Red Mountain Loop | Red Mountain Open Space
Wellington, CO | 11/21/20 | 9.13 miles | 824′ gain
Red Mountain Open Space is a fascinating place filled with unexpected canyons and unbelievable red rock. There are plenty of trails and each one is different than the last. I hiked a similar loop onto the Cheyenne Rim in March of 2020 and hadn’t stopped talking about it since. Tori and Jack were excited to see the park but this time we picked a slightly shorter loop. We’d still see some of the coolest trails and we also included a few trails that I hadn’t seen yet.
We started on the Bent Rock Trail, heading west into the canyon. The trail through the canyon is only around 1/2 mile but it’s a beautiful walk and a good introduction to the oddities of Red Mountain.
Once out of the canyon, we turned right on the Ruby Wash Trail. Eventually the wash bottom becomes the trail and we followed that for a few miles. At one point, we accidentally followed a side-wash instead and didn’t realize until we’d walked 1/4 mile in the wrong direction. Oops! We back-tracked and figured out where we went wrong.
As you travel further into Ruby Wash, red rock walls rise up to create a Sedona-esque canyon. This section is by far one of the coolest spots in Red Mountain. I was glad Tori & Jack enjoyed it as much as I did when I first visited.
After 3.1 miles on the Ruby Wash Trail, we turned right on the Salt Lick Trail. This was one of the trails I hadn’t been on before and I was excited to see what it had to offer. The Salt Lick Trail is a shorter alternative to the Cheyenne Rim Trail, staying at the base of the Rim instead of climbing up it. It’s less scenic but a good alternative for those who can’t do a 12 mile hike.
After 2.2 miles on the Salt Lick Trail, we followed the Big Hole Wash, Sinking Sun, and Rising Sun Trails back to the trailhead.