Location: Manitou Springs / Colorado Springs, CO
Distance from Denver: ~75mi (~1hr 30min) ♡ ♡ ♡
Hike: ~3mi RT ♡ ♡ ♡
Difficulty: Medium to Difficult ♡ ♡
Parking Situation: Very limited as this area is also shared with the Manitou Incline. We have used the free shuttle to the trailhead -park by pick-up location for free at the 10 Old Man’s Trail parking lot ♡
Parking Fee: Depends. You can find limited free parking, but otherwise, be sure to bring money for the paid parking spots in Manitou Springs.
Happy Wednesday, friends! We are back with another fun hike in the Manitou Springs / Colorado Springs area. This time, we explored the Red Mountain Trail, which is right next to the iconic Manitou Incline. In fact, you can see the Manitou Incline from the Red Mountain trail. We mistakenly thought this would be an easier alternative to the Incline, but honestly there were parts of this hike that I wished we were hiking the Incline instead!
Getting to the Trailhead: To get to the trailhead, we followed Ruxton Ave until it intersected with Spring (pictured above). We went over the bridge and followed the path up to the start of the trailhead, marked by the chain draped across the trail (pictured above). This is the Intemann Trail, and this will intersect with the Red Mountain Trail after ~1mi. Brandon also used the comments on AllTrails to familiarize himself with where we needed to go.
Parking: Try to get to the trailhead as early as you can! The lot is shared with that for the Manitou Incline, so it is always busy. The main thing to note is that the parking right next to the Barr Trailhead and along Ruxton Ave is very limited. We arrived at 8am on a Saturday and most of the spots were taken. The town of Manitou Springs also offers a free shuttle to the trailhead - you can park right across from the pick-up location for free at the 10 Old Man’s Trail parking lot.
Facilities: None that we saw by this trailhead. There are bathrooms in the town of Manitou Springs.
What We Brought: plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat (most of the trail is exposed). In retrospect, we should have also brought out hiking poles.
The trail starts and ends with a steep incline and it is a steady incline in-between (aka this is a great thigh work-out). The trail is well maintained, but is generally sand and loose gravel. While this was fine for the ascent, it made coming down a little tricky as it was slippery when combined with some of the steep inclines.
This trail is generally pretty secluded because most people opt to go to the nearby Manitou Incline. That being said, we did see a handful of locals on the trail. The hike is a mix of having full sun exposure and time in the forest. There is a slight scramble a the very top, and only Brandon attempted doing it. He thought it was a little sketchy, so if you do attempt it please be careful! The views are pretty, and you can see the surrounding mountains including Pikes Peak!