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Rain gear is also recommended, as is sunscreen, sunglasses and a lightweight hat or hiking umbrella. All of this will add weight to your body, so account for that in the intensity of your climb check your local mountain outfitter for lightweight versions of this gear. Water: There is no place to stop for potable water on Pikes Peak.

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A purifying system will allow you to turn stream water into safe drinking water and refill your pack. You will want to hydrate frequently along the way, as the climb can quickly dehydrate you, which is a great way to end up at the hospital instead of the summit.

Colorado Springs Trails and Hiking

Food: Bring high-protein snacks such as energy bars and beef jerky. Salty snacks like peanuts and crackers are also lightweight boosters, as is trail mix. That energy drop is no fun when you have four miles of climbing still ahead. Clothing: As noted above, the weather changes all the time.

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Dress in layers and bring extra clothing like a warm hat, gloves and an insulating layer in the event that you hit cold weather. It should go without saying that good shoes are necessary. Timing: It is highly recommended that you leave early in the morning for your hike to give yourself plenty of time to reach the summit or Barr Camp. In the winter, the days are far shorter, so build that into your decision to hike. Leaving earlier will also help you to reach shelter before the notorious Colorado afternoon storms, where lightning makes hiking extra dangerous.

Parking: Parking is available at the trailhead with reservations or at the Cog Railway lot when available and Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama. Go here for more info. In the past, many hikers have used the Cog Railway. With that out of commission, here are your options:. You MUST have your route back planned before you climb. If you will not make the summit by the posted hours, turn around.

Reaching the top of a 14er is a proud accomplishment.

Five hikes in Colorado that are best done in the spring

Good luck to you on your adventure! There are plenty of ways to explore the mountain. Hiking Pikes Peak. Share this Post. Hiking Pikes Peak is Not for Everyone We never want to discourage anyone from pursuing their dreams, but we definitely want you to be prepared for the type of challenge this is. The first three miles will be the hardest of this leg, with lots of gain and tight switchbacks. Breathe slow and steady with strong exhalations.

Switchbacks are tight and terrain is often uneven and rocky Hello summit! Elevation: 14, feet A note about the Incline: Yes, you can absolutely include the Incline in your summiting of Pikes Peak. Visit like a Local. These formations are as old as the mountains.

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Humans have been drawn to these rocks since ancient times. Native American artifacts dating back to B. But it was in the s, during the gold rush and railroad time, when the rocks hit the Western radar. The area was bought by the head of the Burlington Railroad for his summer home, but he left it relatively untouched and welcomed the public to enjoy it. After he died, his children gave the land to the city.

The Garden of the Gods was named in One of the most popular ways to experience the Garden of the Gods is on your own two feet. The Garden of the Gods offers 15 miles of trails winding throughout the formations. There are various hiking options, including super easy options on paved walkways suitable for families.

Colorado Springs Trail Guide: Garden of the Gods Loop & Trailhead

The best way to approach this is via the Self-Guided Hiking Program. Pick up a free map at the visitor center info desk. Take your time, and take in the scenery. You want to set aside at least a half-day for exploring, though a full day will allow you to veer off on some of the smaller trails that are less crowded. For more structure, you can sign up to find free guided nature walks.

Before you head out for more than casual hiking at this altitude it's around 6, feet above sea level, so more than a mile high , make sure you have acclimated and are well-hydrated. Altitude sickness can derail your whole trip and be dangerous when climbing rocks. The Garden of the Gods is much more than just rock formations. Here are a few of the activities you can experience at the Garden of the Gods:. The fudge made on site is widely popular.

Entry to the park is free.

15 Best Day Trips from Colorado Springs

The visitor center is open 8 a. The cafe closes at p. The park itself is open much longer: 5 a. Parking is one of the trickiest parts of visiting the Garden of the Gods, especially if you visit in peak season during the summer. The parking lots fill up quickly, so the best bet is to arrive as early as possible or park nearby and take the free shuttle , which runs early June through late August, plus Labor Day weekend.

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It departs every 15 minutes from 9 a. The shuttles will make three stops on their loop. You cannot camp in the park itself but there are many camping spots nearby. Get a full list from the visitor center. One highlight is the Cheyenne Mountain State Park , which offers full-service camping including showers and laundry from mid-April through mid-October. This popular campground fills up quickly so reserve your spot well in advance.

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This is a private club and luxury resort, with views of the rock formations from your bed. Beyond its convenient proximity to the park, this hotel also is packed with activities: golfing, tennis, multiple swimming pools, and more. Relax in the adult-only infinity pool with views of the red rocks and mountains and experience the Garden of the Gods from a different, serene perspective. This club is also home to the Strata Integrated Wellness Spa, where you can meet with fitness and health professionals with both Eastern and Western medicine training.