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The Undiscovered Beauty of Red Mountain Manitou Springs: An In-Depth Guide

View from the top of Red Mountain

Tucked away in the heart of Colorado lies a hidden gem that rivals the beauty and adventure of its more famous neighbor, the Incline. This less-traveled path, Red Mountain Manitou Springs, offers breathtaking views without the crowds.

This scenic wonder is not just a hiker’s paradise but also a place rich in local lore. It is the resting ground of Emma Crawford, a fascinating historical figure whose story sparked the annual Emma Crawford Manitou Coffin Race.

This article aims to shed light on the allure of Red Mountain Colorado, offering a comprehensive guide to the area’s stunning landscapes, intriguing history, and unique local events.

This post includes affiliate links but rest assured that we only recommend items we would use ourselves. And if you choose to make a purchase, we receive a small commission. No sponsorships, just the truth about our favorite finds.

Red Mountain Is A Tranquil Escape with Breathtaking Views

One of the standout aspects of the Red Mountain Manitou Springs hike is its proximity to the Incline Trail, providing visitors with mesmerizing views of the charming town below and the majestic neighboring mountain, Pikes Peak.

The vistas from Red Mountain offer a similar perspective to those found on the Incline Trail, allowing hikers to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes surrounding the area.

A remarkable advantage of Red Mountain Manitou Springs is its serene and less crowded atmosphere compared to the bustling Manitou Incline Trail. Here, outdoor enthusiasts can escape the crowds and find tranquility in nature.

It’s the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful and intimate connection with the surroundings.

View of the Incline from the trail of Red Mountain Manitou Springs

Unearth Forgotten Tales: History and Legend Await On Red Mountain

Red Mountain Manitou Springs RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park) has a rich history that adds an extra layer of intrigue to its allure. Along the trail and summit, you’ll come across remnants of the old rail cog railway and various older buildings, providing a glimpse into the area’s past.

An interesting anecdote related to Manitou Springs is the story of Emma Crawford. Back in the early 1900s, her coffin was carried up Red Mountain as part of her burial wishes. Over time, erosion caused her coffin to slide down the mountain, becoming a local legend.

To commemorate this unique event, the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race is held in Manitou Springs, where participants race coffins down the streets in a celebration of history and community spirit.

Red Mountain Manitou Springs Hike: A Step-By-Step Guide

Parking Made Easy

Before we embark on our hike, let’s talk about parking. You’ll find paid parking conveniently available at two locations:

If you park at Iron Spring Chateau, it’s $15 per car. Consider carpooling if you are going with friends, as this location has limited parking and it’s first come first serve. This parking lot also hosts hikers going to the Incline, so it will fill up fast.

If you park at Hiawatha Gardens, you have two choices. If you’re feeling up for an extra mile of adventure, you can opt to walk to the trailhead. It’s a fantastic opportunity to soak in the stunning surroundings and get your blood pumping. But if you’d rather conserve your energy for the main event, you can always hop on the free shuttle service.

Do not park at the Barr Lot as this is reserved for hikers using the Barr Trail and Barr Camp.

The goal is to make your journey as convenient and hassle-free as possible, so you can focus on the excitement that awaits you on the trail!

Meet the Red Mountain Trail

Red Mountain Manitou Springs

So, what’s the Red Mountain trail like? We first hiked it back in 2018 when we were new to Colorado Springs, and it was quite the introduction! It’s a bit difficult for beginners, but don’t let that deter you.

With a little grit and determination, it’s doable.

The trail offers a mix of moderate and challenging sections, making it a great option for those looking to push their limits a little. And the views? Oh, they’re worth every drop of sweat. Along the way, you’ll encounter several landmarks and viewpoints that are sure to make your jaw drop.

Navigating Your Way to Red Mountain, Manitou Springs

  1. Hit the Trail: Start your hike at the point where the Paul Intemann trail meets Ruxton Avenue. Follow the Intemann Trail, which is actually a closed road, for about half a mile.
  2. Marked Right Turn: Keep an eye out for a marked right turn. This is where you’ll leave the Intemann Trail and start your ascent of Red Mountain.
  3. The Climb: It’s a moderately challenging route, so take your time and enjoy the journey. The trail can be steep at times, but remember, the best views come after the hardest climbs!
  4. The Summit: Once you’ve reached the top, take a moment to soak in the breathtaking panorama. You’ve made it to the summit of Red Mountain – a feat worth celebrating!

