Written by Sasha Hart
Although the weather in Colorado has been all over the map in recent weeks, take advantage of one of the sunnier days and get out for a hike. If you’re looking for something not too far from campus, head to Cheyenne Canyon and hike the Seven Bridges Trail.
The Seven Bridges Trail is an approximately four-mile round trip hike. As the name suggests, it crosses seven different wooden bridges as it zig-zags across North Cheyenne Creek, winding its way up the canyon.
Up to bridge seven, the incline is very gradual and the trail is well maintained—a perfect choice for novice and experienced hikers alike. After the seventh bridge, the trail continues a short distance and becomes a little bit steeper, but it’s manageable. As such, it makes for a doable trail run as well.
It’s a great hike year-round, as long as there’s not too much snow on the ground. The trail is somewhat shaded, lined with trees and the rock walls of the canyon. It is a great activity in the warmer months, as you can get a respite from the heat by cooling off in the creek.
The trail is also beautiful in the fall when the leaves are changing color and the weather is a little bit cooler. If you go in the cooler months, bring adequate clothing because the canyon makes the air feel colder than the temperature out in the sun. There aren’t a lot of aspens along the trail, so if you’re looking specifically for a hike among the aspens, a place like Mueller State Park might be a better bet.
The trail is fairly narrow, but in most spots, it is possible to pass other people, making it a good option if you want to get a group of friends together to go on a hike. Take care on the bridges though, because some of them are very basic and lack railings, so if the bridge is slippery you may find yourself landing in the cold water of the creek.
Dogs are also allowed on the trail, so if you’re looking for a hike where you can bring your furry friend along as well, then this hike is a great choice. When I brought my dog, he loved playing in the creek and running along the trail in the pine needles and fallen leaves.
The best part about this hike is the variety of things that you can see in a relatively short four miles. Every bridge is slightly different and the foliage varies from aspens, to pines, to other smaller trees and brush. Given that the trail runs along the creek, you also have a beautiful view of the water for the entire hike.
In terms of getting there, it is easiest if you have a car, but it’s also possible to take Uber or Lyft for about $30 roundtrip. Just be aware that if you choose to use a car service, you may not have reception in the canyon to call for a ride back and will have to hike down to the park entrance to get reception.
To drive there, get on I-25 South, take the exit for Tejon Street and merge onto Cheyenne Blvd. From there, you follow the road until you reach the park entrance on the right-hand side. Continue driving up the canyon past the Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center and parking lot. Shortly after, you will reach a parking lot on the left-hand side where you can park and walk to the Seven Bridges trailhead. Pay attention to the signs at the beginning of the hike, because you do have to walk a short distance on another, bigger trail to reach the Seven Bridges trailhead.