Mount Morrison South Ridge Trail

HARD 431 reviews
#2 of 9 trails in

Mount Morrison South Ridge Trail is a 3.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Morrison, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,856 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

rocky

scramble

no shade

Mount Morrison is one of the most prominent peaks of Denver's Front Range and the metro area. It is located right behind Red Rocks Amphitheater. The route is very simple just follow the path up to the left after the closed gate. however don't let the low elevation and simple access fool you this is not an easy hike. The 1st mile of the hike follow a power line up the ridge you will switch back a minor amount but for the most part you go straight up. The trail is very loose soil and will be slick. When wet this section of the trail turns into a mud slide (could be fun and painful at the same time). After the initial up section you will get a break followed by another short climb up more loose soil. The next half mile is easy walking with great views, this would be a good time to check the weather and make sure you have time for another hour of hiking. Once you get to the final ridge the hike turns into a class 2 maybe low class 3 scramble. You will need to use your hands to pull yourself up. You will soon be at the summit with great views of Denver and the Divide to the west.

3 days ago

pretty quick hike but pretty steep. if you’re short on time, give it a go. i will say, this is a perfect rattlesnake habitat. tons of shrubs

climbed it 3x. love the elevation gain, great for training. it feels like it's straight up and you get a nice ridge line in the middle and wonderful views at the top.

hiking
14 days ago

This is my favorite front range hike! Huge elevation gain for such a short distance! Great way to prepare for 14ers on the weekend.

hiking
15 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Pretty steep grade on the first and last leg of the hike, but such a worthwhile experience. Great training, due to the elevation gain in less than 1.7 miles. As previously stated by other reviewers, there’s very little shade, so if it’s a warm day, be prepared for that and bring plenty of water.
Hearing the sound check of the band getting ready for the concert at Red Rocks was an added benefit.

hiking
20 days ago

Nearly 1900ft elevation gain in about 1.7 miles is no joke! Super fun & challenging workout that is close to home with great views at the top! Shoes with good grip are highly recommended, ie trail runners or hiking shoes. Bring plenty of water since the trail is exposed with very little shade. Bring a snack so you can hang out up top & enjoy the views of the mountains & city!

21 days ago

Fantastic trail that's a quick drive from Denver. Park right outside Red Rock gate #4 on Titans Rd. Get there early cause there's no much space! the trail is past the gate to the left, and not really marked except a "no bikes" sign. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS HIKE! You start off climbing and rarely stop till the top. There is little cover and the sun will punish you. Footing can be tough with a lot of loose, small rocks. However... payoff is a great workout with great views.

hiking
23 days ago

24 days ago

Great hike close to home!

29 days ago

Lovely views and wildlife

hiking
1 month ago

3.8 miles 1950 ft elevation. Awesome hike for how short it is and close to Denver, we did it in the evening for sunset and there was a show going on at Red Rocks below. Some sections are pretty steep and sandy, trekking poles recommended, definitely wear decent shoes. Final scramble to the top is lots of fun.

trail running
1 month ago

Watch for rattlesnakes. Not small dog friendly

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike, great views!

hiking
2 months ago

Great, challenging trail with beautiful views on all sides! By the end of it, my watch said 4 miles round trip with 1,963 ft elevation gain. I’d advise starting pretty early if you’re going in the summer. We didn’t get started until around 10:30 so we got to the top around 12:15. Coming back down was a little too hot! Total, it took us an hour and 45 to get to the top and an hour to get down. Make sure you bring plenty of water and maybe a couple of snacks!

2 months ago

Warning: Part of the powerline that follows the trail unhooked and fell crossing the trail. I didn't see any exposed wires, but I wasn't keen to find out if it was active or not. Easy enough to step over.

hiking
2 months ago

Don’t be deceived by the tourist hot spot nearby, this is a real hike. My watch clocked 2 miles to the top and an elevation gain of 2,000 feet. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. The hike itself is rewarding with great view at the top. Wear sturdy soles shoes, the terrain is craggy. Definitely worth doing.

hiking
2 months ago

Short but challenging and beautiful hike. This is great 14er practice without committing a full day or travelling far from Denver.

trail running
2 months ago

Very challenging trail and it is great for exercise of a class 2 hiking trail. Few areas are just plain steep dirt with little loose rocks here and there and I would imagine it will be very slippery and muddy during wet season. About 3/4 to the top is a little scrambling. Short and intense.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a beautiful and challenging hike with great views of Red Rocks and downtown Denver. We did the complete out-and-back and it ended up being 3.8 miles with nearly a 2,000 ft. elevation gain. It’s definitely a steep climb to the top, but the views are worth it. The path is also lined with beautiful wildflowers! Be aware of loose rocks and pack lots of water!

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely difficult but doable if you’re in decent condition. Great views of Denver on one side and the mountains on the other. I missed the entrance the first time around so keep your eyes peeled.

3 months ago

Good for a quick hike and a little sweat!! Would be hard if not in physical hiking condition.

hiking
3 months ago

Holy wow am I sore. Such a great hike, though. The continuous incline may prove pretty difficult, but the trek down far surpasses the hike up; it's actually pretty scary in some spots, so wear good hiking shoes/boots to save yourself from sliding on the loose rock and sand, particularly at the top where one fall could break some serious bones or worse. Take it slow, bring plenty of water, and be ready to sweat--a lot. Zero tree coverage, as well, so some may need sunscreen. It really is worth the effort as the veiws at the top are some of the best I have seen in the area. No rattlesnakes this time around but others seem to bump into them quite a bit. Be wary of that, too. The summit rests all the way at the tippy-top of the foothill, so just when you think you're done, keep going. Aim for the communcations tower and you'll be climbing (literally) hand and foot up to a great accomplishment near the end. Get out and do it!

3 months ago

I like this trail. It is a great workout. Hikers beware though, there was a HUGE rattlesnake on the trail 6/22 about 1/4 of the way up and he was coiled and rattling right on the trail. I am pretty sure I scared him as much as he startled me. Just be aware that there are rattlesnakes on/near this trail and watch/listen for them. Stay safe!

hiking
3 months ago

Don’t underestimate this hike. Bring good non-slick hiking shoes, and don’t go if the ground is wet. The trail is all loose rocks and dirt so coming down, I had to crab walk at times because I didn’t have hiking poles. The views are worth it though.

3 months ago

Decent trail with great views. This was the second time I did the trail and decided to do it in the evening. Views are great at the top and along the way. We started heading down just before sunset and met two mountain lions standing on the trail about 1/3 of the way down. We were able to keep our distance and go around them safely.

3 months ago

Great challenging hike without having to travel I70. Steep and rewarding. Careful coming down especially the bottom section as trail is loose and slick. Terrific views from the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! It is definitely steep, loose and difficult but the 360 views are stunning and the rock scramble at the top is really fun. We completed the hike with our kids, 9, 7 and 3 year old girls.

hiking
3 months ago

Its definitely a challenge! Beautiful views. Hardly anyone on the trail. Great buns workout. Its close to home so it's super convenient too.

hiking
3 months ago

Challenging and beautiful! I love it !

hiking
3 months ago

Great workout! While the trek up is a challenge, coming down was more difficult...lots of scree and steep, slippery terrain. Wear good shoes! As others mentioned, there is basically no shade. Gate 4 at Red Rocks was closed when I arrived, but I parked outside without issue.

3 months ago

Steep right from the start. For a 2-3 hour hike it’s the perfect challenge and so close to Denver. The views over red rocks and the mountains and valleys to the other side are great. Scramble at the end is fun, rattlesnakes everywhere though so use caution. Personally I would not bring my dog.

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