4:00am - Alarm goes off. Get dressed, grab breakfast, and load the Jeep. 4:30am -…
From northbound I-25: Exit at Rockrimmon (exit #147) and go west on Rockrimmon Blvd. Turn left on Vindicator Dr. The parking lot will be on your left.
From southbound I-25: Exit at Woodmen (exit #149) and go west on Woodmen Rd. Continue straight on Rockrimmon Blvd. Turn right on Vindicator Dr. The parking lot will be on your left.
From the west: From Colorado Avenue, turn left on 30th St. Turn left on Centennial Blvd., then right on Vindicator Dr. The parking lot will be on your right.
Ute Valley Park is a surprisingly large parcel of land in the Rockrimmon neighborhood of Colorado Springs. Its dry vegetation, sunny exposure, and rocky outcroppings are similar to that of Palmer Park.
Once you drop into the valley, the surrounding bluffs offer a feeling of seclusion, and it is possible to spend the majority of your hike with no visual evidence of the surrounding neighborhoods. If
you choose to travel the ridges, you will have a view of civilization, but also of the surrounding foothills and Pikes Peak.
The varied geography includes a marsh at the parking lot, pine forests, open meadows, and many unique rock formations, including sandstone slabs underfoot and groups of boulders that are great for sitting. The trails fork often and are not marked, so each trip is an opportunity to explore new routes of any length you choose.
Ute Valley is popular among mountain bikers, although certain trails are reserved for hiking only.
Hike with caution, as rattlesnakes have been spotted in the area—the photo here is of one I saw there the last time I visited!