Columbine Trail

MODERATE 221 reviews
#12 of 31 trails in

Columbine Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Green Settlement, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,607 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

washed out

Enjoying the Bold Beauty of Cheyenne Canyon North Cheyenne Creek slices through Cheyenne Canyon, bordered on the north by Mays Peak and Mount Buckhorn, and on the south by Mount Cutler and Muscoco Mountain. Columbine Trail traces the cut of the creek from the canyon's mouth in southwestern Colorado Springs, west about four miles to its terminus at Helen Hunt Falls. With the lower trailhead located at the Starsmore Discovery Center (2120 N. Cheyenne Canyon Rd), Columbine Trail provides a variety of hiking possibilities in itself and access to several other adventures. If you appreciate the warbling rush of a running stream or the trilling warble of redheaded finches, you'll love this trail. If your eyes prefer granite massifs and distant vistas, you'll love this trail. Columbine Trail has three trailheads. The lower is located at the Starsmore Discovery Center. This guide begins at this point. The SDC is a treat in itself with excellent displays of local flora and fauna, augmented by helpful and knowledgeable staff. Park on the south side of the Center. The Middle Columbine Trailhead is on the right side of the road about a mile west of the center. The Upper Columbine Trailhead is a wide spot in the road, just past the entrance to Helen Hunt Falls, before N. Cheyenne Canyon Rd. joins Gold Camp Road. You can begin your hike at any one of these locations, depending on your interests, mood, or time.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is rated “easy” but I would rate it more as “moderate” not for families with little ones or small kids. This trail is awesome For solo hikers or if hiking with other experienced hikers. This trail is a great hike with a couple amazing views along the way! The only reason I gave it 4* instead of 5* is there is traffic noise from the road 90% of the time.

PET OWNERS. Let me start by saying I have a black lab named Griff and we go everywhere together and he has been on dozens of hikes with me. The bio says this trail is pet friendly which it is BUT please learn from my mistake and by shoes or boots for your dog before attempting this hike! The trail is all sharp rock and gravel and tore the pads on Griffins paws up and I had to carry him the last mile.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is awesome For solo hikers or if hiking with other experienced hikers. This trail is a great hike with a couple amazing views along the way! The only reason I gave it 4* instead of 5* is there is traffic noise from the road 90% of the time.

PET OWNERS. Let me start by saying I have a black lab named Griff and we go everywhere together and he has been on dozens of hikes with me. The bio says this trail is pet friendly which it is BUT please learn from my mistake and by shoes or boots for your dog before attempting this hike! The trail is all sharp rock and gravel and tore the pads on Griffins paws up and I had to carry him the last mile.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent. Hiked mid and upper Columbine to Helen Hunt Falls. Good workout. Lots of elevation changes. Variety of terrain. Spectacular views. Recommended.

2 months ago

this is one of my favorite trail to go running on, the loose gravel can make it difficult so comfortable shoes are a must!

2 months ago

Great trail took my dog with me it wore him plum out. beautiful views. will definitely go again.

mountain biking
2 months ago

The trail is rated as easy so we thought it would be a good trail to get back into mountain bike riding since moving to the area. The first mile may be easy, but after that, the trail is not for novice mountain bike riders. Lots of loose gravel, switchbacks, and heavy climb on loose gravel. We’d absolutely go back and hike it, but not
bike it.

2 months ago

Good trail,little confusion on where sections change to Middle Columbine and Lower Columbine as this is considered Upper Columbine.

hiking
2 months ago

In the summer, this trail is best done early in the morning. The sun can be baking later in the day.

hiking
3 months ago

Brutal gravel. Suggest doing in the fall! Did not complete. Odds were not in my favor

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike from the Starsmore Visitors Center to Helen Hunt Falls one way. The canyon has nice vistas with red rock canyon walls and a great view overlooking Colorado Springs. Hiked on 5/28/18.

hiking
3 months ago

The lower trail is simple and travels by the creek in some shade. The middle section climbs steeply up and down in little shade. It offers spectacular views and cool rock formations. The waterfall is nice, though commercialized as visitors can drive to it. For more info and pics visit. https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/06/05/roadtrip-to-the-rockies-columbine-trail-to-helen-hunt-falls/

hiking
4 months ago

Too much loose gravel in some parts for my liking, but the views were great and the foot traffic light (didn't encounter any bicycles). It's 3 miles from the middle trailhead to the end at the upper trailhead. I ended up taking the road back down, which worked on a weekday but which I would not recommend on the weekend when the park is busier.

