William's Canyon Trail is a 5.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Manitou Springs, CO that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The Secret Treasure of Manitou Springs Williams Canyon is situated, fittingly enough, at the end of Canon Ave. in the northwest section of Manitou Springs. It extends approximately 3 miles due north. The trail parallels the stream to its source. What is now a bare trickle in early October was once powerful enough to carve this canyon deep through ancient layers of limestone, dolomite and sandstone, producing cliffs that rise 300 feet above the trail. In the spring, when the waters flow more abundantly, you'll attain a better sense of what this place might have been like long ago. What makes this canyon unique in the area now are the limestone walls exposed along the canyon's upper rim. Directions: Exit I-25 at Cimarron Ave (exit 141) and head west toward Manitou Springs on US Hwy 24. Take the Manitou Ave. exit off 24 and drive through the "downtown" area to Canon Ave. Turn right and drive up the hill to the Hwy 24 overpass. You'll find some parking space under the overpass. If it's full, you can park on the street and hike up - just be sure you park legally, not blocking someone's driveway.
Views are very secluded and stunning, pikes peak and surrounding canyon walls can be seen. Trail is hard to follow though in some parts
The descriptions of the trail from AllTrails is pretty much spot on. With navigation cues based on terrain change. The waterfalls were flowing but the water level was extremely low due to the time of year. We made it to Rampart Road but instead of turning around we followed Rampart NE to another trail that cut the trail in half. The decent was pretty steep but there was a trail that looked heavily trafficked by goats and people. All around great views! Be sure to bring lunch and take in the scenery atop on Rampart Rd.
To access the trail, park on Canon Street legally and walk up the road. There is no parking at the "trailhead" or under the overpass. If you pass a unique looking stone house on the right, you have driven too far to park. The entrance to the trail is the Cave of the Winds exit. You have to hike up the canyon a little while before you reach the dirt path, which is in the left. Eventually the path crosses the stream and continues on the right. Follow the trail all the way up. It dead ends at the top of a waterfall and offers a nice view of the canyon. The only downsides of this hike are the pieces of metal trash along the way and the building that is going on above the canyon. This is a quiet place to hike and you will be far away from the mob of people in the popular trails.
Great hike, but three weeks later my legs are still itching from something... Look out for poison ivy, oak, sumac, who knows. It's been bad. Anyway, the canyon is the best part. The hike up the hill at the end doesn't give much of a view but it's still worth doing for a change of terrain and to escape the canyon for a minute.
Awesome hike. DO NOT go if there is rain in the forecast. It is the poster child for flash flood and search and rescue
Awesome hike. Maybe a little more than moderate just because of the technical parts. It is not off limits, sign a waiver at the Cave of the Winds. DO NOT park at the trailhead. $100 parking ticket today. My own fault though. And 100% DO NOT hike this canyon if there is rain in the forecast. This canyon is a perfect picture of flash flooding danger
The best trail
The track is closed. According to the signs hiking is not alloved. At a restaurant they said it's because of a fire last year. We turned around and went back.
This trailhead is easy to find, just head north on canyon avenue, find signs for flash flood warnings and walk down the one way street. Once you come to the end of it there will be old signs for cave of the winds. Follow those signs and you'll be on your way. We followed a dry creek bed for most of the way because the trail isn't well marked or easy to follow. It's probably closer to 6 miles total and takes longer than most 6 mile hikes because of the poor trail.
Overall, beautiful scenes and a couple of waterfalls along the way.
A fun little hike through a river bed that takes you to a waterfall. You can keep hiking up and past the waterfall but we didn't have the time to keep going. I think it's a 6 mile hike if you keep going. You do drive through a neighborhood to get there. Park at the top of Canon Ave and then follow the road to the left, go under the hwy 25 bridge and you will see the cave of the winds exit sign. There are signs that warn of flooding so use caution when hiking!
We walked through the river bed about 2 miles. We didn't have time for the entire length. We saw a couple tiny lizards, a small snake, a couple caves, and people zip lining across the canyon. Beautiful scenery.
Loved this trail. So much damage due to floods and fires. Damn shame.
Still completely closed ...seems like it'll probably never open again..
According to the Cave of the Winds Williams Canyon was destroyed by the floods last year.
Trail is still closed due to construction
Drove all the way here from Denver and the trail is closed. No word on how long.
Fun hike through a canyon with several caves to explore. I am sure if properly equipped, you could find a passage to Wind Cave.