Hike Serpents Trail in Southwest Colorado: Position on map

Hike Serpents Trail

Serpents Trail


Min: 5020 ft
Max: 5814 ft
Uphill: 1073 ft
Downhill: 285 ft
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Distance: 1.89 miles
Duration:1 h 30 min
Min: 5020 ft
Max: 5814 ft
Uphill: 1073 ft
Downhill: 285 ft

Trail characteristics

Hiking trail


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Route description

On this tour you will be hiking in historic trails. The Serpents trail was the very first street where motorized vehicles could drive to the Colorado National Monument. It was constructed between 1912 and 1921 from the inhabitants of the Grand Valley and was used as an addition to main street up until 1950. With over 54 turns the trail leads into the protective area. No wonder that at one point in time, the street was called one of the most twisted roads in the world.

The hike starts very shortly after the eastward entrance of the Colorado National Monument. Next to the “Devils Kitchen Picnic Area” there is room for parking. From there you simply start your hike up the winding trail. Since there are no crossroads you can simply follow the path while enjoying the beautiful landscape and nature of Colorado. The trail then crosses “Rim Rock Drive” and ends there.

Suitable for kids
Sturdy shoes necessary

Where to eat

On this rather short hiking trip there are no houses or other buildings for resting/eating. Down in the valley there is a picnic area you could use.

Interesting facts

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  • You're traveling a distance of 2 miles on this moderate trail. The hike is therefore not too long. Average length of all hikes in Colorado is 9 miles.
  • Elevated between 5020 ft and 5814 ft, the hike is among the 5 highest elevated hikes in the USA. You're facing an uphill climb of 327 vertical meters on this hike.
  • The hike is one of the family friendly trails in the region.
  • You shouldn’t forget to bring your hiking boots. There are some sections on the trail where sturdy footwear is required.


Serpents Trail | 01:59

Highlights of the tour

One of the greatest highlights on this trail is the nature, which surrounds you. The Colorado National Monument is a protective area ever since 1911 and impresses with massive canyons and unbelievable rock formations, which are formed for years by the weather.

When hiking the Serpents trail one has a beautiful view onto the No Thoroughfare Canyon, which is just one of the eleven canyons of the Colorado National Monument. At the beginning of the canyon is the most famous rock formation, called “Devils Kitchen”. It consists of vertical rock segments which, thanks to the sandstone glow in a bright red, like many other formations in the canyon. Since you reside many hundred meters above the Grand Valley, you get to enjoy a panoramic view of the valley and the surrounding mountains.


You can also walk the trail starting at Rim Rock Drive. You will be walking mostly downward and the Devils Kitchen Picnic Area will be the end of your hike. That is the only possible alternative.


You should bring hiking boots, so you will have a strong hold on the rather steep and rocky trail. Because of the altitude and the drought it is also crucial that you drink enough water before, after and during the hike.

Getting here

The hike starts at the east entrance of the Colorado National Monument. Drive down Highway I-70 and take exit 31 (Horizon Drive). You will find signs of the park which will guide you from there. Right after the entrance of the station you will see the parking area, where the hike begins. If you decide to hike downward, just follow the road (Rim Rock Drive) for about 4 kilometers (2.8 mi), until you get to the look-out point of the Serpent trail.


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