It is hard to believe it was 80 degrees warmer a few days ago when we went hiking. Tonight the temperature in Colorado Springs is estimated to be 26 degrees below zero. I don’t know about you but that temperature doesn’t make me want to go hiking.

But … the weekend was in the 60s. Beautiful any time of year, but especially wonderful weather for the last weekend in January. We had to get outside and enjoy it.

We chose to try hiking the Red Rock Canyon Open Space. We had driven past there multiple times while driving out highway 24 through Manitou Springs, but hadn’t stopped. It turned out to be a great place to go explore.

They have a series of trails to explore with maps posted at most of the intersections making it very easy to get around. We made a loop by combining a few of their easy trails. The trails took us through the canyon, past an old building that would have been very cool when the fireplaces were functional, and back to a quarry area. Since this was in January there wasn’t much water, but you could see how water could build up in the middle of the canyon. This would be a fun place during any season.

We chose to cross the canyon near the quarry and climb steps that could have been made when the quarry was active in the early 1900s. Even our little dog, Toby, made it up the slick red rock face.

When we made it to the top we were faced with the realistic scale of the quarry. From a distance the rock face appears to be step-cut blocks. When we got up close the massive scale of those steps it daunting. Those slabs of rock were huge.

As we walked near them it was hard to imagine working that quarry. I’ve installed rock steps and I thought those slabs of rock were heavy. It would have been fun to be able to see the equipment that was used.

How did they cut the slabs?

How did they lift the slab off the wall?

How did they move the slab from the canyon?

It was fun to wonder what it was like over 100 years ago. We wondered which buildings in the area were built with rock from the quarry.

Not only was the Red Rock Canyon Open Space a fun place to go hiking on a wonderful January day, it was a place filled with intrigue.