Mount Morrison South Ridge Trail

HARD 305 reviews
#1 of 4 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 only recommended for very experienced adventurers. 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
1856 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.

1 day ago

I loved this hike because it was a great workout with quick elevation gain. I also loved the scramble at the top. It’s not a heavy traffic trail which is always a bonus. Gorgeous views all the way up. I agree with other reviews about not doing this trail when there is moisture due to steep incline with a lot of loose rock and it can be slippery. The trail is closest to entrance 4 of red rocks and not clearly marked but I finally found it :) will be doing this one often.

6 days ago

Such a workout !!! If doing in summer bring a hat, there is limited shade here. Steep and slippery incline at the beginning of the trail with about 2 false views. Once past that then it’s moderate hiking until you reach the scramble. Get on all fours and finish to the top ! Be careful going down..... that was the worst part for all of us.

Trekking Poles , next time for sure !

hiking
11 days ago

Nice that it’s so close to Denver yet you can experience some good elevation—it’s a workout for sure. The trail gets quite rocky near the top and requires some scrambling but the views are fantastic!

hiking
12 days ago

Great hike for a workout. The first 1/3 is pretty steep. It is not as bad after that, but still uphill. Would be a great trail to train on. Really nice views as well.

20 days ago

Awesome elevation training right by town!!!

22 days ago

I really enjoyed this trail for what it was. Short, intense, close to the city, and gorgeous views at the top. Brought my dog not knowing how steep it was. There was only one part where he was like, “You want me to do what?” But after seeing me climb it he got braver and managed to scramble up. Better climber than I though he was.

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike if you're looking for quick elevation and red rock terrain, which makes for great running. Also awesome views along the way. Not for the faint of heart, you will be working hard on the up, and still a decent leg burner down.

27 days ago

Fun hike! Was defiantly more challenging than we had originally thought. Started at 10:15 and finished around 1:45 (3/25/18).

hiking
28 days ago

Did this bad boy today for a quick workout hike in the morning. This definitely is a work out! You are basically going up the entire time except for one part in the middle. The rock scramble at the top is awesome, nothing too hard and it's fun and keeps you focused. Had the summit all too myself where I was able to explore and have some great views of the Continental Divide. Definitely recommend this hike for building up endurance or just working out instead of going to the gym. :)

Happy hiking!

hiking
1 month ago

We picked this as a training hike for summer 14ers and were not disappointed. It has a "road less traveled" feel to it without a lot of hikers. It starts out with steep dirt (poles recommended on the way down), then some flatter sections in the middle, and then some fun easy class 3 scrambling near the top. Good views of Red Rocks to the east and Mt Evans to the west because you are on a ridge much of the time. Not much shade though. We met a guy coming down who said it was his 704th trip in 15 years. So that's a pretty good recommendation right there.

2 months ago

Close, steep, and very few switch backs. Got about 500' from the summit but didn't make it cause I brought my dog and I lifted him for the first set of rocks no problem but getting good footing for the second set of rocks where I'd need to lift him was a little sketchy and I'd imagine even worse on the way down

hiking
3 months ago

Just having moved to Denver from Cali and my first hike...and I chose this one! It was much harder than I thought. So when they say difficult trail...yes! But I loved every min. Even with a couple of slips on the way down.

4 months ago

Fun, challenging trail. If you're not running, count on at least an hour to get to the top. and take a headlamp if heading up for sunset; even jogging, it was dark before I got down.

5 months ago

Steep, quick hike. Good for a workout when you don’t have too much time in your day for a long hike.

hiking
5 months ago

This hike has it all. Intense elevation gain, awesome views, differing terrain. Fun scramble last 200 feet or so. Pretty busy though, get there early

hiking
5 months ago

Brought my puppy and we had a great time. She needed some help right near the top on the way up and back down, but I would bring her again. Loose rocks are a bit slippery and are very dangerous.

5 months ago

Definitely for experienced hikers no doubt. Lots of loose soil, and rocks which make it tricky on your way up, and down. Took my dog up with me, and she enjoyed it. Only big trouble was making my way down with her, make sure your dog is an experienced climber as well for this! You know your own dog. Whenever I need a short intense climb I will come here.

PS. Make sure you have good hiking shoes because once again tons of loose rocks and soil.

6 months ago

Great hike, it was very cold and windy near the top though and very challenging for dogs. There is a good portion near the summit that is straight up and rocky that I had to literally hoist my dog up (luckily she’s only 40lbs) and then had to lower her down by her harness on the way down. Would still definitely recommend for if you’re going without dogs or if your dog is larger and/or a very experienced climber. Also wear hiking boots/ all terrain shoes if you have them because the loose rocks on the trail can be slippery.

hiking
6 months ago

Great half day hike. There was nice mix of terrain including a bit of scrambling at the top which kept things interesting. Was hiking with three teenagers and we made it up in less than 2 hours and down in less than one. Highly recommend this if you are pressed for time. The bonus was the chance to check out the Red Rocks Amphitheater before heading up the trail.

6 months ago

Did this hike pretty early in the morning. Definitely is difficult on the way up but a great hike nonetheless and not crowded at all. If I did it again would do it at sunrise! Great workout so close to denver!

hiking
6 months ago

I'd do this hike again in cooler temperatures. Little to no shade on the way up. However, the view at the top is well worth sweating it out for a while. On the way down it was hard to trust my footing as the loose rocks provided some insecurity. Came across a rattle snake in the brush right on the trail. Wouldn't have seen him if it weren't for the warning of his rattle. Came about 12" from stepping on him. Saw several people hiking this trail with headphones... don't recommend that since it's a place for rattlesnakes. If you choose this trail be aware of your surroundings and wear hiking boots.

hiking
6 months ago

Although it was really foggy, it was a beautiful, sometimes challenging hike and was actually maybe better than doing it in 80 degree sun! I'll wear my knee braces, however, next time.

hiking
7 months ago

whoa, steep. but beautiful throufhtout the entire hike.

7 months ago

Great demanding hike, superb view at the top and at various points on the way up. Excellent wildflowers in places. The track is easy to spot. Steep for the first 1/4, then flattens out for the middle portion, and quite steep -- scrambling with three points on the rock -- for the last little bit after the rockslide. Only reason for docking one star is that there is very little shade and it was super hot -- our fault for starting late but would be a problem if it had been any hotter. Also AllTrails directions to the trailhead didn't load properly on Google which misdirected us -- the real trailhead is at Entrance 4 to Red Rocks, where there is parking for about 8 cars only.

7 months ago

It was a challenging hike, it took me about 4 hours to get to the radio towers and back down. The trail is not clearly marked near the top, so be careful.

hiking
8 months ago

I'd say this was as hard as Manitou Incline but longer and much rough trail. No shades for a while. Breathtaking view but bug spray and hat are must items to take with you. This entrance is bit tricky, park at Red Rocks park entrance 4 where the gate is closed. Pass the gate and the trail starts on your left side. Easy to miss though!

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome hike, and not too crowded!

The first third of the hike is just a straight attack right up to the first ridge, then it levels out for the second third, and the final third gets steep again and has a little light scrambling. Never more difficult than Class 2, and only gets that difficult for short 10-20 foot stretches.

Did this on a cloudy day, but I imagine the views from the top are amazing.

One of my favorite local hikes thus far. Going to have to add it to the regular 14er training rotation.

hiking
8 months ago

Super fun trail. Quite steep at the bottom and top. Would recommend bringing poles if you have them!

8 months ago

Personally first hill is my favorite part of the trail.

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