The Pikes Peak region offers a range of experiences for mountain bikers from novice to expert. Within an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs, the area offers over 480 trails covering 500 miles of mountain biking opportunities. From in-town parks, to National Forest access, to open space areas, mountain bikers can find the challenge they need to get their adrenaline rush.
With a little exploration, riders can find a level of technical challenge to suit their needs. Whether heading north, west, south or staying in Colorado Springs, mountain bikers will find terrain with a range of features to provide the right challenge.
Before You Get Started
Riders should be prepared for different situations depending on weather and season. Local areas are affected differently by precipitation; for instance, wet conditions in granite-heavy Cheyenne Canyon actually make riding easier whereas rain in Palmer Park with its hard-pack clay and sandstone rock makes riding trickier and causes damage to the trail.
Let nature’s sounds prevail. Save shouts of joy for post-ride stories.
Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics for Mountain Biking
Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Ensure your mountain bike is in good, working order. A properly maintained mountain bike reduces the risk of injury, a long walk out, or both.
- Check with land managers, local bike shops, local cycling groups, and. mtbproject.com for the most up-to-date trail information.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use and ride in small groups of 3-4.
- Be self-sufficient and pack appropriately. A rain shell, multi-tool, spare tube, pump, and food all help ensure a safe and fun ride.
- Wear a helmet and other appropriate safety gear. It could save your life.
Travel on Durable Surfaces
- For biking, durable surfaces include established trails, dirt roads, and pavement. Off-trail travel by bike is not often allowed. Check local regulations.
- Respect trail and road closures. Do not trespass on private land and obtain permits when necessary. Bicycles are not permitted in areas designated as state or federal Wilderness.
- Avoid riding muddy, excessively wet, or icy trails. When encountering patches of mud or ice, ride through it and not around to avoid trail widening.
- Avoid skidding. Locking up your tires creates ruts, increases erosion, and decreases your control.
- Take someone new for a ride and teach him or her proper trail riding technique.
Dispose of Waste Properly
- Pack it in, pack it out. Litter can potentially endanger wildlife, attract scavengers, and diminish other visitors’ experiences. This includes toilet paper and other hygiene products.
- Designate a pocket for litter, wrappers, and leftover food.
- Use restroom facilities before hitting the trail. Otherwise, deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Urinate well away from water sources and out of sight of other riders.
- Be cool. Leave a favorable impression; not waste.
Leave What You Find
- Preserve the past: observe, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- #mtbselfie: photograph yourself being a responsible mountain biker, take pictures of natural objects in the wild and leave them for future preservation.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Check your clothing, bike, and equipment before and after each ride for seeds. Wash your bike between rides.
- Unauthorized trailwork, like berms, bridges, ladders, etc. is not recommended. You could unknowingly damage sensitive vegetation or contribute to further erosion and other trail damage.
- Stick to the trail. Wildlife accustomed to riders can predict actions, but riding off-trail confuses wildlife.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, winter, dusk, and dawn.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- Respect other trail users and protect the quality of their experience. Always ride within your limits.
- Be courteous. Yield to hikers and equestrians. Be prepared to stop and dismount if the trail is narrow or crowded. Yield to climbing cyclists when descending.
- When encountering slower traffic, announce your presence with a friendly greeting or bell to avoid startling other visitors.
- Reduce your potentially intimidating size by stepping to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Ride in small groups to avoid excessive dust and noise.
- Racing on recreational trails is dangerous, inconsiderate, and never in style.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are reprinted with the permission of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. For more information, visit www.LNT.org.
A great starting point to explore the region is the Trailforks resource. You can start with this link for the Colorado Springs region and then narrow to specific areas.
