“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” – Erol Ozan
Since it was our last day in Manitou Springs and the weather was so wonderful we decided to do a little more exploring and hiking after lunch. We spent the afternoon at Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
This 1,474-acre city park is located between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. It consists of a series of parallel red rock ridges called hogbacks and eroded canyons, a continuation of the same sandstone rocks of the Fountain Formation that make up Garden of the Gods to the north. The most interesting destination in the park is the old Quarry. The quarry trail was actually the easiest to find and it sounded the most interesting...so that's where we decided to begin.
The quarry was established in the 1800s and it was interesting hiking through the remains. The rocks here are among the largest formations in the park, and the quarry work left behind enormous geometric cuts in the rock face. We started our hike on the east side of the quarry, passing a pond that has formed in the deepest part of the quarry. We then spotted the steep “miners’ staircase”, where we crossed the rock formation to the west side of the quarry and back to our car. The park was much prettier than I expected and I would definitely like to explore more of its trails.
A glimpse of Pike's Peak.
I know the park would be beautiful in the summer, but I really like the tall dry grass and fall colors.
A look at the pond from the east side of the quarry.
The park is extremely beautiful.
The old miner staircase...we actually decide to take the longer way up.
Which was a switch back and a smaller set of stairs.
You can tell in these photos where the blocks were cut from the cliff.Looking south from the trail we could see the larger formations in the Garden of the Gods. (they are the two formations in the center back)
Looking east across the pond to the trail we were just on.
Another look at part of the trail we were just on from the top of the rock formations.
Looking north to Pike's Peak. Iron Mountain is just below the peak...second lower peak from the left. You can even see the trails that circle the peak.
This area of the trail has a freestyle area for mountain biking.