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On Walkabout On: The Seven Bridges Trail in Colorado Springs

Basic Information

  • What: Seven Bridges Trail
  • Where: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Distance: 3.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 677 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficulty: EasyMediumHardDifficult
  • Time: 2-3 hours round-trip
  • Cost: Free
  • More Information: City of Colorado Springs website

Topographic Map

Seven Bridges Trail Map

Narrative

My four-year old wanted to go hiking recently so I decided to take her over to North Cheyenne Canon outside of Colorado Springs to hike up the Seven Bridges Trail:

My wife wanted to go as well which meant I would be carrying my one-year old son on my back for this hike. I have hiked up this trail before so I knew that it was easy enough for a four-year old and my family to hike up.  However, what I did not know was how much snow was on the trail, but I figured since the trail is so popular that the snow should be packed pretty well.  So we drove up the canyon to the “Hub” parking area above Helen Hunt Falls.  It was an absolutely beautiful day out as we set out from the trailhead:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

The trail begins by following the old railroad grade that was once Gold Camp Road towards the start of the Seven Bridges Trail:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

At about .8 miles the turn off to Trail 622 which is the Seven Bridges Trail becomes visible on the right adjacent to North Cheyenne Creek:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

This sign at the trailhead calls it the North Cheyenne Creek Trail, but everyone in Colorado Springs calls it the Seven Bridges Trail:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

The trail received its name unsurprisingly because it crosses over seven bridges.  The first of the seven bridges is immediately visible just a short distance from the trail junction:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

Here is a view of North Cheyenne Creek flowing down the canyon from the first bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

We found the trail to be in great shape as we headed up the canyon.  It was all boot packed snow that my four-year old had no issues hiking up:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

After a short distance we came to the second bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

Much like she did when we hiked through Castlewood Canyon, my daughter was now having fun counting the bridges as we passed over them.  As we continued up the trail the walls of the canyon became increasingly steep and rugged:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

The ruggedness of the cliffs on one side made it difficult for trees to grow thus providing more sunlight into the canyon.  This caused portions of Cheyenne Creek to to thaw a bit and we even spotted this small cascade:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

We next came to the rickety looking third bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

As we crossed these bridges I found them to be in pretty good shape despite the flooding that closed the canyon back in September 2013 for many months.  Here is the view looking down the canyon from the third bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

We then came upon another bridge, but the trail does not cross this bridge and thus is not part of the Seven Bridges.  It appears this bridge is just used for people to camp on the other side of the creek:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

We were getting pretty far into the canyon now and its rocky walls were getting narrower:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

We then came upon the fourth bridge which looked to be the sturdiest bridge on the entire hike:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

Shortly after this bridge we came upon the fifth bridge that was also pretty sturdy:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

After the fifth bridge we had to hike a little while to reach the next bridge.  Along the way we passed by this very large rock that had rolled down the side of the canyon who knows how many years ago:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

We were just glad we were not on the trail whenever that boulder decided to roll down on to it.  After about a half mile we then came upon the sixth bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

Here is the view of North Cheyenne Creek from the sixth bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

My daughter by now was getting pretty tired, but my wife and I encouraged her on to the final bridge.  The walls of the canyon had become quite scenic and rugged as we hiked to the seventh bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

After nearly 2 miles of hiking from the parking area we finally reached the seventh bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

At the seventh bridge there is a small bench which my daughter was more than happy to take advantage of.  My one year old son on the other hand was having a blast since I was carrying him on my back and he was loving all the attention he was getting from other hikers that we passed.  We spent a few minutes drinking water, eating snacks, and enjoying the view back down the canyon from the seventh bridge:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

From the end of the Seven Bridges Trail there is a trail that continues on to an area called Jones Park where more trails can be accessed.  It possible to do a very nice 10-mile loop hike up to Jones Park and back to the “Hub” parking area via Bear Creek Canyon.  We actually spoke with a couple hikers at the Seventh Bridge who were coming back down the trail who said the snow was too deep to continue on Jones Park which leads me to believe that the trail conditions during the winter there would require snowshoes for those interested in continuing down the trail.  Anyway we spent about 20 minutes hanging out at the seventh bridge before heading back down the canyon and recrossing all seven bridges again:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

We made really good time going down the canyon and found ourselves back at the trail junction with Gold Camp Road and North Cheyenne Creek in under an hour:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

Here is the view from the trail junction looking back towards Colorado Springs:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

From there it was just another .8 mile hike back to the parking area where we enjoyed the views of the surrounding mountains along the way:

Picture from the Seven Bridges Trail

Conclusion

In total the hike from the parking area up to the seventh bridge I measured with my GPS to be 3.8 miles long with a modest 677 foot elevation gain.  Considering that my four-year old had no issues hiking this trail during the winter time most people should find this trail pretty easy to do.  The accessibility of this trail combined with its great scenery makes it one of the most popular hikes in Colorado Springs where despite hiking up the trail during the winter time we still saw many other hikers.  So for anyone looking for solitude this is not the trail for you.  However, for people with young children looking for a great family hike, the Seven Bridges Trail is definitely worth checking out.

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