Ute Valley Park is a surprisingly large parcel of land in the Rockrimmon neighborhood of Colorado Springs. Once you drop into the valley, the surrounding bluffs offer a feeling of seclusion, and it is possible to spend the majority of your hike with no visual evidence of the surrounding neighborhoods. If you choose to travel the ridges, you will have a view of civilization, but also of the surrounding foothills and Pikes Peak. From some points, you have a very clear view of the burn area of the Waldo Canyon Fire of summer 2012. The varied geography includes a marsh at the parking lot, pine forests, open meadows, and many unique rock formations, including sandstone slabs underfoot and groups of boulders that are great for sitting or bouldering. The trails fork often and are not marked, so each trip is an opportunity to explore new routes of any length you choose. Ute Valley is popular among mountain bikers, although certain trails are reserved for hiking only. The park is dog-friendly. Hike with caution, as rattlesnakes have been spotted in the area. Sun exposure in the summer can be intense, so be sure to take plenty of water and dress accordingly.