A quick hike, offering a sense of isolation and beautiful views of the western landscape, Garden of the Gods, and the red rock that gives Red Rock Canyon its name.
Starts with a mild, yet steady, 1.5 mile climb followed by a fun descent. The hike then enters Red Rock Canyon before climbing back up to grasslands and returning to the trailhead.
From the parking area, climb the dirt trail up to the dirt road and follow uphill to the right. The trail will be about .25 miles in on the left. This provides the warm up for the hike.
The hike starts on the Hogback trail, a well-worn singletrack between two ridges (Hogbacks), which gives a sense of isolation from the city that is tucked away on the other side. The view is spectacular with the mountains in the distance, walls of rock on either side and grasses, shrubs, and trees dotting the valley that the trail takes you through.
The trail climbs steadily, at a 6% grade, for about 1.5 miles before a switchback redirects you to the north (where the trail becomes the "Lion Trail
") towards a notch in the western hogback. At this notch, there is a trail heading south that leads to trails in Section 16, the Palmer Loop and the Intemann trail. This hike will drop down to the right where Garden of the Gods stands in the distance.
The trail drops into a valley and connects with the Red Rock Rim Trail
, where the hike heads left and then curves to the right into the Red Rocks.
The Red Rocks part and the Rim Trail ends at the appropriately named Red Rock canyon trail. Continue through the Red Rock past the lake and the old house (soon to be visitor's center) through the gate. There, a trail rises steeply to the right and deposits you back on the Red Rock Rim trail which winds around and up before dropping you back to the original Hogback Trail Trailhead.