Previously in this series, we profiled close to the entirety of the Intemann Trail, spanning about 7 miles one way from Manitou Springs to the popular Section 16 trailhead. Mountain bikers and runners delight in the out-and-back distance — a splendid tour of forests, meadows and red rocks on Colorado Springs’ west side — while others elect to caravan the trip, leaving one car parked at one terminus.
If without the fitness and/or time, or if wanting to do without the car hassle, here we offer a fine, abbreviated introduction to the trail — the western-most stretch in Manitou.
For this trip, we start from the Intemann trailhead off Ruxton Avenue, near Iron Spring (which we don’t recommend tasting, by the way; the hint is in the name). The path starts in serene woods beside the running creek. It soon reaches an access road that switchbacks up to the marked trail, which rises sharply but briefly to a flat ridge.
In view behind is the Manitou Incline and unmistakable rock piles called Gog and Magog. The quaint town lay below, tucked beneath Waldo and Williams canyons. A new sight seems to await around every bend, the first notably being Red Mountain. After a meadow, you’ll come to the trail for that modest summit — a short, though strenuous detour if you choose.
Onward on Intemann, trees clear for gorgeous views of Garden of the Gods. The Eastern Plains seem to mingle with the sky. Farther on, Iron Mountain commands the view.
Intemann ends at Pawnee Avenue; look right and you’ll spot the Iron Mountain trailhead just uphill. Intemann Trail continues that way. This trip ends by going down the avenue back to town.
Trip log: 1.1 miles round trip (one way), 250 feet elevation
Getting there: Try parking at Hiawatha Gardens ($1 an hour) in downtown Manitou, 10 Old Man’s Trail, where a free shuttle runs up Ruxton Avenue and drops off near Iron Spring.
FYI: Hiking and mountain biking. Dogs on leash.
SETH BOSTER, THE GAZETTE