When the temperature is in the high 50’s in February and it’s sunny outside, a hike from our Colorado Bucket List 2017 is in order!
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is located on the southwest side of Colorado Springs and is just south of Garden of the Gods. This red dirt hike also has spectacular rock formations, just on a smaller scale.
There are three main lots to park in. There is a dirt parking lot just off of Highway 24. There is a paved parking lot just past this dirt parking lot. There is also a secret third parking lot that is very close to some of the trailheads around the corner from the second lot. Red Rock Canyon Open Space is an extremely popular place to hike and ride bikes, so parking can be a little tricky.
There are several different hiking trails to choose from. We opted for the Red Rock Canyon Trail. This kid-friendly/jogging stroller friendly hike starts just off of the third parking lot. It has a small incline going up towards the lake. My three boys had no problem walking up this trail. On the right side there is a small hill. If you go up this hill there is a spectacular view of the lake from the northern most side. There are also some rocks that my boys loved climbing on. There seems to be a makeshift trail that goes along the edge of the eastern part of this lake, but it was really steep in some areas and I didn’t want to risk it with the toddler in the Ergo.
The boys threw a lot of rocks and sticks in the water which kept them occupied for quite some time. We walked back down this little hill and around the rock formations. The trail will lead to a small pavilion- the perfect place for a picnic. There are also lots of places to get close to the water and admire the view of Pikes Peak.
Hiking with Kids:
- The dirt is very red, so make sure that everyone is wearing clothes that you don’t mind them getting dirty in. My boys were filthy by the time we got back to the car.
- There are several port-a-potties available near the parking lots.
- Bring lots of water. In the summer time this park can get very hot since it’s completely exposed to the sun.
- I probably would not attempt this hike if the ground is wet from snow or rain, or if there is any ice on the ground.
- The trails weren’t labeled very well. I had to go from memory what trail I wanted and what landmarks the trails were around.
Boys’ ages at time of hike: 5, 4, and 22 months. Jogging stroller friendly. My toddler walked almost the entire hike, he was in the Ergo for the parts he did not want to walk.