Red Rocks Canyon Open Space Hogback Ridge

Distance4.33 mi
Elevation Gain673 feet
My Time1 hr 51 min
DifficultyEasy to Moderate
Closest TownCo. Springs
Food NearbyBon Ton’s

Got a chance to get the FMLT intern out of the office and down to Colorado Springs to the Red Rock Canyon Open space. It was a nice park with some good views and felt like a smaller, less crowded version of Garden of the Gods

The Trails

There were several trails to choose from from the get go and your choice should be based on what you are looking to do. Climbers have one area to go and bikers seemed to like the Eastern trails a bit more because they were less rutted.

For us starting the hike we decided on the Mesa trail to get started. Mesa started with a good little uphill patch with the steepest being around a 30 degree incline according to Alltrails right at the start. In fact, about 90% of the elevation for the whole hike was on this Mesa trail at the beginning. The higher we went the better the views got though.

The views from the top of the Mesa trail.  There are about 6 large rock spines towering over the landscape in the distance.

Intemann connection

Towards the top of the Mesa trail there is a junction just labeled 16 that is a connection to the adjacent Intemann trail that is in another park. I would really suggest this trail as it has some nice hidden views. The trail does get a little steep but it is no worse than the Mesa trail. Their is a nice little rock formation that can only really be seen from this trail.

Nice Rock formation on the connecting trail.

The Canyon

Returning to the Mesa trail we followed it until we could descend down the Roundup trail. The Roundup trail drops you back down onto the canyon floor where you can gets some more really nice views of the rocks from a lower vantage point.

Roundup will connect to Red Rock Canyon trail and you can use that to begin to return to the park entrance. Red Rock Canyon trail is also where a lot of rock climbers were and if you look close at the rocks you can easily see a lot of the hardware that they use still affixed to the rock. I really did like the views and having some shade in this canyon.

Views of a towering rock wall from Red Rock Canyon trail.  the trail is wide in the foreground with the large rock wall in the distance.

After leaving the canyon it is back to the car. There are a lot of crossing paths that you can take through out the park but we didn’t have time to get to them all. One note is to make sure you bring sunscreen as there isn’t much shade for most of the hike.

Distance and Elevation

If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 4.33 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 673 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 6,835 feet. I was also moving for a total of 1 hours and 51 minutes.

Effort

Without a lot of large elevations gains and pretty steady terrain this hike didn’t add much extra effort. It was a nice morning walk though. Here is the step count from my fitbit.

Step count for the Red Rock Open space hike.  The count for this hike was 10, 117 steps

Terrain

The terrain is mostly a dusty clay/dirt that was mostly solid. There were a couple of wet and muddy sections but for the most part the terrain is pretty easy to navigate. Some of the trails do have some very large ruts in them so keep an eye on that as far as foot placement. While I always recommend hiking shoes I think some trail runners might be OK on this one. There were quite a few bikers at the park as well.

Access

Red Rock Canyon Open space is located on Ridge Road off of Cimmaron in Colorado Springs. There are a couple of different parking lots. 2 of the 3 lots that I saw had port-o-potties. There was no fee to enter the park.

Wrap up

I really enjoyed this hike in that it was short and each step seemed to have a different view because of so many different rock formations around. Pikes peak even towers in the distance. There is a good combination of rocks and trees as well. The trail is easy to navigate and there are many options to take in the park. It does have the potential to get really hot as there are large stretches with no cover. The only thing I didn’t like was the proximity to the city and the fact that a lot of the best views were of houses and neighborhoods. Usually I like to get a little further out of town but this was a nice hike for being so close to a population center. Overall really enjoyable.

I have added this hike and all of my hikes on my interactive map page you can find here. If you have any suggestions for a hike or any comments feel free to email me at fatmanlittletrails@gmail.com or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!

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