Best Fall Hikes Near Colorado Springs

Crisp air, cozy fleeces, and stunning aspen colors make for some of the best hiking conditions. Autumn in Colorado is stunning, and fall hiking near Colorado Springs is not something you want to miss! Oh, and did we mention the jaw-dropping mountain views?

The landscapes near Colorado Springs offer something for everyone. Between the aspen and pine forests, soothing creeks, and glistening mountain tops, it is hard to know where to start. Below you will find all the information you need on some of the best fall hikes near Colorado Springs.

A Quick Note

While generally safe, hiking does have potential risks: animal encounters, weather, and terrain. To set yourself up for success, always bring a pack and be prepared with food, water, layers, and other essentials. For more tips on getting prepared, check out how to pack for a day hike in Colorado.

Because bears are native to our beautiful state, bear safety is a factor to consider while preparing for and enjoying a hike here near Colorado Springs. Be sure to learn and follow NPS Animal Viewing guidelines and suggestions in order to enjoy wildlife sightings safely. When done safely, wildlife encounters can be a true highlight of the Colorado hiking experience!

expansive field with mountains and family walking on trail
Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

Preachers Hollow

Location: Mueller State Park
Distance: 20-25 minute drive, 15 miles from downtown Colorado Springs
Parking: Mueller State Park Visitors Center, 21045 Hwy S. Divide, CO
Permits: Colorado State Park Pass required per vehicle or you can purchase a day pass
Stats: 2.1-mile loop, 462 ft of elevation gain, easy
Note: Dogs are not allowed in the park

If you are looking for a fun beginner hike, look no further than Preachers Hollow. This loop offers a friendly multi-use trail with minimal elevation gain. Additionally, the loop style ensures that you will be exploring new terrain the whole route! You’ll find yourself wandering through canopies of aspens that open up to meadows with gorgeous views of the mountains in the distance. If you find yourself looking for a longer day, there are many other worthy trails in this park to explore.

The Palmer, Buckskin-Charley, Niobrara, and Bretag Trail Loop

Location: Garden of the Gods
Distance: 15-20 minute drive, 7 miles from downtown Colorado Springs
Parking: 1805 N. 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO; Park in the North Lot
Permits: Open to all hikers, no permit required
Stats: 4 miles round trip, 449 ft of elevation gain, easy

Hiking in the Garden of the Gods is a must-do when visiting Colorado Springs. The terrain in Garden of the Gods is open with little shade, so in the cooler temperatures, fall is the perfect time to hike this popular park. On this loop, hikers pass all of the unique rock formations in the park. There may also be opportunities to spot local wildlife or rock climbers scaling the rock. This park has tons of fun activities for people of all ages, and this trail is an accessible way to explore all the park’s best features.

Photo by Justin Hu on Unsplash

The Crags Trail

Location: 615 Teller Co Rd 62, Divide, CO
Distance: 50-60 minute drive, 34 miles from downtown
Parking: The Crags Trailhead, 615 Teller Co Rd 62, Divide, CO
Permits: Open to all hikers, no permit required
Stats: 4.8 miles round trip, 820 ft of gain, easy/moderate difficulty

Glistening granite features are a highlight of this trail. Before you get there, you will meander through aspens on a well-maintained trail. The trail then opens up to meadows and eventually, you will reach the top of the Crags Trails and enjoy stunning views of Pikes Peak. This hike also offers the opportunity to see the unique and twisted Bristlecone Pines native to the area.

Seven Bridges Trail

Location: North Cheyenne Cañon Park
Distance: 20-25 minute drive, 7.6 miles from downtown
Parking: Seven Bridges Trailhead, N Cheyenne Cañon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO
Permits: Open to all hikers, no permit required
Stats: 3.7 miles round-trip, 912 ft of gain, moderate difficulty

Aptly named for its defining features, Seven Bridges Trail swerves its way across North Cheyenne Creek via seven bridges. Not only do hikers enjoy the babbling of the creek underfoot, but this trail also offers fall hikers a golden aspen grove near the seventh bridge.  The end of the trail has beautiful views of the creek, valley, and Colorado Springs below. This is a moderate hike with good protection from the elements, making it a good choice in breezy weather.

