Hiking Waldo Canyon in Manitou Springs

Waldo Canyon can be slick as winter tapers off but that doesn’t mean it’s off limits. With yak tracks and some caution you can enjoy all the spectacular canyon offers year-round. The trail is well groomed and never leaves you questioning the right path. After just one mile you are spit into Waldo Canyon and it’s up to you to find him! The red and white stripes we knew as kids are replaced the red and white of sandstone and limestone. Millions of years ago the area lie deep below the ocean’s surface. The water is gone, but Waldo’s stripes remain, how did he hold his breath for so long?
The Waldo Canon Loop sits at a junction approximately  1.5 miles into the hike. Take your pick… to the left for a more gradual incline at the start or head read right for a more challenging route out of the gate. The loop totals 3.5 miles which cashes the complete hike out at about 6.5 miles. As you summit the 2,000 feet get ready for astonishing views of Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs.
Directions: From Colorado Springs take Highway 24 west past Manitou Springs. After passing Cave of the Winds keep your eyes out for a parking lot on the right side of the road.

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  1. #1 by Jason's Travels on April 23, 2012 - 4:38 pm

    You seriously need a “like” button, so I can like this post! 😛

    • #2 by catchcarri on April 23, 2012 - 4:45 pm

      Thanks JasonI Have you done this hike…thinking yes.

  2. #4 by lilly29 on April 23, 2012 - 4:53 pm

    Great pictures. Especially the one with the small rainbow.

    • #5 by Heather J Duncan on April 27, 2012 - 9:21 pm

      I second that. The title photograph is lovely as well: I like how the changes in colouring are so stark as the crests go further into the distance.

  3. #6 by tlbflowllc on April 23, 2012 - 5:01 pm

    That looks awesome!

  4. #7 by dovergirl on April 23, 2012 - 5:11 pm

    I used to live in CO and the hiking is perfect! Your pics captured it!
    Thanks for the like – much appreciated!

  5. #8 by savor the sweet life on April 23, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    It looks so beautiful there!

  6. #9 by ashmorebondi on April 23, 2012 - 8:18 pm

    Carri, I concur 100%, that hike is superb. I haven’t completed it but suspect it is grand all the way through.

  7. #10 by Jennifer on April 24, 2012 - 11:52 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to this part of the country. Great pix.

  8. #11 by Doraz on April 24, 2012 - 1:01 pm

    🙂 Wow, amazingly beautiful. What an experience in life you had. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  9. #12 by margyleunbound on April 24, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    Love these kind of hikes! When I make it out to CO I will look it up!

  10. #13 by Bodhi du Jour on April 25, 2012 - 6:02 am


    Thank you for the visit! best part of it: it brought me here and I am staying.

    My husband and I are looking to move to Colorado next year and I cannot wait to explore all the canyons and the gulches and to walk all the trails in this beautiful state. We have been there last September for a few days to do some hiking and that just opened our appetite…. I really miss it and 2013 cannot come soon enough. We might have to take another short trip in the meantime!

    • #14 by catchcarri on April 25, 2012 - 11:11 am

      Thanks so much for the note. One of the best things about CO is not just the outdoors but that people take advantage and take care of it! I hope you get to come back soon but am sure you are making the most of wherever you are now!

  11. #15 by Sartenada on April 27, 2012 - 6:26 am

    So beautiful photos and a very nice place for hiking!

  12. #16 by Karen McHegg on April 27, 2012 - 8:01 am

    Inspiring me to get out this weekend and explore the great outdoors! This would be a great way to clear my head after a stressful week. Beautiful photos. (And thanks for the encouragement with my post at

  13. #17 by relearningamerican on April 27, 2012 - 10:47 am

    I did this hike years ago while living in Colorado. It’s good to see the landscape again. Thanks for visiting our little travel blog. I’m having a great time looking through your posts!

    • #18 by catchcarri on April 27, 2012 - 11:05 am

      Thanks Matt! Are you currently in Scotland? Great concept you have!

      • #19 by relearningamerican on April 27, 2012 - 3:43 pm

        Thank you! I’m currently in Boston, but Scotland feels more like home.

  14. #20 by starfishandsnowflake on April 27, 2012 - 11:43 am

    i need to get out of the house! these photos are so inspiring -good thing it’s the weekend.

  15. #21 by catchcarri on April 27, 2012 - 11:54 am

    I couldn’t agree more! It’s almost 5:00!

  16. #22 by eideard on April 27, 2012 - 2:30 pm

    Come down and hike Waldo Canyon south of Santa Fe some time.

  17. #23 by cooktocure on May 1, 2012 - 9:21 am

    Thank you for the Virtual trip…! I’m a hiking wuss… mostly walk around rolling hills…my Piscean feet don’t help either. 🙂 Thank you for inviting us.

  18. #24 by Jeremy Branham on May 7, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    I can’t wait to go to Colorado and hike. I have so many other things that I need to do when I am there but I will definitely set aside some time to explore. You will definitely have to be my insider guide on where to go. Between you and another friend, I should find at least one or two awesome places to squeeze in a hike!

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