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Railroad Bed above Manitou Springs

MODERATE 36 reviews

Railroad Bed above Manitou Springs is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cascade, Colorado that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

2.1 miles
452 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


nature trips


bird watching

rails trails


Hike along a historic railroad bed through tunnels along a canyon After a brief scramble up some loose tallus to the trail this is a fairly level easy hike. This old railroad bed is falling into disrepair and washouts are beginning to take over. Be sure to hike this before it's gone. It is a wonderful path through history following the abandoned railroad bed above Manitou Springs. Along the way you will pass through 5 tunnels and explore the first half of the sixth. The last half of the sixth tunnel is on private property. A cinderblock wall with a gate will prevent you from going too far. A good flashlight is required for this hike. There is a parking lot right off hwy 24 right before it splits to manitou/Colorado Springs. If you miss it just turn around and go right back around on the hwy- it's a huge parking lot with a creek right next to it (legal) parking and short hike to were you start the journey. You even get to see rainbow falls when you are walking on the side of hwy 24 right off the bridge there is 6 tunnels some so big you need a really high powered light to see.

1 month ago

I wouldn’t recommend this trail. Almost every tunnel had loads of trash and looked like a lot of bums camped out in this area. There was a carcass in the parking lot, the scramble up to the trail is pretty dangerous, and the noise from the highway sucks. We went here looking for something new but it wasn’t worth the time or energy.

1 month ago

We had to do a few u-turns before we found the trailhead. The climb to the top is lots of loose rock but it’s worth it to walk through all the tunnels. It’s a cool trail that will soon be washed away though. Sections have already slid off, making parts of the trail very sketchy - with a long drop on one side.

2 months ago

Definitely difficult to scramble up the side to the trail. Wouldn’t recommend for children or to do alone. But the tunnels are worth the climb. Sliding down is pretty dangerous coming back.

5 months ago

I've tried to do this before, but could never find it. With more details I was able to. It was pretty good though it's a bit of a pain to get up to the bed. The point the map suggests requires a 1/2 mile walk along the (VERY NARROW) should of Highway 24. I, instead, scrambled straight up from the parking lot. That was a bit challenging, but I was more afraid of the highway than the loose scree. The tunnels were interesting and some nice views around Manitou.

6 months ago

accessed the trail from the pull off on Hwy 24. Tough scramble from there to the railroad bed. nice hike along the bed but tons of vehicle noise from Hwy 24 below, hard to even talk over it sometimes. Tunnels were littered with trash, very disappointing. not worth the effort.

7 months ago

I loved this place. The litter made me sad. But there wasn’t any on the trail just below it in the tent village. And the homeless just stayed to them selves in their tents. The tunnels were amazing. The scramble to the top was awesome. And your HIKING. Just park somewhere in manitou and walk. It’s not bad. One of the tunnels is an obvious place where climbers practice... one of them (Satan’s tunnel) was where satanic temple had secret meetings back in the day supposedly. There were loads of bats in that one. I honestly loved this trail there was adventure- folklore- and scrambling- and a reminder to not take what you have for granted walking past the tent city. And by tent city I mean like a total of 6 or 7 tents.

11 months ago

can someone who has been there message me on how to get there exactly please. cedde5415@homail.com

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Also, if you need help getting there feel free to contact me.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

So much easier to park now in a legal spot. You just have to know where to go. It’s such a beautiful and historic trail, but I agree that the homeless are ruining it. I saw drug deals, a toilet hanging off a tree with feces right on the trail, and they came over to tell me not to call the cops. Apparently they’re “taking good care of the area and causing no harm.” If it gets cleaned up I highly recommend this trail.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Tunnels alone make this hike worth the trek.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

The history of this trail/railroad bed (Colorado Midland Railway) and condition of the tunnels make the scramble up worth it. The hobo camps and disrespectful littering are disheartening, but the mystery of the tunnels and views kept us going. The parking area is to the right just before the first exit to Manitou Springs eastbound on 24. The huge dirt pile is a dead giveaway. Park there, walk east towards the town, cross the creek and scramble up the hill. The path we found was towards our right (west) close to a little hobo town. That landed us in between tunnels 3 and 4. Bring a flashlight!

