 3650 Maizeland., Colorado Springs, CO

 

Garden of the Gods Off Leash Dog Park

Going to the remarkable Gardens of the Gods park doesn’t mean you need to leave your furry friend at home. Garden of the Gods offers a tremendous, off leash area for your dog to roam and run. The terrain is flat and open, making it a perfect area for a good game of fetch. The area is bordered by a high-traffic road, so owners should be wary if their dogs are prone to take off without warning. As a side note, you can enjoy almost the entirety of Garden of the Gods, including picnic areas, with your dog as long as they remain tethered on a leash.  Address: 3130 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs, CO

 

Red Rock Canyon Off Leash Dog Area

Red Rock Canyon is another wildly popular park in Colorado Springs. The park itself offers spectacular views of geological formations and awesome hiking and biking trails. Dogs are permitted throughout the park as long as they remain on a leash. There are two designated areas, lower loop and upper loop, where dogs are allowed to roam untethered. The lower loop is a scenic open 0.2-mile trail for you and your dog to enjoy. The upper loop is similar, but at 0.35 miles offers slightly more room to roam.   Address: High Street, Colorado Springs, CO

 

Fox Run Dog Park

Situated in quiet northern Colorado Springs, Fox Run Regional Park is a highly underrated place to spend a gorgeous Colorado afternoon. The park offers a number of fantastic features, but perhaps its best is the off-leash dog park. Sloping hills, populated with a scattering of mature trees, gives rise to a perfectly picturesque dog landscape. Still (somehow) relatively unknown, you and your dog will be unbothered by the presence of others. Trash cans and dog backs are readily available. Bring the whole family and enjoy an unbelievable walk in the park.  Address: 2110 Stella Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80921

 

Pub Dog Colorado

Concluding our list is hands down the most unique, and arguably the most fun, dog park in all of Colorado. Technically, Pub Dog is not a park, rather, a restaurant for you and your furry pal. However, we’ve chosen to include it because there is a fantastic play area where your dog can run and play off-leash. The pub features menus for both humans and dogs and provides an incredible opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded people. After you both enjoy your meal, head out back to the fully-fenced play area and enjoy a scene unlike any other. The ambience is family friendly, but it’s important to note that children under the age of 16 are not allowed in the off-leash area without exception.   Address: 2207 Bott Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80904

 

Stratton Open Space

 

Stratton is not only an amazing park, but I’m not sure why but they allow the dogs to run and play in the reservoir.  Not humans…only dogs.  But they love it, so make sure to take your furry friends hiking in this park where they can run, explore, and even swim.  Here’s a link to their site.

 

 

 

Under the Sun Doggie Day Care and Private Dog Park

The Doggie Day Care and Private Dog Park is located at 790 Dublin Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA and this park could serve as your “Dog’s Home Away from Home”. Aside from your dog interacting with other dogs, they will also be playing on some fine facilities, going for a walk and can also do some exercises like running alongside with golf carts and they also have trainings available to address any behavioral  issues upon owner’s request. The park is rated 5 out 5 stars on google. It simply shows how dog owners love this park for their dogs since it doesn’t have any negative feedback stated on the reviews.

 East Ridge Dog Park

 

A park in Cimarron Hills, colorado is about 2.5 fenced acres and has bags dispensers, trash cans, benches, rest rooms, loop trail, dog drinking water stations to keep your dogs hydrated, some shade and parking. It also has a pavilion, playground and sports field. It has been rated with 4.3 out of 5 stars and most of the complaints were about the dog owners who does not clean their own dog wastes. The place is also a bit dusty.

Dog Friendly Restaurants

If you’re like most dog lovers, your furry friend is an important member of the family. Colorado Springs boasts the ideal, natural environment to provide you and your dog with a happy and active lifestyle. Sharing everything this beautiful area has to offer with your pup isn’t always easy when you’re ready to grab a bite to eat, however. But in typical Colorado Springs style, the city is here to keep you and man’s best friend together, healthy, and happy. Here are just 10 Colorado Springs restaurants you and your four-legged companions are welcomed together:

Pizzeria Rustica

 Rich with history and culture, Pizzeria Rustica hits all the Colorado Springs marks. The beautiful building that houses this unique restaurant is situated in Old Colorado City and has roots that go back to 1889. Not only serving a long list of rustic-yet-sophisticated menu items and unforgettable wood-fired pizza, but Pizzeria Rustica also prides itself on being environmentally friendly and certified-green. As if dining there doesn’t seem enticing enough, the restaurant loves all members of the community and welcomes your friendly pooches on their inviting patio- water dishes included!

