“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks.”
– John Muir
Have you ever driven past “Ute Valley Park” on Vindicator Drive and thought, “I should check that out sometime,”? If so, I am here to tell you to get exploring ASAP! This is not one to be missed.
Nestled in-between old Colorado Springs neighborhoods and right where you would least expect, this park boasts 540 acres of trails and landscapes that will make you feel like you have been transported out of the suburbs and into a remote outdoor retreat. The landscape brilliantly moves from sand and scrub oak to sandstone formations, to ponderosa pine forests and floral meadows. The park is vast and you can get lost if not following a map or selected trails, so be sure to track your route accordingly.
Hats off to the City of Colorado Springs for purchasing 203 acres of the park from Hewlett Packard. This portion of land along the eastern border was plotted for residential and commercial real estate development – but $7.5 million was enough to keep the land undeveloped and accessible for the city’s priceless outdoor enjoyment.
If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities to help maintain this magnificent park, visit www.friendsofutevalleypark.com/volunteer/
Trail Call Directions
From the Vindicator Drive park entrance, follow Ute Valley Park Trail (either end) for a 3.5 mile easy to moderate loop.
Keep your ears perked for mountain bikers passing by, as visibility may be limited on narrower trails with winding turns. Bikers please remember that hikers ALWAYS have the right of way.
May 1 – October 31: 5am-11pm / November 1 – April 30: 5am-9pm
Mountain Biking, Hiking, Trail Running, On-Leash Dog Walking