Popular among hikers, bikers and dog-walkers, the 338-acre Ute Valley Park on the city’s northwest side is one of the gems of the Colorado Springs parks system.
One of the city’s most scenic and heavily-used parks, it’s an escape into nature, close to town, that’s big enough to explore for hours. Some visitors say it’s easy to get lost in the maze of trails.
Comprised of land donated to the city in 1969 plus a 200-acre acquisition of property from adjacent landowner Hewlett-Packard in 2013, the public recreation area is marked by a hogback ridge, sandstone cliffs, mesas, wetlands and wooded areas accessible via a massive trail system. Hikers on the family friendly Ute Valley Park Loop Trail are rewarded with splendid Pikes Peak views and city panoramas
The volunteer group Friends of Ute Valley Park, a fiscally sponsored fund of the nonprofit Trails and Open Space Coalition, holds regular work days to maintain the park’s terrain.
The park is a natural habitat for snakes so it’s recommended that visitors stick to the trails.
Points of access include a parking area at 1705 Vindicator Drive, from Centennial Boulevard and from a lot off South Rockrimmon Boulevard near Hewlett Packard.
Park hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., May 1 to Oct. 31; and 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 1 to April 30.