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Stanley Canyon Trail

HARD 164 reviews
#8 of 124 trails in

Stanley Canyon Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Colorado Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1519 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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. If you fish, it's worth taking your equipment; word is there are medium size rainbow trout in the lake.

4 days ago

This is not a review as I've not actually been able to hike the trail. A word to the wise. This trail is not open to civilians. My husband and I called the visitors' center today, and we were told this before we made the trip. If anyone knows of a different way to access the trail, let me know!

4 days ago

12 days ago

12 days ago

12 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

It seems like you will always be climbing up but it flattens out after climbing slippery rocks. Some parts are confusing but follow the stream (on your left) and you'll be fine. The views on the way up are cool and the meadow to the reservoir is quite peaceful.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful trail. easy for an every day hiker like myself. A few spots with scree and wondering where the trail went but otherwise a lovely hike to a beautiful secluded lake.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail with low traffic even on a Saturday. Large patch of ice blocking trail March 12 so had to scramble up side of mtn to go around it. Body of water at the top.

1 month ago

A beautiful short hike in a hidden canyon but steep and quite tricky in parts with snow and ice when we hiked it in late March. You will need good hikers and gloves for the rocks. And don't be tempted to take the road down at the reservoir: it ends at a private property gate...perhaps some general's ranch?

1 month ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike, if it does snow be prepared to have some good shoes and gloves, even if its the day prior. Overall nice hike & if you want to check out a awesome video check out this link.
https://youtu.be/a_MGnrPWSrg

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Good hike - be ready to traverse some ice if you attempt it in the winter