 

Trinity Brewing

What would Colorado be without some quality craft brews? At Trinity Brewing, they’re all about taking advantage of everything that Colorado, and the Earth, has to offer. Not just brewing amazing beers, the company is built on a foundation of community and eco-sensitivity. Stepping inside the brewery, which is made from 100% recycled materials, you’ll never want to leave. And since Trinity Brew understands that a great time involves the furriest of your family, it’s a regular spot for owners and dogs alike to come to enjoy mouthwatering beers and made-from-scratch food on their outdoor patio.

Cerberus Brewing Co.

Located directly on West Colorado Ave., Cerberus Brewing Company showcases Colorado’s unique personality and flare at every turn, From their beer, food, and exceptional service, you and your pup will enjoy every minute. Their drink and food menu seems endless and the outdoor patio is made to accommodate any furry friend you bring with you. In addition to being dog-friendly, Cerberus goes the extra mile for your pooch by providing a bowl of water and homemade dog treats! As true members of the Colorado Springs community, the restaurant even hosts pet-friendly events.

The Principal’s Office

You may think that “dog-friendly” establishments are only serving burgers and fries, but Colorado Springs is here to prove you wrong. The Principal’s Office is sophisticated, classy, and rife with a unique menu that will please any demanding palette. In addition, the “P.O.” takes you back in time to the Prohibition era with all the fine detail you could imagine. Your dog can enjoy the eclectic, elegant, and historical experience along with you on the P.O.’s beautiful patio, where water bowls are already there waiting!

Pub Dog

If you’re looking for a place that your dog will love, look no further. Pub Dog is a place “where dogs bring their owners” and Colorado Spring’s only play park and eatery that caters to your pup. You can bring your pet with you to eat, drink, have fun, and relax. You can dine indoors or out, and make selections from menus that provide variety for the entire family; including the dog! After grabbing a bite to eat, you can enjoy the 3,000 square-foot fenced dog park with other community dog lovers. 

 

 

Swirl

Before you even walk in the door, you’ll feel at home at Swirl. Your eyes will never find an empty space, with umbrellas decorating the ceiling and colorful masks, lights, and colors donning every wall. Whether you’re looking for world-class wines or luxurious beers, Swirl has something for you. Their food menu doesn’t lack either, with a slew of delicious, artisan, locally-grown options. The people at Swirl want your dog to feel at home too, and their welcoming patio provides comfortable, shaded areas for you and your pup to relax and enjoy the amazing surroundings.

 

 

Edelweis Restaurant

In the mood for some great German food? Edelweiss has been around since 1967, serving authentic German and European food to the community and leaving their mark. And since pooches are welcome on the patios in most European countries, Edelweiss sees no reason to stop the tradition with them. You can bring your dogs with you to enjoy their comfortable patio and Biergarten while enjoying a menu that is always high-quality and never-ending. Your dog might enjoy the authentic memorabilia, blazing fireplaces, and strolling musicians just as much as you.

The Sweet Elephant

No matter where you are in the city, you can enjoy The Sweet Elephant with your pup since there are two locations. With the goal of introducing every Colorado citizen to the amazing world of wine, they have a stupendous selection of wines and drinks to choose from. More focused on the wine menu, you will only find a short list of food items available. But unlike many other places to enjoy a drink and snack, The Sweet Elephant welcomes your dogs indoors and out, as long as they are well-behaved and leashed! Take your pooch with you to learn, relax, and enjoy.

The Burrowing Owl

Calling itself a “neighborhood lounge,” the Burrowing Owl is a cool, local spot that opens its patio to all members of the community; even the furry ones. A retro-yet-modern, simple-yet-unique environment provides the perfect place to enjoy one of their many local beers and food items all made with the Colorado warmth we all know and love. All of the traditional, Colorado favorites on the menu are 100% vegan, though there’s something enjoyable here for any member of the family. When the weather’s nice, bring your pup out with you to the Burrowing Owl, where you can both enjoy the best your community has to offer.

STIR Coffee and Cocktails

Nestled in the Old North End of Colorado Springs, STIR Coffee and Cocktails showcases what Colorado can do. Their food menu is made-from-scratch every day, through the use of local farmers and their products. You’ll also find locally-crafted spirits, syrups, and coffee to enjoy. Though their menu isn’t extensive, it changes often and each item is exquisitely executed. Your dog can even choose something to enjoy from their pup-exclusive menu. As a true member of the community, they provide ample space on front and back patios for both humans and pets alike to enjoy the local flavor together.

 

Colorado Springs is a great city that focuses on community, health, and happiness. The Johnson Team specializes in everything the great city of Colorado Springs has to offer. Contact us today to find out more about your majestic city!

 

(Coming this Spring) Farmer's Markets

Check back in March