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Stanley Canyon Trail is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.8 mi Elevation gain 1,702 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Description
Waypoints (7)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Note: North gate to base is closed on weekends. Use academy Dr exit for alternate entrance. This trail is only accessible if you or someone with you has a military ID or upon approval of military police at the guard post. Picture the "wall" of the side of a chocolate layer cake. Imagine making one knife cut down through that wall. Pull out your imaginary knife (so you won't get hurt) and gaze into the slit you've created. Now transfer this image to the front range of the Rocky Mountains, behind the Air Force Academy, near Colorado Springs. This is Stanley Canyon. Trail #707 leaves the trailhead parking lot on the west side of the Academy grounds and leads you UP the right (north) side of the canyon to the Stanley Canyon Reservoir about two miles away. In the first mile of the trail, you'll climb about 1200 ft. This is steep. The pathway is decomposed granite, except where it's solid granite. The solid sections are not long, but they can be tricky, especially if they're wet. As you climb, you'll reach platforms where you can rest and look back to the east toward the Academy and Colorado Springs. About half way along, you link up with the stream and parallel its course the rest of the way. The outstanding feature of this hike are the rock formations in the canyon walls; take plenty of time to observe them. After the first mile, you'll reach the top of the canyon. The path levels out, mostly, for the final trek up to the reservoir. This last section takes you through pine forests and aspen meadows. The reservoir is not large, but it is lovely.

Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700 , Denver, CO, 80202, Phone: 800-COLORADO

Directions: Enter the Air Force Academy at the South Gate, exit 150 off of I-25. You'll need photo ID, and you must be willing to have your vehicle searched. Obey the speed limits on base! Follow South Gate Blvd for about a mile. When it transitions to Stadium Blvd, take a left onto Pine Drive. Drive approximately 5 miles. Just before you reach the Medical Center on Academy Drive, you'll see a dirt road leading off to the left; turn onto this road. Stay to the right when it forks. You will end up at the trailhead parking area. 1. Wear strong walking shoes; the trail is rough. 2. Carry water; the exertion at this altitude will dry you out faster than you might imagine.

Directions from Air Force Academy south entrance: From the south entrance of the Air Force Academy drive approximately 2 miles and turn left on Pine Drive. Follow Pine Drive approximately 5 miles. You'll pass Community Center Drive and Interior Drive. The road will ascend a hill at the top of the rise you'll see a large building with a parking lot on the right and a gravel road immediately before it on the left. Turn left on this gravel road and drive a short way to the trailhead. If you reach a T road with the Air Force Academy hospital directly ahead you've gone too far. When looking at directions in google maps it may say to get off on exit 150 off of I-25 but since this hike is on the air force academy grounds if you do not have a military ID you must take exit 156 off of I-25 since that is the visitor entrance. Also visitors must park about a mile earlier than the trail head parking lot in the visitors parking lot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (364)
Photos (410)
Recordings (255)
Completed (827)
Eddie Forero
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Seems like they are only allowing folks with Military IDs to access the bar these days due to COVID. Don’t know of any other screws than the Air Force Academy.

Tom Cucchi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

The real trailhead is about a mile after all hikes says where the start is. I parked at the medical group and walked the dirt road to the trailhead. Great hike with a little bit of everything, rocks, forest, stream valley etc. Great views and I highly recommend this trail. Not crowded at all on a Sunday morning.

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Celena Price Grissam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2020
Mountain bikingOver grownRocky
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Matt Smart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2020
Hiking

Good workout. Beautiful patches of Columbine in the upper sections. The lake is dry, sadly. Still a great hike!

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Valerie Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, but easy to get lost.

Meghan Dempster Coppola
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 13, 2020
HikingOver grownRockyScramble
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Luke Lafko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 7, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

North gate to base is closed on weekends. Use academy dr exit for alternate entrance. At the end of trail to Stanley reservoir is dry. Great hike otherwise.

View Luke's Recording
Christopher Gallion
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
HikingRockyScramble
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Elliott Albin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 20, 2020
HikingBlowdownOff trailRockyScrambleWashed out
Alex Smithee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 24, 2020
HikingIcyMuddySnow

Great hike. First half is pretty steep, but fun. Some parts you need to keep your head on a swivel and follow the tracks. Can sometimes wander off trail.

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Crista Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 22, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike...mostly snow covered with some ice. Took microspikes and didn’t use them, but definitely take them to have the option. The directions from here had me park off the main road and added some mileage, but if you want to shorten it, you can drive up the dirt road to a parking lot.

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Adam Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 25, 2020
HikingIcySnow
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Dan Wilcoxen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 21, 2020
HikingIcyScramble

Great lunch break hike today, but had to turn back at waypoint 5. Didn’t have the ice gear or time to tackle anything further. Be prepared for wet/slick areas

Matt Reilly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 10, 2019

Beautiful trail, but icy today. I had to break out my rock climbing skills a mile from the reservoir to get past an icy slope I couldn't get up in my boots.

Amy B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 27, 2019
HikingScramble

Any idea what happened to the reservoir at the top? It’s gone! Beautiful fields with wildflowers in summer. Fun stream crossings and scrambling over rocks but a little hairy, make sure you allow plenty of time AO you aren’t coming down in the dark. Very steep

Mindy Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2019
HikingBugsRockyScramble
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