Temple Canyon Park, just south of Cañon City, is a treasure for anyone looking to avoid crowds and explore a gorgeous, natural landscape.
The area has three campgrounds that are spread apart, so it’s easy to feel secluded. Next to one of the campgrounds is a trailhead for Redemption Trail. Follow this trail down into the canyon where Grape Creek runs along the floor. In the spring, the canyon is rich with green trees and grasses and the creek is perfect for wading.
Follow the trail and you’ll discover the “temple,” after which the canyon is named. This rock alcove was formed by the continual seepage of water into small fissures or cracks in the rock and may have been used by the Ute Indian Tribe as a ceremony site.
Section 13 offers gorgeous views of Cañon City and the surrounding areas. For hikers, this is a fairly easy escape from town, and for bikers, it offers some rocky terrain with a fantastic downhill return.
Section 13 is all singletrack that runs through juniper and piñons at the base of the Wet Mountains. LAMBA Chops takes riders through more open terrain.
For those interested in reaching the highest point on the trail, take Hotshots to the upper meadow, which is a great spot to stop, enjoy the scenery, and get ready for a fun descent. Connects with the new South Cañon Trails for added mileage.