Hike Bob: More Short Hikes in the Pikes Peak Area | Hike bob

A few weeks ago I wrote about short hikes in the Pikes Peak area. These were hikes of 2 miles or less, out and back. Today, a few more, including some reader suggestions.

Zook Trail Loop, Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Other than the Dixon Trail, there really isn’t a hard trail in the closest state park to Colorado Springs, and the Zook Trail is one of the easiest. Family friendly, easy and a mix of woods, grassy fields and beautiful views, it’s a delight and it’s all about 1.25 miles. Check it here. Entrance fees apply, dogs are not allowed.

Niobrara Trail Loop, Garden of the Gods Park. Suggested by reader Linda Watkins, it was also one of my picks for this list. Starting at High Point parking lot #9 at the southeast corner of the Garden of the Gods, travel a short distance east on the park road and look for the trail that begins where the road turns south . Take the path downhill, and at the next intersection, turn right. The trail crosses an old earthen dam and then climbs to the top of a ridge that runs along the east side of the park. Follow the trail along the ridge until it descends and at the bottom of a few switchbacks, turn left onto the Ute Trail, then take the first right onto the Ute Connector Trail. The trail skirts the south side of parking lot #10, then turns left and goes south, heading right on the trail back to parking lot #9 for a hike of about 1.5 miles.

Pro tip: The sunrise views from the ridge are some of the best you’ll see in the park. Check out this loop here.

Views from the Niobrara Trail are some of the best in the Garden of the Gods

Rattlesnake Trail, Ute Valley Park. Reader Jim Davies suggested this, which was also on my list of favorite short hikes. Running along a ridgeline in the far west of Ute Valley Park, the trail has shade, hoodoos, and some great views. Despite the name, this is the only trail in the park where I haven’t seen a rattlesnake, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t. Just under 2 miles from the trailhead near Pinon Valley Park, this is a nice, short hike to do. Check it here.

Coal on Rattlesnake

If your pup is like mine, he’ll also enjoy the view from the Rattlesnake Trail in Ute Valley Park.

This list is not exhaustive, of course, and you may have your own favorite short hikes. Email me if you want to share them!

Be wise. Do good things. Explore new places.

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