OK, it isn’t really new if you listen to the geologists, they talk millions of years, right? But access by the general Colorado Springs hiking and biking public to this southern extension of the Garden of the Gods rock formations has not been that long (since 2003). For a more complete history, visit Red Rocks Canyon Open Space .
As a former quarry area, there are parts of the park that aren’t completely ‘back to nature’, but yesterday when I hiked the area for the first time, I was surprised at how nice it really was. I took an hour loop, (I could have made it a lot longer), but the scenery was quite beautiful. The ground slopes to the south, so the loops shown on the trail maps are pretty much up hill going south, down going north.
More than its more famous cousin, Garden of the Gods park, this area is very mountain bike friendly, and they have even built a mountain bike ‘stunt park’, not unlike the terrain parks at the mountain resorts. It re-enforces the firm belief I have that you can never run out of great hiking and biking trails in Colorado Springs.
This area has some pine stands, but overall is pretty open. Yesterday was a very sunny day and in the 70’s, and I was glad for my wide brimmed hat and some water. If I had really been thinking, I probably would have slathered on some sun screen, although I did not get burned at all. For a Labor Day weekend outing, I was also somewhat surprised it was not more crowded, but that is part of the beauty of hiking the less famous trails.