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Stanley Canyon Trail

HARD 82 reviews
#6 of 128 trails in

Stanley Canyon Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Colorado Springs, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.1 miles 1433 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Slicing Into the Front Range Picture the "wall" of the side of a chocolate layer cake. Imagine making one knife cut down through that wall. Pull out your imaginary knife (so you won't get hurt) and gaze into the slit you've created. Now transfer this image to the front range of the Rocky Mountains, behind the Air Force Academy, near Colorado Springs. This is Stanley Canyon. Trail #707 leaves the trailhead parking lot on the west side of the Academy grounds and leads you UP the right (north) side of the canyon to the Stanley Canyon Reservoir about two miles away. In the first mile of the trail, you'll climb about 1200 ft. This is steep. The pathway is decomposed granite, except where it's solid granite. The solid sections are not long, but they can be tricky, especially if they're wet. As you climb, you'll reach platforms where you can rest and look back to the east toward the Academy and Colorado Springs. About half way along, you link up with the stream and parallel its course the rest of the way. The outstanding feature of this hike are the rock formations in the canyon walls; take plenty of time to observe them. After the first mile, you'll reach the top of the canyon. The path levels out, mostly, for the final trek up to the reservoir. This last section takes you through pine forests and aspen meadows. The reservoir is not large, but it is lovely. If you fish, it's worth taking your equipment; word is there are medium size rainbow trout in the lake. Dogs and kids seem to love the lake. I've seen dogs on and off leash. Because of the rocky path, I put boots on the dog - forgot one time, resulting is several sliced pads.


2 days ago

Awesome, tough climb with great views. Civilians get to add 1 mile to hike because the Air Force won't allow us up to the trail head. Doesn't matter though. I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps and definitely don't want to be like the Air Force. Go the extra mile.


6 days ago

hiking


9 days ago

hiking

Got past the North gate, but the guard would not let us pass the inner gate that leads to the trail because we did not have a military ID. Darn!!


29 days ago

hiking

Great hike! Beautiful views during the hike, and the reservoir was an amazing site! The water was a bit chilly, but we'll go back and swim/fish. Brought our pup along with us and she didn't have any problems. The first half of the hike was the hardest part with steep inclines and some slippery rocks. Altogether a great hike, our new favorite, and we will definitely go back!

We have DoD IDs but they were only checked at the initial gate. If you have a visitor's pass, you should be able to use the trail.


1 month ago

hiking

Challenging but the views are worth it. Must have DoD ID to hike this.


1 month ago

Beautiful trail when was able to hike it. But as of right now it is closed due to military usage
:( instead hiked the eagle trail


1 month ago

hiking

couldnt get on trail. why isnt it mentioned in the description that you have to be military!?!?!

this shouldnt even be on the list if its not public.


1 month ago

Challenging with beautiful views. Worth it.


1 month ago

It REALLY needs to be noted that this trail is accessible to military personnel ONLY. Wasted a lot of time driving over here just to get turned around.


1 month ago

Gorgeous hike. A fun adventure for our family.


1 month ago

backpacking

Fantastic; not exposed for the most part, plenty of interesting water crossings. My 6-yr old has completed this one twice. Recommend an early start as it gets a bit crowded in the early afternoon.


1 month ago

Beautiful out and back hike. A little difficult in spots but well worth the effort to get to the top.


1 month ago

I love this trail but you can not access it unless you have a friend with a military ID. I even called to verify this information to make sure. This trail is not accessible to civilians. They started going on about the Santa Fe trail which has absolutely no interest to me at all. Not being able to access Stanley Canyon is a real shame.


2 months ago

hiking

I always love to do this hike! I won't say it is easy, but it also isn't very hard. Very pretty scenary and worth the drive if you live far!


2 months ago


2 months ago

camping

@George Burns this trail is available to everyone. It is inside of the Air Force Academy grounds but anyone with a US ID can get on and drive to the trail parking lot


2 months ago

hiking

Great hike, this hike has a little bit of everything for everyone. Want to climb rocks... Got it smooth Forrest paths... Got it. Last but not least Waterfalls and streams yep!


2 months ago

Please do not list trails that are not accessible to the public


2 months ago

awesome trail. very difficult


2 months ago

Excellent!