It’s spring time in Colorado Springs which means hiking season is in full force. Hiking is something that is great and accessible for just about anyone. Getting out into nature is not only good for your physical health but it’s also great for your mental health. In Colorado Springs we treasure our nature spaces. That’s why we created this guide to share trails, tips and tricks to hike responsibly in Colorado Springs as well as how to save tons of money on hiking gear by shopping at MER.

How to Hike Responsibly:

Being a responsible hiker starts with educating yourself. Our blog “A Coloradan’s Guide to the Leave No Trace Principles” provides all the information you need to get started! Whether you are going on a short hike or planning to hike one of Colorado’s 14ers these principles make it easy to understand how to navigate nature responsibly.
Pro tip: Download the Strava app so you can send your location to a friend or family member making it easy for you to be found if something happens.hike responsibly

Our Favorite Hiking Areas in COS:

It’s no surprise that Colorado Springs has tons of beautiful hikes. With the diverse landscapes and the iconic Pikes Peak you really can’t go wrong. With an estimate of 230 hiking trails in the Colorado Springs area you have tons of options for all ability levels.

hike responsibly

1. Red Rocks Open Space: Grassy plains, woods, red rocks, views of Pikes Peak…This beautiful hiking area is just minutes from MER. There are tons of trail options in Red Rocks offering an array of difficulty levels and distances. Red Rock Canyon Open Space, 3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
2. Ute Valley Park: Ute Valley Park is another gorgeous spot to hike. It offers stunning views of Pikes Peak, trails winding through desert and pine trees, huge fields of sunflowers and sandstone hills. These trail systems are multi-use and offer a variety of difficulty for all levels of hikers. 1705 Vindicator Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80919
3. Black Forest Section 16: If you are looking for wider multi-use trail through the forest then this is a great choice! This trail is a 4 mile loop with tons of opportunity to see wildlife and wild flowers. Make sure you refer to our LNT guide on how to respect wildlife before you go. 8510 Burgess Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80908
4. North Cheyenne Cañon: With a huge variety of terrain, cañon walls, tall trees and peaceful creeks this is always a go to for the MER staff. With approximately 36 trails in NCC you can find a trail suited to your ability levels and when you are done hang your hammock by the creek and relax! 2120 S Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
For more specific trail recommendations be sure to check out our blog Great Hikes Near Colorado Springs!

Hiking Responsibly by Shopping Second-hand with MER:

hike responsibly At our used consignment store here in Colorado Springs we are dedicated to getting you into the outdoors for close to half of what it costs to buy new gear. This means you save money while also being more environmentally friendly! We consign high-quality gear so you have a more sustainable way to hike responsibly. We carry daypacks, backpacking packs, hiking shoes, first aid, hiking clothing, maps, hydration systems, snacks, and so much more. Whether you are just getting into hiking and need entry-level gear or you are an expert needing a gear upgrade we have options for you to explore.

Greater Cause:

Not only do we save you tons of money when you shop at MER but you can trust that your money is well spent at our shop. We give 100% of our net profits back to the community through local non-profits. Have you shopped our $5 corner? That’s right! We have a whole section of the store filled with outdoor recreation items for just $5! When you shop the $5 shelf 100% of that money goes to our Non-Profit of the Month. These non-profits are outdoor based and are the ones advocating for and maintaining the trails you hike!

Consign Your Old Hiking Gear:

When you have gear that you aren’t using, you might as well make some money on it! We are a consignment shop and would love to check out your gear to see if it’s eligible for consignment! If it’s something you could buy at REI than we most likely take it! Visit our consignment page to read more about what we take!hike responsibly MER: Great gear Greater Cause