3 Perfect Peak Hikes

    Looking to work off some turkey? Boycotting Black Friday? Head for the hills with a hike up one of these three neighborhood peaks.

    view from blodgett peak hike
    View from Blodgett Peak. Photo by Dean Dunston

    The November weather has stayed friendly. The snow has been minimal even on our nearby Front Range peaks. And you’ve got to do something to work off that turkey and stuffing. How about a hike? The trails are calling, and these peaks are easily accessible from Colorado Springs neighborhoods. Just prepare for unexpected changes in the weather. And take binoculars if you want to try spotting those long lines snaking out of the big box department stores. Happy hiking!

    Blodgett Peak

    9,432 feet | 6.4 miles

    Neighborhood: Peregrine / Rockrimmon

    Difficulty Rating: Intermediate-Advanced

    One of the highest points along the city’s northern ridgeline, Blodgett’s rocky promontory sees moderate traffic, especially on top. The lower trail after the Woodmen Road trailhead offers a gentle hike, but the upper reaches grow steep, loose, rugged and hard to follow in spots. Scrambling is required to reach the summit. You’ll have gained about 2,700 feet of elevation from the parking lot, but the views over the Air Force Academy, Rampart Range and Pikes north face are a worthy reward.

    Red Mountain

    7,361 feet | 3 miles

    Neighborhood: Manitou Springs

    Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

    The relatively low peak offers stellar views over Manitou Springs with a side of colorful history. You’ll find the remains of an old incline railway and the foundation of a bar and dance hall rumored to have engaged in more illicit activities. It’s also the original burial site of Emma Crawford, whose haunting memory is marked each October by Manitou’s coffin race. Catch the trail at the Iron Springs Trailhead, and gain 800 feet in 1.5 miles—nothing as steep as the Incline, but a worthy and far less crowded ascent.

    Mount Muscoco

    8,020 feet | 4.5 miles

    Neighborhood: Broadmoor / Cheyenne Cañon

    Difficulty Rating: Easy-Intermediate

    The North Cheyenne Cañon gem shares a well-marked trailhead with Mount Cutler, but it’s worth taking the trail less traveled by hanging a right at the saddle and pressing on another 1.5 miles to the top of Muscoco. You’ll be rewarded with unique views into South Cheyenne Canyon; look for zip liners on The Broadmoor’s courses. Upper sections of the trail are steep and loose, but a full 360-degree panorama awaits at the top. The sensation is a close-up of local peaks and landmarks: Cheyenne Mountain, Mount Rosa, Saint Peter’s Dome, Gold Camp Road, Cutler, and Colorado Springs below.

    This article was adapted from “Best Hikes: Summer of Colorado Springs Summits.”