Colorado Springs area


Forever Wandering
Apr 8, 2015
Looks like I'll be in Colorado Springs for work in mid June. Might be able to snag a couple extra days in the area, and I think I may have at least an evening or two available if that fails.. Any must-see things in that area? Hoping to sneak some dayhikes in if I get a couple extra days, but we'll see what happens. Just trying to get some ideas.
Manitou Springs is pretty nice there are some day hikes in that area that are fun. If you are looking for a drive, I would suggest Pike Peak or Mount Evans. Both are pretty scenic and the both summits have great views, although I think the view from Mount Evans is the better of the two.
Garden of the Gods is eye candy worth visiting. For 'real' day hiking close by Cheyenne mountain state park is nice or Pikes Peak as mentioned.
Looks like the sangres aren't too far away from there, if I do get a couple extra days that could also be an option. have heard many good things but have never been there. suggestions there are welcome also.
Looks like the sangres aren't too far away from there, if I do get a couple extra days that could also be an option. have heard many good things but have never been there. suggestions there are welcome also.

If driving to the sangres works with your schedule, there's pretty much an endless list of destinations within reach. Mt evans wilderness, the preeidential range over by buena vista, spanish peaks, all the open spaces in jefferson county, douglas county, etc. All of that stuff is same distance or closer from the springs. I'd just jump on alltrails and start working the map.
Green Mountain Falls has an AWESOME trail system. Garden of Eden ROCKS. Hiking Horsethief Park or The Crags south of Divide is awesome.

Mt. Herman out of Monument is a great, short hikefor an evening, etc.

Beaver Creek Wildlife area out of Penrose is awesome.u have a decent vehicle driving up Greenhorn Mt. south of Florence enroute to Westcliffe is out of this world. St. Charles Peak is a great hike if ypu don't want to go all 25 miles to the spectacular end of the road and easy 3 mile hike to Greenhorn Summit. Not sure how snow might kabosh that

Bison and McCurdy in the Taryall Mts., Lost Creek Wilderness.

Over 30 years in Colorado the Sangres were the unequivocal glory of the Centennial State for me. There is good snow now but I have had great early season luck there. I'm guessing this year you're too early for the Comacnhe Venable Loop but google Horn Lakes, Goodwin Lakes, Dry Creek Lakes, Comance Lake, Stout Creek Lakes and more on the East Slope area from Gardner through Westcliffe to Salida. On the West slope I belive Crestone is the most spectacularly situated town in the State. Sure, Ouray, Telluride, Silverton, and Lake City are amazing but if you go to Crestone you'll see what I mean. SWEET Trailhead car camping. The 5 mile hike to Willow Lake is great in your time frame and is one of my favorite dayhikes on 5 continents. It is exquisite but the most "crowded" hike on that side of the Range in Colorado for good reason.

If you message me I have a Sangres gallery on facebook. A few teasers:

From the South Zapata Trail:

Sangres from South Zapata Trail.jpg

Willow Lake. Notice my friend near the top right of the Falls?

Sangres Willow July 98.jpg

Looking down to Willow Park enroute to Lake.

Sangres down Willow Creek.jpg

Sangres Westcliffe Mural..jpg

Don't have East side pics on computer here, message me for that gallery. If I can help you out geat, if not may the trail rise up to meet you.
Many thanks for all the good suggestions. Looks like I will have 2-3 full days free, so now I just have to sort through options and decide where to go. If the snow conditions allow, I'm pretty sure I'm going to the Sangres for an overnighter, they've been on my radar for a long time and I very rarely get to that area. Thinking of either Sand Creek Lakes via Music Pass or South Colony. Good, bad, go elsewhere?
I love Sand Creek Lakes. I drove that "road" several times when it was open to just below S. Colony Lakes. Isn't there a fee for that area now? Personally I'd put Comance or Dry Creek above 'em.
No idea about a fee for South Colony, but if so that kind of makes it an easy choice to go for Sand Creek Lakes. I'll keep Dry Creek and Comanche in mind for sure. Any idea how the fishing is in any of these areas?
I have seen a LOT of larger trout in Upper Sand Creek Lake. The biggest fish I know of in the Sangres are in Winchell Lakes. I would not solo those lakes, kind of tricky. Great Fish in Lilly Lake too. Bushnell Lakes are also awesome fishing.
If your trip hasn't come and gone.......There aren't too many bad spots inthe Sangres. Nearly every basin on the East side has alpine lakes to enjoy that are surrounded by 13ers.
Lakes of the Clouds, Megan Lake, Bushnell Lakes, Stout Creek Lakes, Comanche/Venable Lakes are all good options. The Colony Lakes by the Crestones are beautiful but very crowded. Comanche/Venable can be busier too but a managable loop can take in both basins as a day hike. Bushnell and Stout Creek basins are probably the least crowded of the ones I mentioned. All these have 13ers above the lakes. I've never been in south of Colony Lakes road but the photos of Sands Lakes look equally impressive. In the fall, I've seen large trout surfacing in the Lakes of the Clouds. The west side also has numerous lakes but add at least an hour from the Springs.
Crestone is 3.5 hours whereas Westcliffe is 1.5 hours from the Springs.

Major melting going on down there now. Enjoy
Thanks for the good advice folks, made for a good hike and gave plenty of extra ideas if there is a next time.

Absarokanaut I may have to pick your brain a bit on the absarokas sometime. as one who frequents Wyoming I feel it would be good to go there sometime. also how does the snow look out there? I'm headed for a short trip in the winds in less than a month... I know I'll have to be flexible but it's a matter of how much melts in the near future.
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