Thursday, May 7, 2015

Red Canyon Park

Red Canyon Park (not to be confused with Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs) is a 600 acre park located about 10 minutes north of Cañon City with similar rock formations as found in Garden of the Gods. It's a fantastic area to hike and explore.

To get there head north out of town on Field Ave, eventually it will intersect with Red Canyon Road (also known as Garden Park Road), turn right and drive about 7 miles further and the park will be on your left. Look for the gate you see above, it sits back off the road. For a map showing directions to the park, click here. For a map of the park itself, click here.

I'd highly recommend a high clearance vehicle with four-wheel drive for this one. The road is not well maintained at all and has many deep ruts in it.  I recommend parking near a picnic pavilion and bathrooms (you can't miss them), and walking up the creek bed into the canyon. The creek bed is usually dry and you'll soon encounter many interesting rock formations and narrow canyons (Photos 2 and 3). It's a very fun area to explore.

If you continue to drive on further up the entrance road, you'll find the condition of the road deteriorates even further.  But for those able and willing to continue on, you'll soon come to views of much larger sandstone formations (bottom two photos, left). These are actually on private property, but can be viewed from the road. See the comment below from the landowner. Just to be clear: These formations are not part of the actual park. Respect private property, don't trespass, and just enjoy the views from the road.

Continuing on up the road, you'll find other rock formations that are within the park and accessible on foot. I haven't found any kind of trail map for the park, if you know of one, please put the link in the comments below. There's so much potential at Red Canyon Park -- but I think the condition of the road and the lack of defined trails really are a limitation. Still, if you have a high clearance vehicle, it's a fun and beautiful area to explore.

Check out the Gold Belt Scenic Byway website for a great guide to the roads leading to Cripple Creek from the Royal Gorge area.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I came across your Blog post on Red Canyon Park. I am the ranch owner next to the park and have been having lots of issue with trespassers and vandals on my property. I have found that one of the problems is because people keep posting my Red Rock formations on the internet and in businesses stating they are part of the park. The last to photos you have on your blog ( are NOT part of
    the park or ever have been part of the park. PLEASE do not post them as part of the park. I have no issues with people enjoying them from a distance, or even contacting me for permission to get a closer look. I just want to change the mind set that people have about this being part of the park. Yes, there are signs up all over stating Private Property and No Trespassing, but I have had people tell me they thought it was the park
    discouraging visitors from access. Also, if you know of others please inform them of this. I would really appreciate it a lot.

    Jim Like
    Owner of Jim Like Ranch


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