Where to Go
2120 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
North Cheyenne Cañon Park is located on the southwest side of Colorado Springs. North Cheyenne Cañon Park is cut 1,000-feet deep into the 1.5 billion-year-old granite rock. This 1,600-acre park provides good habitat for large animals such as the Black Bear, Mountain Lion and Mule Deer, and little birds that love water, like the Kingfisher, American Dipper […]
Near Canyon City | 13.2 Miles | Moderate Start at the lower trailhead and jump immediately into Tectonic Shift which offers fun flowy cross-country type singletrack with some small rock challenges to keep you on your toes. Take a right following the signs for Tectonic Shift and keep the fun going until you pop out […]
Rampart is by far one of the deepest reservoirs within a 1-2 hour drive from the Springs and has excellent trout fishing from the shore. The spring and fall are great times of the year to fish for Rampart’s legendary large Mackinaw. If you’re trolling from a boat you have access to these big lake […]
Near Monument | 1.8 Miles | Moderate This trail is most often used to complete the loop around Mt. Herman. It begins as a marked, but easily missed, turn off of to the right of the last bit of Monument Trail (715) (see picture with hand). Do not miss this turn off, as the trail […]
Colorado Springs Parks and Open Spaces
Colorado Springs boasts 311 miles covered by 335 trails.
With 63 trails covering 25 miles of terrain, Palmer Park is an urban oasis for mountain bikers. 19 of the trails are black diamonds, so riders need to be forewarned that they may get to some terrain that is more challenging than anticipated. Access Info: Off of Academy Boulevard and Maizeland. From Paseo Road. From Austin Bluffs Boulevard.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
A former landfill turned city open space in 2003, Red Rock Canyon Open Space features beautiful red sandstone hogbacks throughout, trails from flow to chunky exposed rock. 52 trails and 35 miles over mostly intermediate terrain. Access info: Off of Highway 24 and Ridge Road or Highway 24 and 31st street.
Ute Valley Park
Ute Valley Park offers 31 trails covering 17 miles of cross-country track, mainly intermediate. Access Info: Parking is available on Vindicator Drive or Rusina Road.
Blodgett Peak Open Space
Blodgett Peak Open Space is a 167 acre property located at the foot of the Front Range, the property has outstanding views of Colorado Springs to the east and Blodgett Peak (9,426′ Ft) to the northwest. The property is also bordered on three sides by the Pike National Forest. Access Info: Blodgett Peak Open Space trailhead / parking lot (on the west side of Woodman Rd) 3945 W Woodmen Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80919
North Cheyenne Cañon
41 miles of trails heading up from city property into Pike National Forest. A mix of technical and loose, decomposed granite with options for large loops up to Jones Park.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
21 miles of mostly cross country trails, you’ll need a park pass for entry to the parking lot.
Stratton Open Space
Fun singletrack network leading up onto Gold Camp Road and Cheyenne Canyon
Air Force Academy
Really only one loop, but a fun trail. Closures can happen due to national security risks, so be warned that you might get turned back.
There are more riding areas, but these are terrific destinations for riders.
About an hour drive to the south of Colorado Springs on Highway 115, the Canon City region offers 55 miles of opportunity on 53 trails.
Oil Wells Flats
6 trails mainly of the cross-country variety over intermediate terrain. Access info: Main parking is off of County Road 9 / Red Canyon Road.
21 trails covering 22 miles of varying terrain and levels of technicality. Access info: Several different access points. Parking at the Centennial Lot, Chamber of Commerce Parking Lot, and others.
Royal Gorge Park
These 13 trails only cover about 2 miles of terrain, but the Park has mountain biking to enjoy while you visit the bridge.
30 minutes north of Colorado Springs, the area around Monument, Colorado offers 63 trails covering 80 miles of terrain.
This 4 mile single track loop is mainly ranked as “green” terrain.
The upper portion of a popular hiking and biking trail, this is mainly “blue” terrain -- fast with some technical sections. Be on the lookout for hikers and dogs.
This “blue” single track is typical forest floor. Stay on trail to avoid going to neighborhoods.
20 minutes to the west, up Ute Pass to the town of Woodland Park, riders will find a variety of trails covering 52 miles of terrain.
Catamount Reservoir Trails
5 trails covering 11 miles of dirt road and single track terrain. Access info: Take the Pikes Peak Highway from Highway 24 in Cascade, Colorado.
4 trails covering 12 miles of terrain, mostly circling Rampart Reservoir. Access info: Take Rampart Range Road from Woodland Park. This trail is higher altitude and typically cooler during those hot summer days.
The content on this page was provided by Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates