Hikers wanting to add some excitement to an Intemann Trail hike can take the Red Mountain Trail to add a tough climb and some beautiful views to their trek. The Red Mountain trail forks off of the Intemann Trail in the section between the Pawnee and Ruxton Avenue trailheads in the town of Manitou Springs. The Red Mountain trailhead is clearly marked by a signpost and veers south and up to the summit of Red Mountain. The trail rises quickly from the trailhead up a series of fairly steep switchbacks with some great views of Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs along the way. At the summit, the Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon and a beautiful panorama of Colorado Springs come into view. The concrete remains of a summit structure await your exploration upon arrival on the mountain peak.
According to the signpost marking the trail, the Red Mountain Trail was constructed by “Intemann Trail Committee Volunteers including a Boy Scout Eagle Scout project in conjunction with the city of Manitou Springs, from 1999 to 2001”. Red Mountain itself has quite a colorful history and according to local legend and J. Adrian Stanley writing for the Colorado Springs Independent, “The famous Emma Crawford, for whom our annual coffin races were named, was buried on Red Mountain. During a particularly bad rainstorm, her coffin emerged from its burial site, drifted down the side of the mountain, and apparently floated down Manitou Avenue. She was later reburied elsewhere. There used to be a cog railway that went up the side of Red Mountain, and it was even steeper than the famous Manitou Incline. It was built under questionable quality standards, and never quite reached the popularity of the Incline. It closed after a few years in business.”. The concrete structure at the summit marks the foundation for bar and dance floor destination of the train and is all that remains of this ill fated venture.
Parking for the trail can be tricky and it is probably easiest to just use the paid parking near the Manitou Incline. Walk to the Intemann trailhead on Ruxton Avenue and start your hike there, watching for the Red Mountain signpost and the trail branching up the mountain toward the south. No technical climbing is required on this trail, but the climb is strenuous in places and there is a narrow scree covered approach near the summit that may require some extra diligence to traverse. For footwear, some light hikers or trail runners are sufficient but a good hiking stick would be a welcome addition on parts of the trek. The Red Mountain section of trail is about a mile one way, so add that to the jaunt on the Intemann Trail from Ruxton Avenue to the Red Mountain trailhead. As always, be sure to bring along plenty of fluids to stay hydrated in the hot Colorado summer sun.