4 months ago

I forgot how much I disliked this hike until we did it again today (May 5). Starting at the Starsmore Discovery Center the first mile is easy and goes through a slightly wooded area. You cross the road at the mid Columbine Trail and from that point the trail climbs relentlessly for close to two miles, over dense, loose gravel, with very little cover from the sun and lots of switchbacks. Not fun! For us it was 3.67 miles from the trail head to the parking lot at Helen Hunt Falls. We took the road back. 6.53 total.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views

5 months ago

Amazing trail. Perfect for Runners.

5 months ago

This park has tons of trails to do! So much fun and so much wildlife! All trails are labeled nicely and maps are posted throughout trails as well.

5 months ago

If this is the lower, mid and upper Columbine Trail I got 7.74 mi and most I thought was more than just moderate.

5 months ago

Beautiful trail, lower, mid and upper but I thought it was a moderate +.

hiking
6 months ago

We loved this trail. Our dog had a blast. This does have some moderate areas and some easy areas along the hike. Worth it!

hiking
6 months ago

A bit more difficult trail with not much foot traffic. Great mix of scenery and trail conditions. Perfect with our dog!

trail running
10 months ago

The trail is actually 8.2 miles as an out and back, not 6.9 miles. The trail is great for hiking and running on. If you’re biking be careful of loose gravel. The first mile after crossing the road has loose gravel, steep switchbacks, and drop offs. Would recommend wearing actually hiking boots or trail shoes. Regular shoes don’t work well on this trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Road is very treacherous with ice. Just saw an accident today. Don't go further than the middle columbine trailhead on the right side.myhere is also parking on the left of the road.

hiking
Friday, September 15, 2017

Well maintained trail but not at all the best trail in the park. Enjoyed the day but probably won't do it again.

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We spent 2 days and about 4 hrs total (2 hrs each day) to casually hike Upper and Middle Columbine trail. The trail is worth not being rushed. Great views of the canyon, boulders, treeline, and the Broadmoor. Terrain is packed dirt and loose rocks with a few steep areas.

1st day Upper - From visitor center to Gold Camp road crossing and back ~ 1.35 miles one way. Elevation change ~250ft. Mostly wooded section
2nd day Mid - From Middle Columbine trail parking to Gold Camp road crossing and back ~ 1.75 miles one way. Elevation change ~800ft. Mostly open section

trail running
Monday, July 24, 2017

Started at Upper Columbine Trail....limited inclines but great workout. You'll be sweating in the warm weather. Great trail running because you are up and down and it's not extreme. A lot of switchbacks. I followed it about 1 1/2 hours approximately 4 miles. Beautiful views, but mainly in the forest a majority of the time!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My favorite so far.

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

This trail is great. It's fairly easy for the first 3rd, and there are a lot more people. Once you get past the first 3rd the difficulty increases, but the number of people decrease. The trail ends at Helen Hunt Falls, and it's a nice spot to down a Cliff bar and take a break.

hiking
Thursday, June 01, 2017

I love this park but the mid columbine trail is pretty steep and alot of loose rock to fall on. I didn't mind going up but coming back down was a slow process due to all the loose rock to slip on. Beautiful view from the top and amazing waterfall at the end of the trail. The trail was around 10 miles according to my fit bit and it took me 4 hours round trip to complete.

hiking
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

An amazing trail to build your endurance for beginner level to advanced. I highly recommend hiking in from the mid point entrance to the visitor's center of Helen Hunt falls. This trail offers beautiful sites and plenty of shaded break spots. I packed a 3 liter camelback and it got me almost all the way through my hike. Enjoy!

hiking
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Great hike but pretty steap for my 6 year olds. We started at the middle. beautiful views for sure!

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