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Hiking At Red Rock Canyon

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Hiking At Red Rock Canyon

I’m developing quite a talent for frittering away large chunks of time here in Colorado, mostly taking advantage of the spectacular weather and landscapes. Yesterday I visited Red Rock Canyon, with its some 16 miles of interlocking hiking, biking and jogging trails  on the West side of Colorado Springs.

Here’s some more information from mtnchalet.com:

Luckily for us, the land that is now Red Rocks was saved from becoming a housing development several years ago, thanks to the efforts of citizens and advocacy groups. The city of Colorado Springs purchased the land in December of 2003 and designated it open space. It started as a small network of trails and has expanded greatly over the last couple years, with even more work still ahead.

The rocks you see at Red Rock Canyon Open Space share many features with the Garden of the Gods, acting as the next vertebrae in the spine of sandstone formations seen in their more famous counterpart. From many vantage points in Red Rocks, you can see the continuity of the chain—ancient slabs of beach popping up in an arc across the western edge of the city.

While the formations at Red Rocks are not as big as those in the Garden, they are no less beautiful and not nearly as crowded. Its popularity continues to rise, however, so if you want to avoid crowds, be sure to go on a weekday.

There are two main sections to the parking lot: the west half, visible when you first enter, and the east half, further along the road. Four main trails begin at the parking lots, each of which branches off into a variety of further options. If you park in the west section, you can go to the far western side and head past the roundabout, where there is a chained off dirt road. By heading up the road, you can access Sand Canyon or the Contemplative trail on your left. Or, on the other side of the lot just before the bike park, you will see the Mesa trail, which heads up the hill on the right. If you choose to park in the east lot beyond the bike park, you will see the Red Rock Canyon trail, which angles upward at the end of the lot, or you can take the Hogback Trail, which cuts through a gap in the rocks on your left.

With everything there is to see and do here — and given the fact that the Steelers are fading fast this year — I might never see another pro football game.

Yippee!

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