Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a city park and old quarry. In the 1800s the Kemmuir Quarry mined Gypsum, sand, and sandstone blocks. The land was later purchased and turned into a public park. The red rock formations are a continuation of the Garden of the Gods.
This is a popular place to jog and get some good views. The open space has great views of Pikes Peak and red rock formations. There are a lot of mountain bike friendly trails and even a terrain park near the northern parking lot.
Hiking and Walking
A trail map can be found on the city of Colorado Spring's website.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is an easy place to explore. The trails (that stay in the park) are short (only a couple miles) and the elevation gain is relatively low. All trails in the park have under 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Most trails are only a couple hundred feet over a couple miles.
The go to spots include Mesa Trail, the Quarry, and the ponds. Mesa Trail brings you a couple hundred feet above the park for some great views. The Quarry is where the old Kemmuir Quarry was back in the 1800s. Finally, the ponds are peaceful and great to relax by after a run or a walk.
Out of the 92 climbs in Red Rock Canyon Open Space, 88.5% of the climbs are sport climbs while 6% are top rope. Marjority of the climbs are beginner routes, but there are 20+ intermediate level climbs.
To climb in the park a permit is required. Free climbing permits can be found online, and there is a mandatory video that must be watched. Because this is a city owned park there are various limitations. The biggest limitation is that climbing is limited to the main section of Red Rock Canyon that leads south from the lake. Bouldering is regulated and scrambling is prohibited (climbing more than 10 feet without propper equipment).
Front Range Climbing offers a great single and group climbing experience for any experience level with half and full day options. They also include gear for climbing.
Red Rock Canyon has been called a mecca for mountain bikers. There are miles of roads and trails for biking. Right off one of the parking lots there is even a free ride stunt park. Every trail except Contemplative trail allows biking.
Most of the trails stay within the park and are intermediate. There are a few easy trails aswell as a few difficult trails. Be sure to check MTB Project for more trails and trail conditions.
Horse back riding is allowed at Red Rock Canyon Open Space. There is a special parking area on the east side of the park off of S. 31st Street for trailers and unloading horses.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space is paraglider friendly! Down gold camp road there is section 16 trailhead (south side of the park). This hiking and biking trail offers great views, but also provides a launch site for paragliding. The eastern point of section 16 mountain is maintained by Pikes Peak Paragliding LLC, and their website will have more information.
Near the free ride bike park there are two off leash dog loops. The length of the loops are about 5/8 mile.