The Hogback Valley Trail is the easternmost trail in the Red Rock Canyon Open Space trail system. It is also one of the longer and wider stretches of trail in the park making it an excellent choice for leashed dog walking. Depending on which access point is chosen, the trail is either a steady incline or a long gentle downhill and can easily be included with other trails in the park for a nice round trip loop hike.
The main trailhead is found near the second parking lot at the north end of the park off the High Street Exit. There are also trail access points on 31st and 26th streets which I have not yet explored. To access the trail from the north parking area, drive past the first parking lot to the second one just east of there. The Lower Hogback Trail is to the east leading up and through the the big ridge that runs almost the length of the park. Hike around the north end of the valley when you get to the top and turn south on the Hogback Trail near the 31st Street access trail. From here, the trail is approximately a mile of steady but easy uphill walking with the opportunity of seeing hawks and eagles overhead and maybe deer or a coyote on the ridge. At the end of the ridge to the west of the trail the path curves around the south end and becomes the Lion Trail which adds another mile to the one and a half miles you have already covered. At the Lion Trail you have the choice of continuing into the rest of the park or just making it an out and back by returning the same way.
If you decide to keep going, the Lion Trail leads to some of the highest elevations and best views in the park including spectacular views of the rock quarry below. The Lion Trail connects with the Red Rock Rim Trail and the shortest route for returning back to the parking lot. From there, the Lion Trail continues to the west where it intersects the Red Rock Canyon Trail. Turning to the left here provides access to the south end of almost every trail in the park for those wanting to really extend their trek. The Red Rock Canyon Trail to the right is the opportunity for an easy downhill walk back to the parking lot for a total round trip distance of about two and a half miles.
Summers in Colorado are hot and dry so be sure to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids. To get to the Hogback Valley Trail, take the High Street exit to the south off of Highway 24 just west of the 31st Street exit. Trail access is quicker if you drive past the first parking lot without turning in and proceed to the second parking lot. The trail is easily located near the ridge to the east of the parking area. Be sure to consult the official park trail map for a complete list of trails and distances.