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Stanley Canyon

Slicing Into the Front Range
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 4 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Picture the “wall” of the side of a chocolate layer cake. Imagine making one knife cut down through that wall. Pull out your imaginary... more »

Tips:  Directions: Enter the Air Force Academy at the South Gate, exit 150 off of I-25. You’ll need photo ID, and you must be willing to have... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

This is a popular hike, but I’ve never seen the lots full. Exit the parking area onto a service road leading up into the mountains. Follow the signs to Trail #707. Once you leave the road, the trail begins its ascent up the canyon. Take your time; watch where you’re walking.

2. Looking East

After you’ve gained about 300 feet of elevation, you can look back to the east for a fantastic view of Colorado Springs and USAFA.

3. Solid Granite

This is the first of three difficult spots on the trail. The granite is solid, but angled sharply. Don’t be discouraged; I’ve seen parents with babies in backpacks do this. Do be careful though.

4. Go Left

This is the second difficult spot. I recommend traversing to the left. This will take you into close contact with the stream. Around the corner, the trail resumes its relentless upward trek. More views of the canyon.

5. Boulder Climb

The last of the difficult spots. The stream runs down through these boulders. Your mission is to pick your way through without getting your feet wet. Imminently doable. Aren’t the Rockies amazing?

6. Meadow Level

From this point, you’ll walk beside the stream through the woods and across the meadows. Hills rise to your right. If you still have energy and haven’t had enough UP, you can walk up for a better view. Otherwise just follow your nose to the face of the dam.

7. Stanley Reservoir

The dam which creates the reservoir allows you two paths. The path to the right leads to the trail that goes 5.5 miles to the Farish Memorial Recreation Area. The left hand path takes you to the top of the dam. From here you can walk around the lake, or you can walk up the road on the south side to pick up a trail that leads all the way to Rampart... More