South Cañon Trail – Colorado Springs, CO

Today I hiked: South Cañon Trail | 7.5/10

South Canon Trail - North Cheyenne Canon Park - Colorado Springs

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Distance: 1.5 miles out and back

Hike Time: 45 mins

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate (Elevation Gain: 279 ft.)

Need-to-Know’s

There are a bunch of different, unmarked trails that you can take once you set off on this hike.  This is just the route that my roommate (and his dog) and I decided to take.

During the hike, you have to cross a Mesa Ave. (not busy at all).  If you were to take a right on that road instead of crossing, you’d run directly into the main entrance of Seven Falls.

Finding the Trailhead

South Cañon Trail is one of the first trails you come across within the North Cheyenne Cañon Park trail system.  The trailhead can be found beyond a picnic area located right next to the parking lot at the base/entrance of the park.

Directions:  From Highway 25, take the exit for Tejon and head south toward the Ivywild neighborhood until you reach a funky 5 way stop light.  Take a right onto Cheyenne Blvd, and take this through 2 stoplights, all the way until you reach the entrance of North Cheyenne Cañon Park.  Take a left onto Evans Ave, then take your immediate right into the parking lot. (Birds Eye View)

South Canon Trail - North Cheyenne Canon Park - Colorado Springs
Still gorgeous, even though it’s December and everything’s dried up.

Notes

The route that we took got pretty steep in no time at all.  Once we crossed Mesa Ave. and continued left on the trail, we took the first right turn that we could find (a steep one) and climbed up to a little clearing.  From there, we took another steep right and began hiking/climbing up toward a dark rock face.

Neither Mikey nor I have any sense of pacing ourselves (mostly because we’re desperately trying to keep up with the dog), so we had to make a few pit stops along the climb to replenish the fuel.  Once we hit a fork in the trail, we took a right and headed into a thick, relatively untraveled section of the hike.

In the woods after we took a right at the fork

You could tell that people definitely hiked there, but it is without a doubt the path less traveled.  There wasn’t a really broken-in path, but the correct path is clear and obvious.  We kept climbing with beautiful views of red rock formations to our right, all the way until we reached a steep rock face.  The ground is extremely loose heading up to the rock face, so be careful and watch where you’re stepping.

Since we had the pup with us, we elected to just turn around instead of continuing to (literally) climb the rocks.  I’m sure there’s some really cool stuff to see/explore if you were to climb up there (and the climb really didn’t look too difficuilt…only like 15 feet or so), but I unfortunately don’t know.

We turned around and tracked back to the fork in the trail, and decided to take the “left” route that we avoided the first time around.  We jaunted along that for a bit until we reached a pack of people with an army of kids and loose dogs.  We decided to pull a 180 and just head on back to the car.

Overall, this hike was actually somewhat tough (because of the steepness), making it a quick, badass hike if you’re looking to get a little workout in.  My AllTrails app said I gained 279 feet, but I felt like I climbed way more than that.

I particularly loved the portion of the hike after we took the right at the fork in the trail.  I always find it a little more exciting when I’m hiking through an area that I know is very rarely traveled.  I like to imagine I’m like Lewis and Clark, exploring uncharted territory for the first time.  Except I have a smartphone, GPS, really comfortable boots, modern medicine, and bear spray.  So yeah, pretty much nothing like Lewis and Clark.  But still…

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