Waldo Canyon

Trailhead / Access

Because of the 2012 Fire and current danger of flash floods and other dangerous conditions, Waldo Canyon is closed until further notice. This close is expect to last for several years. It is expected that if/when it reopens, the trail configuration is be much different.

Trail Summary

The course distance per the GPS is 6.8 miles however, the tailhead listed it as a bit less. I have always considered it a 7 mile run before GPS. The trail is primarily single track. The section going into/out of the valley is very well maintained. The section that follows the creek (to the left of the junction) is more rugged with some rocks and some wetness especially in spring/early summer. The trail to the right of the junctions as some very rocky sections and caution is advised when running through these sections. This section is probably the steepest part of the trail also.

Course - 6.8 miles

Waldo Canyon is a popular spot for hiking, running, and mountain biking. It is up Ute Pass about 2 miles west of Manitou Springs. The trail head starts at a parking lot on the right side of highway 24 as you go up to Cascade/Woodland Park. The parking lot is paved and good sized but I usually find that it is always quite full on weekends and late afternoons.

The trail starts at the parking lot with a series of stairs to get up to the actual trail. For the next mile, the trail will climb. It will appear like it is climbing more that it does because the highway below is decending. At about the mile point, the trail crosses the ridge and starts down into a small valley where it will split into a loop. I prefer the clockwise way of doing the loop but then I like having the steep downhill back to the valley but since it is a loop, the actual elevation gain is the same either way, just different in how it is laid out. Elevation ranges between 7100 ft and 8100 ft...