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Williams Canyon

The Secret Treasure of Manitou Springs
Rating: 3 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  I met a lady along the trail who was, like me, enjoying this hike for the very first time. Unlike me, who has only lived here a year, ... more »

Tips:  This is a 6 mile, out & back hike. It can become warm in the canyon; so take plenty of water.

The canyon tends to concentrate... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

I’ll call the Hwy 24 overpass the trailhead. Actually, there are no markers indicating the beginning of the hike. It looks as though the street just extends on into the canyon. This is deceptive. The paved road degrades rapidly and you find yourself on an old stage coach “road” (for lack of a better word) that was once used to take people up to... More

At this point the stage coach road makes a sharp U-turn and heads up to the Cave of the Winds info center. The trail continues less noticeably on up the canyon. You’ll see the bare back side of another NO TRESPASSING sign. Once past this you’re off CW property.

3. Falls

About a mile into the canyon, you’re up above the canyon floor on the eastern wall. As you come around the corner, you’ll see the canyon widen as it receives another stream from the east. Ahead of you is either a tall bare rock face or delightful cascade of dancing water – depending on the time of the year you’re here. As you can tell from my... More

4. Waldo jCanyon Trail Split

A little over a half mile above the falls, you’ll arrive at the Waldo Canyon trail split. I wish a sign actually indicated this fact, but the reality of the diversion exists, nonetheless. From here you can hike up about a half mile to the 3.5 mile long Waldo Canyon Loop (see my Waldo Canyon Loop guide for another approach to this well used trek). ... More

5. Cave

About .8 miles above the falls, you’ll round a curve in the trail and discover a small manmade cave on your right. For some reason I haven’t been able to establish, the National Forest Service is restoring this site – attested to by a very unofficial-looking, hand-scrawled blue index card, posted on a tree trunk in front of the cave.

6. Pike's Peak View

Just past the cave, you start a fairly steep climb up to Rampart Range Rd, the terminus of this leg of your journey. As you climb you’ll be able to see back down the length of the canyon, with mountain vistas of Almahgre Mtn and of Pike’s Peak in the background.

7. Rampart Range Rd

This is the point where you turn around and head back. I stopped for lunch. I recommend you touch the road and head back down the trail before stopping. As you can tell from the pictures, there’s nothing particular to look at, and cars driving along the road raise enough of a cloud of dust (but no “hearty ‘Hi-O, Silver!’”) that you won’t want to... More