Monday, May 08, 2017

Hello Everyone I was up here March 30th 2017 and it is super easy to access and parking is totally legal if you know we're to park however it is trespassing technically to explore these tunnels but don't be a pussy and just go there is a parking lot right off hwy 24 right before it splits to manitou/Colorado Springs (In 1 Of My Pictures You Can See My Car Where I Parked) if u miss it (like I did) just turn around and go right back around on the hwy it's a huge parking lot with a creek right next to it (legal) parking and short hike to were u start the journey u even get to see rainbow falls when u are walkin on the side of hwy 24 right off the bridge there is 6 tunnels some so big you need a really high powered light to see FYI message me ill take you back there

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

There's no trail head where this map indicates. There's a TINY spot to pull off, but it's not safe. You can't park across the highway in the median, so there's really no way anymore.

I'm rather bummed as it looks like a cool place to explore, but you can't get to it. At least with the way this describes to get there. All other ways to get up there look illegal.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

For those wondering, this trail is not accessible any more through "legal" means.

It used to be possible to park on Highway 24 in the median. This has been changed and it is no longer possible to park there. There are other methods and places to park and access this trail, but you have to be creative and also may risk getting a parking ticket.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

This trail was a complete bust. I searched for about 30 minutes for a trailhead of any short near the stated location and there is NONE. There IS a railroad bed a ways up a steep hill, but there's nowhere nearby to park and no trail. This may be a great hike, but this is definitely NOT where you should start.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This is not a sanctioned trail. It's pretty and has amazing history, but hiking this trail is technically trespassing, so don't expect to see any parking lot or trail maintenance

Saturday, June 11, 2016

After doing some research, we found better instructions to the trail head. It seems the parking area has been closed. Probably due to the Waldo canyon fire that shut the other trails up there down. We're going to try walking in maybe next weekend. I'll post again then

Friday, June 10, 2016

The trail head is not marked. The only possible place it could be is behind a locked gate. Very disappointed

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The parking area listed on the directions in the middle of 24 has no parking signs.

Monday, January 26, 2015

okay? where is the parking lot? i found someplace to park in manitou but want sure if it was the right place. trashy. homeless community. 2 bad! do not go alone!

Monday, June 10, 2013

This was a pretty cool hike. I liked being able to walk through the old rail road tunnels.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back for another hike at this location, it's become much worse where liter is concerned. I'm not impressed. I can't tell if it's the homeless or if it's more of the fact that hoodlums come up here to party and trash the area. It's unfortunate too because this hike could be very relaxing and enjoyable. Graffiti has also begun to expand through the tunnels. :(

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Incredible trail. Loved it hitting geocaches along the way

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I only gave it one star because I had to in order to rate the hike. The hike is disgusting. The litter takes over the trail and the local "homeless" community seems to have taken it over. Too bad, it could have been cool. Disappointing.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

This is a short, but fun, hike that offers visitors a chance to walk through history. One of the first hikes I ever went on in Colorado, and I have been back a few times. Usually when someone comes to visit I take them on this one - its pretty simple except for the first part of the trail where you go up a steep/lose rocky climb. It isn't too far, but you will want to brace yourself when you are returning down. Oh, and the other downside is the parking - you have to RUN across Highway 24 in a pretty unsafe area. I would recommend taking a jacket, even on summer days, because the tunnels can be chilly and the area doesn't get much sun. I have never seen a homeless person, but I have seen their belongings and onetime I believe someone was in a tent we passed by. But they are harmless. The only disappointing thing about this trail is that I lost my sunglasses and couldn't find them! LOL. So, if you find some Coach sunglasses (yes, I was hiking in a 3 year old pair of Coach sunglasses) please let me know! ;-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nice, easy hike with great views. The tunnels were very cool to look through and the open spaces were pretty. The trail does have some washed out areas so you really have to watch your footing in a couple places, other than that it's in pretty good shape. We didn't think the hike up to the railroad bed was too bad. We found a couple of the geocaches placed here along the way. All in all it was a good hike and we will be back to do it again.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

this was a fun short hike, the first part hiking up to the old tracks was a little steep, but i went with 4 kids ranging from 6-13, my sister & her friend who don't hike that much & we all got up not a problem . their was a lot to see along the trail & a few geocachs... you are able to see the stream running below the trail, & in a few ares their was still snow on the ground including the trail its self

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