02 Apr Explore Manitou: Best Hiking Trails
By: Emily Stockton and Mackenzie Winebold
Spring has sprung in Colorado, making it the perfect time to go explore the hiking trails near Manitou Springs. During your stay at SunMountain Center, be sure to check out one or all five of these beautiful spots!
1. Manitou Incline
The Manitou Incline has officially been made legal to hike (not that it stopped Coloradans before!) and offers the best aerial view of Manitou Springs around. After climbing all 2,744 steps, you’ll have reached the summit—an impressive feat!
If you intend to hike the Incline, be sure to bring plenty of water, clothing that is suitable for the weather, and wear a good pair of hiking shoes. You should also be aware of the signs of altitude sickness, as this one-mile hike comes with a 2,000-foot increase in elevation.
Still interested? To access this trail, you’ll need to hop on the free shuttle that runs between Memorial Park and the base of the Incline.
2. Intemann Trail
The Paul Intemann Memorial Trail is named for the Manitou Springs City Planner, Paul Intemann. This 1.8-mile trail is great for beginners, as the elevation increase is fewer than 400 ft. As you walk along this trail, you’ll notice beautiful Colorado wildflowers and stunning mountain views.
3. Barr Trail
Barr Trail is another hot spot here in Manitou Springs, as this hike will bring the brave of heart to the top of Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain. In 6.5 miles, you’ll have climbed an astounding 3,800 ft. in elevation, most of which is accomplished in the first three miles of the trail.
Similarly to the Incline, you’ll want to bring plenty of water, snacks to keep your energy up, and clothes that are appropriate for all types of weather, as you may experience dramatic differences in temperature as elevation increases.
You can also access this trial using the Free Shuttle from Memorial Park to the base of the Incline.
4. Red Rocks Open Space
This gorgeous open space is composed of six hiking trails, each beginner-friendly, and relatively short compared to the others on this list. The longest trail, Hogback, is 3.3 miles while the shortest, Upper Dog Loop, is only one mile. Additionally, Red Rocks Open Space offers a little glimpse into Colorado history—in the 1800’s, a quarry was opened in this space, and one can still access this area via Quarry Trail. With six trails to hike, there is plenty of space to explore.
5. Garden of the Gods Trails
You won’t want to miss out on the iconic Garden of the Gods. With 15 miles of hiking trails at various difficulties, there is truly something for every adventurer in the park. From the wheelchair and stroller accessible Perkins Trail which will bring you to iconic rock formations such as Kissing Camels rock, to more challenging trails like the Siamese Twins trail which offers stunning views of Pikes Peak, you’re sure to find the adventure you’re looking for at Garden of the Gods. Similar to Red Rocks Open Space, you’ll need to be prepare for hiking in a vast area.