Colorado Springs is full of many wonderful, well-known gems and I frequent some of them regularly. Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Cheyenne Cañon and Red Rock Canyon Open Space, just to name a few. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about Red Rock Canyon Open Space because I would say out of those four, this one gets the least amount of love.
Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful park that contains 789 acres. It is perfect for hiking and exploring in every season. And there are so many trails to explore, seriously too many to count. In fact, part of the Palmer Loop Trail is in Red Rock Canyon.
I would say that Red Rock Canyon is one area that you don’t have to follow a trail so closely. Okay, maybe that is terrible advice. HAHA! What I mean is that Red Rock Canyon, in my personal opinion, is safe enough that you probably won’t get yourself into any compromising positions if you just start hiking on one of the trails.
With that being said this is a huge park, and some of the trails are miles long. If you’re not up for that make sure you follow a shorter trail or cut back early. The trail map can be found here. And again, in my personal opinion, it is easy to cut back to the parking lot in just about any part of your hike.
As I do with any trail I’m recommending, I have a few tips to give you if you haven’t visited before!
Things to know before you go – Red Rock Canyon Open Space
- I would rate this trail easy-to-moderate. Perfect for beginners.
- Decide how long of a hike you are up for. If you are only interested in hiking 2-3 miles, I would say you can just start hiking but instead of continuing on the exact trail you are in cut back when you’ve gone a little less than half the distance you are up for. Or just turn around. If you are interested in a longer hike, a little planning can help you determine the best trail for you.
- Okay, so I really don’t want to misguide you. If you are not familiar with Red Rock Canyon there is a chance you could get lost on a trail. It will feel like around every turn there is a fork in the path. Some of these are marked and some of these are not. My recommendation is that you should probably look at the trail map ahead of time regardless of what you are planning.
- Parts of the Canyon have limited available shade and you know what that means, bring your sunblock!
- Pack how much water you think you need and then pack more.
- Red Rock Canyon is a great place for families. Most of the trails are very easy with little gain in elevation. Go ahead and bring the young ones or the inexperienced hikers in your family. This will be a place that is enjoyable for everyone.
- It’s also a pretty great place for dogs. There is an off-leash trail too. Of course, in the summer that red dirt/sand can get really hot so make sure you are taking proper precautions to protect your furry family members paws. And please remember to bring water for them too. They need their own!
- Please be mindful of what time of day you are hiking. Dusk and dawn have been known to be slightly dangerous times, especially for women by themselves. Safety first. And midday in the summer without much shade, isn’t exactly the best hiking experience either.
- Always be mindful of the weather as well. You never know what the day holds in Colorado, you can start hiking and there won’t be a single cloud in the sky but in 45 minutes the sky might be dark and a thunderstorm might be approaching. Check the weather!
- Beware of wildlife. Red Rock Canyon Open Space is an area that is known for rattle snakes. Watch your step!
Red Rock Canyon is MORE than just a place to go hiking. You’ll find runners, mountain bikers and even rock climbers there. Just make sure if you plan on rock climbing, you have the right permits! It’s a great park for many activities and I can’t recommend it enough.