Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Red Rock Canyon Open Space


In May 2015, an earthen retention pond located in the western Sand Canyon area of Red Rock Canyon Open Space collapsed. Massive amounts of mud and water rushed downstream causing extensive damage to adjacent trails, parking areas, and drainages. Some parts of Colorado Springs saw nearly 12 inches of rain during the month making it the wettest on record since November 1894. As a result of the damage and associated safety concerns, the City of Colorado Springs closed Red Rocks Open Space for more than six weeks.

Soon after the rain subsided, the City of Colorado Springs began assessing the damage and making a plan to repair and reopen the park. Heavy machinery was used to repair areas of the park that posed immediate risks to life and safety. The park was finally reopened on July 3, 2015. The Rocky Mountain Field Institute, in partnership with the Friends of Red Rock Canyon and the City of Colorado Springs, led several volunteer workdays in the park in 2015 as well as 1-week of youth corps. Work continued into spring 2016 and focused on stabilizing Round Up Trail Creek, repairing the Quarry Pass Trail, stabilizing the Sand Canyon Pond breach site, and repairing access to popular climbing areas. Subsequent work in 2017 focused on closing and restoring social trails, fencing, signage, and completing maintenance on existing designated trails. 


RMFI's current work objectives focus on helping the City of Colorado Springs complete trail maintenance, construction, and restoration projects within the open space in accordance with the park management plan.


  • Work in partnership with the City of Colorado Springs to complete repairs and improvements to existing designated trails in accordance with the park management plan.


  • City of Colorado Springs
  • Friends of Red Rock Canyon
  • Manitou Trail CATS

Get involved

If you are interested in donating your time to this project or other similar projects, please check our calendar for workday opportunities or contact Molly Mazel, our Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator with any questions: 719-471-7736 ext. 4. or [email protected]