Columbine Trail

MODERATE 298 reviews

Columbine Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Colorado Springs, 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

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

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.

running
21 days ago

had a blast on this trail. fantastic views, easy parking, tough-ish trail.

running
1 month ago

Good views between the trees. Loose gravel from time to time, but nothing to bad.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

We ended up on this trail for our first hike due to no parking at the trail we wanted to do. It was pretty difficult up hill for a first hike but the views were amazing and several shade spots for resting. We only did about a mile and half in. It is more difficult coming down due to the loose rocks.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail really needs to be split up into its three separate trails. Of lower Columbine, mid Columbine, and upper Columbine trail. They can all be hiked without going onto the next and all have their own separate trail heads.Lower Columbine would he rated easy, mid Columbine as moderate, and upper as hard. Lower Columbine is extremely easy with very gradual elevation gain and very good for children with access to some picnic areas. Mid Columbine has somewhat more rapid elevation gain, but not as extreme as the upper part of the trail. Upper Columbine is pretty much all elevation gain with switchbacks. That ends/starts just above Helen Hunt falls. There are nice views of the city. If people are to hike the whole trail it definitely would a hard. There is a creek that runs along all three trails where people can have access to put their feet in if they like there is better access depending on lower, mid or upper. Don't drink the water or let your puppies drink the water there are known parasites. Water can be filled up at Starsmore Discovery center which is where the lower part of the trail starts. There is no running water at Helen Hunt falls nature center, but they do you have some for purchase if they are open.

hiking
2 months ago

Used a 35lb ruck for a turn and return 6 miles. Solid stuff.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

a nice trail that is very steep in parts. also narrow, but plenty of shade and a waterfall at the end.

running
3 months ago

Fun trail to run. The new connector trail up to High Drive/Gold Camp is a great addition! No more taking the road in that section.

hiking
4 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike! Nothing spectacular, but a solid hike if you're looking to avoid the potential snow at higher elevations. We began at 7:30a on a Saturday and at first, only passed two people. It started to get crowded when we were about 3/4 of the way done with the trail, maybe around 11am. I definitely recommend going early because the trail is VERY narrow and you really can't pass people on it without stepping out of the way. This wouldn't have been a big deal except for all the people who had their dogs off leash - this is REALLY REALLY not the trail for that! It's WAY too narrow with too many blind corners to come suddenly upon an off-leash dog. Other than that, it was a really nice, peaceful hike. Goes by the road for a bit but I didn't feel that this detracted from the experience, plus the sound of the water mostly drowns out the sound of the cars.

hiking
scramble
4 months ago

It was a fun trail, did some scrambling really enjoyed it all in all.. The trail was pretty moderate but not to challenging. Great hike after work, would return for another round.

hiking
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of great views, but gravely like others have said. Glad I brought my walking sticks. Really busy around late Saturday morning, but everyone was courteous and shared the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

This hike is not great for kids. Don’t be fooled! Narrow with some steep drop offs. We made it about halfway up and turned around because the kids were scared they were going to be pushed off the mountain by the numerous mountain bikes speeding up and down the trail. Would be great for solo hikers, well traveled and great views from what we could see at the halfway mark.

hiking
Thursday, August 02, 2018

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
Thursday, July 19, 2018

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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

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

Sunday, July 08, 2018

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

mountain biking
Wednesday, July 04, 2018

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.

Monday, July 02, 2018

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

hiking
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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

hiking
Sunday, June 10, 2018

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

hiking
Saturday, June 09, 2018

This hike was nice but the trail was a little sandy. If it’s a sunny day, wear sunscreen!

hiking
Saturday, June 09, 2018

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
Tuesday, June 05, 2018

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
Wednesday, May 09, 2018

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.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

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
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Beautiful views

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Amazing trail. Perfect for Runners.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

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.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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

hiking
Sunday, March 04, 2018

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

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