North Cheyenne Columbine Trail

EASY 157 reviews

North Cheyenne Columbine Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1437 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

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
13 days 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
17 days 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month ago

Beautiful views

2 months ago

Amazing trail. Perfect for Runners.

2 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.

3 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.

hiking
3 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
7 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
7 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
9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

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
10 months ago

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!

11 months ago

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!

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Great hike on Apr 8. Beautiful trail with outstanding views. Our first Boy Scout "Philmont Prep" hike. I'd recommend this hike to anyone.

hiking
Friday, April 07, 2017

The trail is broken up into lower, middle, and upper. Middle is one I would rate as moderate due to the elevation gain alone, plus the midday sun will bake you on that stretch. The view is well worth it. Recommend starting from Starsmore, which always has tons of parking.

hiking
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fun hike. Good elevation gain. Beautiful views coming and going.

hiking
Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Great Trail...always start at Lowers and do the whole thing. Excellent hike for me(62) - work up a sweat even on the coldest days ! Average just under 3 hrs. for the hike, most of the time have "Nugget" w/me and NO problems. You can get away from the WIND up in the Canyon, which is nice here in Colorado Springs. During Winter months you should have traction devices for your footwear - gets awful slick in places - be careful !

hiking
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nice trail, esp. with kids. Great for starting out hiking, getting in shape.

hiking
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Another nice trail in North Cheyenne Canyon Park. I parked at the lot near the Discovery Center, plenty of parking on a Wednesday. I planned to hike the lower and middle sections of this trail and then head back, but I found no sign showing the start of the upper section. I ended up hiking the whole trail in an hour and a half(one-way). That was at a fast pace, so may take longer. With daylight getting scarce, I decide to just walk down the road back to my car, knowing that the last half of the return hike would be totally dark. Near the parking area to of Mt. Cutler I started talking with a nice guy, and he offered to drive me back down to my car. Nice hike, great people.

hiking
Sunday, November 13, 2016

great trail with awesome views. quite a few steep gravelly inclines and drop offs so watch your step.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I enjoy this trail, it's challenging but doable. Great view too.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Beautiful trail, but not well marked. It follows the road, which takes away from the whole "out in the woods" feel. Parking is very difficult due to lack of spaces.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Easy wooded trail.

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