A pretty area just west of Colorado Springs is Red Rock Canyon Open Space. With the system of trails here, one can make several different loops so that each hike here could be a little different. Keep in mind that this area gets very crowded on the weekends since it has close proximity to town; last time Lisa and I went here it was a weekday evening and there were relatively few people.
I rated the difficulty of these trails as easy although there are some uphill areas, we are at relatively low elevation here and most uphill is pretty short. With that being said, this is a great place to bring your older toddler for a walk in the outdoors. There are a couple parking lots with trail heads at each location and ease of access to the trails.
Lisa and I started out on the Red Rock Canyon Trail which begins with a consistent yet mild incline through canyon walls and cliffs. From here we continued on to the Red Rock Rim Trail and then the Roundup Trail. The Roundup Trail is where you will hit a section of the trail that gets a little steeper with a series of switchbacks.
When you get to the top of the switchbacks, which is also the end of the Roundup Trail, you will be rewarded with some great views of Colorado Springs and also of the surrounding hills. From here we hooked up with the Mesa trail for a short jaunt uphill just past the intersection of the Greenlee Trail. Here (about 2 miles from the start of this particular loop) you can hit a trail that will take you to Section 16, another hiking loop that Lisa and I enjoy. It is about a half mile hike to the Section 16 trails; Lisa I took a quick side trip here and then doubled back to Red Rock Canyon.
Once back in Red Rock Canyon, we continued on the Greenlee Trail and headed back down to the trail head and parking lot. One item of note on the Greenlee Trail: Most of it is downhill and very rocky, so take your time and watch your step.
This is a very pleasant hike for a weekday evening; the route Lisa and I took was just short of 4.5 miles.
To get to Red Rock Canyon Open Space, take the Highway 24/Cimarron St. exit off I-25. Continue west for about 4 miles; the entrance to the park will be on your left.
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