Mount Buckhorn Peak

Location: North Cheyenne Cañon Park
Distance: 25-30 minute drive, 8.2 miles from downtown
Parking: Starsmore Discovery Center, 2120 S Cheyenne Cañon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO
Permits: Open to all hikers, no permit required
Stats: 3.9 miles round trip, 859 ft of gain, moderate difficulty

While views from any mountain peak are magical and inspiring, nothing compares to the 360-degree views from atop this one. At an elevation of 8,380 ft, Mount Buckhorn will satisfy every mountain lover’s dreams. It is a little harder to get to, but definitely worth it. This is an out-and-back trail through thick forests ending atop a peak filled with budging boulders. The views from the top are spectacular year-round, but especially with the fall foliage, making this one of the best fall hikes near Colorado Springs.

rocky steps through forest hiking trail
Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

Columbine Trail

Location: North Cheyenne Cañon Park
Distance: 15-20 minute drive, 6 miles from downtown
Parking: Starsmore Discovery Center, 2120 S Cheyenne Cañon Rd, Colorado Springs CO
Permits: Open to all hikers, no permit required
Stats: 7.6 miles round trip, 1,607 ft of gain, moderate/hard difficulty

The Columbine Trial is a great hike close to town that offers stunning views, opportunities to see tons of flora and fauna, and flexibility for different hiking abilities. This trail has three different starting points, lower, middle, and upper trailheads, which allow you to customize the hike length depending on how much time you have. No matter where you start, you will follow the creek up the canyon and be treated to the sounds of birds and views of the surrounding mountains. 

Colorado Springs is a perfect destination for fall hikers. With easy access to a multitude of trails and nature areas, adventure awaits hikers of all skill levels. If you are new to hiking, Broadmoor Outfitters offers Guided Hikes so you can be sure you will see some of the best hiking trails in Colorado Springs. There’s no better time than autumn in Colorado, so lace up your boots and get out there!

Why Visit The Garden of the Gods

Why Visit Garden of the Gods?

Consider visiting Garden of the Gods with all the recent discussions on social distancing and getting out for some fresh air. Hiking, rock climbing, Jeep, and Segway tours are just a few of the recreational activities to enjoy during your visit.

Welcome to Garden of the Gods

Formerly known as Red Rock Corral, Garde of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado, offer up some impressive geological features. Unique rock formations that have evolved over the early years have created some remarkable hogbacks, such as the Kissing Camel and Cathedral Valley.

The most visited public park in Colorado Springs is undoubtedly Garden of the Gods, attracting over two million outdoor enthusiasts every year.

What to do at Garden of the Gods

Rock Climbing

During your visit to Garden of the Gods, gear up and hit the rocks. Rock climbing is extremely popular here thanks to the steep rock formations. Should you be a beginner, consider trying out Cowboy Boot Crack.

More daring climbs include Anaconda, Triple Exposure, and Scarecrow. Watch out for the deception of the routes and always remember safety. All climbers that wish to traverse the rocks of Garden of the Gods need an annual permit. The yearly application is on the City of Colorado Springs website.

Climbers must also adhere to the Technical Climbing Regulations and Guidelines. Safety measures include proper equipment, having two or more in your party, and not staining chalk. There is also no climbing after rain or snow, as the rocks become unstable after they are wet.

Hiking

Lace-up your best pair of hiking boots and enjoy the 1.5-mile Perkins Central Garden Trail. This trail is excellent for wildlife viewing, walking, running, is paved, wheelchair accessible, welcomes dogs on a leash, and is open all year round.

Perkins Central Garden Trail starts at the North Parking Lot and leads you across Garden of the God’s gigantic and beautiful red rocks.

Should you be looking for longer trails, consider any of the twenty trails that are available when you visit Garden of the Gods. Any of these trails are excellent for social distancing and exercise.

Jeep and Segway Tours

Hook up with one of the local companies that provide jeep and Segway tours through Garden of the Gods. Enjoy checking out Cheyenne Canyon, waterfalls, spectacular views, and historical districts. Take in the flora, fauna, and geology the park has to offer.

Electric Bike Tours

Enjoy the magnificent beauty of Garden of the Gods and conquer the hills easily with an electric bike rental. Hook up with a group for a bike tour or venture out on your self-guided tour when you pick up a rental.

Mountain Biking

Load up your mountain bike and venture out onto a designated mountain bike trail when you visit Garden of the Gods. Hikers also utilize these trails, and equestrian riders, so watch out for them

Remember to abide by Garden of the God’s regulations for mountain biking as you are enjoying your day. Stay on the trail, be sure to dismount from your bike when you see a horse coming towards you, watch for wildlife, pack out what you pack in, control that speed, and most of all, have FUN!

Conclusion

Social distancing, along with exercise, is natural when you visit Garden of the Gods. Going out into the fresh air and enjoying all the park has to offer is a win-win situation.

For more information, or to plan your trip to Garden of the Gods, contact Broadmoor Outfitters for all your planning needs.