The View From the Top

Ruin at the top of Red Mountain Manitou Springs.

Speaking of views, let’s talk about the pièce de résistance – the view from the top. Trust us, it’s nothing short of spectacular.

  • Manitou Springs: As you catch your breath at the summit, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Manitou Springs, nestled amidst the stunning Colorado landscapes.
  • Pikes Peak: And that’s not all. Off in the distance, you can see the majestic Pikes Peak standing tall, a testament to nature’s grandeur.
  • Incline: Look around, and you’ll catch sight of the famous Incline, evidence of man’s desire to conquer nature.
  • Garden of the Gods: And let’s not forget the Garden of the Gods, with its towering rock formations, a sight that’s sure to leave you in awe. It’s a visual treat that makes every step of your hike worthwhile.

Speaking of Garden of the Gods, read our guide on how to enjoy Garden of the Gods without the crowds!

Pet-Friendly Adventures at Red Mountain

Red Mountain isn’t just an outdoorsy paradise for us humans, it’s also a doggone (or catgone) good time for our furry friends!

This trail is all about inclusivity, embracing adventure seekers of all kinds – including those of the four-legged (three-legged in Pawdrick’s case) variety.

Interested in taking your cat on your next hike? Follow our 7 simple steps to get your feline friend harness ready and on the trails.

Leash Laws and Hydration Hints

While we’re all for letting our furry friends run wild and free, safety on the trails is a must. That’s why it’s important to remember that all pets should be on a leash while exploring the Red Mountain trail.

This not only ensures their safety but also respects the local wildlife and other adventurers sharing the trail.

But here’s something equally important: Water. Yup, hydration is key on these trails, especially for our furry companions. Once you hit the trail, there won’t be any water sources available, so make sure you pack plenty of H2O for both you and your pet.

Remember, a hydrated pet is a happy pet, and a happy pet makes for a fantastic adventure buddy! A collapsible water bowl makes it a breeze to keep your furry buddy hydrated.

A leash and water are not the only things to bring on a hike with your dog! Read our guide on what to bring on a hike with your dog!

Two dirtbags being silly at the top of Red Mountain.

Cheers to a Successful Hike!

Now, let’s talk about the perfect end to a day of adventure – a cold, refreshing beer. Our favorite spot? The Colorado Mountain Brewery is just down the road.

Trust us, after a day on the trails, their seasonal beers taste like liquid gold. And if you’re a fan of classic brews, you can’t go wrong with their flagship beers. Our personal favorite is the Roller Coaster Red Ale™. It’s always a winner!

What Else Can You Do Near Red Mountain Manitou Springs?

Looking for more adventure in Manitou Springs? Here’s what else you can add to your list while you’re in town!

  1. Iron Springs: Don’t miss a chance to sip from the rejuvenating iron springs, nature’s very own refreshment station.
  2. Iron Springs Chateau Historic Melodrama Theater: Step into the world of drama and culture with a show at this historic theater – it’s a real treat!
  3. The Cliff House at Pikes Peak: Rest your adventurous souls (and paws) at The Cliff House, your home away from home with breathtaking views.
  4. Spring Street Shops: Explore Spring Street for some retail therapy – it’s a treasure trove of unique finds and outdoor gear.
  5. Manitou Avenue Eateries: Satisfy your hunger pangs on Manitou Avenue, a food lover’s paradise with a variety of delicious options.

Looking for adventure elsewhere in Colorado? Check out our article on Square Top Mountain, Chataqua Mountain, and the gorgeous Catamount Reservoir.

View of Manitou Springs from the top of Red Mountain Manitou Springs.

The End of the Trail: Just the Beginning of Your Adventure Story!

You’ve now got the insider scoop on the hidden gem that is Red Mountain in Manitou Springs. Whether you’re an old hand at hiking or just getting your boots dirty for the first time, we hope this guide lights a fire under you to get out there and explore.

Remember, every journey begins with a single step, so take that step, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and let every moment sink in.

The dirt bags on top of Red Mountain.

Until our trails cross again, keep exploring, keep adventuring, and above all, keep wagging those tails. After all, Red Mountain isn’t going anywhere – it’s waiting patiently for you to write your next adventure story!

If you’re craving more hiking adventures, don’t forget to swing by our blog. And hey, we’re all ears! Share your favorite hike with us below. Happy trails!


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