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.

For more details about these trails and other great activities in Manitou Springs, visit https://www.sunwellness.net/manitou-springs/

Every Mother’s Day, we are gifted the opportunity to show our mama’s just how much we appreciate them. From their strength, kindness, and loving nature to all of the wisdom they’ve so graciously shared with us, we are all incredibly lucky to have women as sweet as our moms in our lives. This year, ditch the candles and feel-good cards she’ll burn through and forget about in a month, and give mama meaningful self-care, and healing gifts where she can form deeper connections with you and herself. We all love gifts that keep on giving: Give mama the gift of shared experiences with you. In need of inspiration? Check it out:

 

Journal

Give mom a place to record her innermost thoughts, feelings, and memories. Include a few pens in her favorite colors for added inspiration.
Wanting to add a more personal touch? Fill in the first few pages with artwork, inspiring quotes, images, and your favorite things about her.  

 

Photo Album

If you’re able to, pull together some of your family’s old photos of fun memories with your sweet mama—remember that vacation you took in third grade that you never forgot? What about that time mom surprised your on your birthday with the present you really wanted, but were certain you wouldn’t receive? These special moments define not only your life, but her life as well. Put them all together in a keepsake book that mom will treasure for years.

 

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz, the stone of the heart chakra. Rose Quartz is associated with feelings of unconditional love, like that between a mother and a child. Rose Quartz aligns with the heart chakra, providing feelings of comfort and love while dispelling feelings of fear and anxiety. This sacred gemstone contains feminine energy which balances and aligns the heart chakra with the third eye and crown chakras, bringing about the spirit of Mother Earth—the most sacred mother of all. Keeping this crystal within her home, mom will feel more aligned, more surrounded by love, and more balanced and connected in her day-to-day life.

 

 

Gaia Flow: Watsu with Mom

Watsu is a form of shiatsu that takes place in near body temperature or warmer water which combines elements of massage, shiatsu, muscle stretching, and water dancing. The receiver is continuously supported by their therapist while allowing their body to be floated, stretched, and cradled. At SunWater Spa, our watsu treatments take place in a body temperature, saline floating pool which grants the body added ability to float, making Watsu a truly weightless experience. Without the added weight of the body, the spine, joints, and muscles of the receiver can be manipulated and freed in a way which is unique to water work. This Mother’s Day, share this healing and nurturing experience with mom and book a side-by-side watsu for two, or simply give her the gift of nurturing with a single-person watsu appointment.

 

Mountain Mother Massage

Let’s not forget about the wonderful mommy’s-to-be in our lives! SunWater Spa’s Mountain Mother Massage is a soothing experience for mama, allowing her and baby the opportunity to relax and find refuge from the symptoms of pregnancy. Making use of the nourishing (and pregnancy safe!) oils of sunflower, sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, wheat germ, vitamin e, sweet orange, rosewood, tangerine, lemon peel, rose maroc, sandalwood and ylang ylang, she’s certain to leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and fully relaxed.

 

A Hike at Garden of the Gods and a Soak at SunWater Spa

Garden of the Gods has over 15 miles of space for you and your mom to explore. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and spend some quality time with one another. The Siamese Twins trail, in particular, holds desert beauty and stunning views of Pikes Peak.
After you’ve worn yourselves out at Garden of the Gods, swing on into Manitou for a healing soak at SunWater Spa. Allow the healing waters of the historic 7 Minute Spring to repair your tired, sore muscles while you relax and reconnect with your mom. Whether you choose a 2-hour soak or a full-day pass, you will both have access to our indoor saline pools, hot and cold plunge pools, and our infrared sauna. With all of these options, you and your mama will leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and closer to one another when the day is up.

 

 

Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found within various parts of plants which can be used to treat various ailments, lift spirits, and be used as an all-natural, aromatic perfume. To extract these oils, plants undergo a process of distillation by steam or water. After distillation, a highly concentrated essential oils is left behind, containing not only the aromatic essence of the plant, but also the plant’s healing properties. These oils aid in protecting plants against predators and disease, why not let them do the same for mom? Here are four examples of essential oils that are perfect for moms everywhere.

 

  • Lemon to enhance mom’s feelings of joy, provide immune support, and cleanse or purify the body.
  • Citrus oil to feel invigorated,provide an instant boost in energy, and similarly to lemon oil, boost her immune system.
  • Lavender to help mom relax, unwind, and to improve blood circulation.
  • Eucalyptus for stress relief, pain relief, and relief of cold symptoms!

 

Credit: Mariana Ziegler Photography

A Stay at SunMountain Center

Spring has sprung in Manitou Springs! Give mom the gift of experiencing a true (and beautiful!) Colorado spring with a stay at SunMountain Center. The days are longer and warmer, the flowers are blooming, and SunMountain Center is bursting with life and love. She’ll spend time perusing our gardens, exploring acres of property and winding meditation trails, and deepen her connection with herself and those around her.