Saturday, October 17, 2020

5 Things to Do in Colorado Springs

garden of the gods park in colorado springs
On my recent trip to Colorado, we spent two days in Colorado Springs. The town is surrounded by attractions due to its location near the iconic Pikes Peak. I gathered my favorite things we did and a few other highly rated suggestions for your next visit!

Hike at Garden of the Gods

I would say Garden of the Gods is the main attraction in Colorado Springs. With over 20 miles of hiking trails and iconic rock features, it’s absolutely worth spending a few hours here. Pack plenty of water for a daytime hike as there is little shade on most of the trails and it gets hot. There are also a few other outdoorsy activities if hiking isn’t your thing. I have an entire blog post about Garden of the Gods that you should definitely read before you visit.

Drive up Pikes Peak

Just west of Colorado Springs is the Pikes Peak Highway Gateway. It takes 2-3 hours to drive to the top, plus time for stops and photos. Notable stops include Crystal Reservoir and Devils Playground. Because we had also just visited Rocky Mountain National Park, we decided to skip the scenic drive up Pikes Peak on this trip. However, I think it would be worth it if it was your only opportunity to drive and hike in the mountains. The summit is 14,115 feet, so grab a warm layer and make sure you have at least half a tank of gas!

helen hunt falls in colorado springs

Hike at North Cheyenne CaƱon Park

This 1,600 acre park has an extensive trail system with a totally different landscape to Garden of the Gods. One landmark is Helen Hunt Falls. You’ll have to drive 2.5 miles into the park, up the canyon, but there is no real hike to see the waterfalls. You can continue hiking from Helen Hunt Falls for a view of the canyon but we were so burnt out from hiking everywhere else by the time we got here. There are several other trails that feature creeks and waterfalls.

manitou cliff dwellings in colorado spings

Check out Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Take a major step back in time when you explore Manitou Cliff Dwellings. You can walk through Anasazi structures and see how indigenous people lived. The site was originally located in McElmo Canyon, near Mesa Verde and was relocated in 1907,  Ruins were collected and reassembled to match their original appearance, but this does mean there is some inauthentic concrete. There’s also a museum and a massive gift shop with pottery, weapons and other artifacts. We spent about 45 minutes visiting the Cliff Dwellings but it is worth the quick stop. 

Visit Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

I had heard great things about Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and their conservation efforts. Be sure to check out the Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping App! The Zoo has several inexpensive animal encounters and feeding opportunities. On this trip to Colorado, we opted to visit the Denver Zoo on our way from Rocky Mountain National Park to Colorado Springs, but Cheyenne Mountain Zoo would have been a great stop as well! They have a ton of unique animals and exhibits. 

Colorado Springs is a great destination if you are looking for an outdoorsy getaway! There are so many places to hike and enjoy nature. The city itself also has plenty of restaurants and amenities, but we opted to steer clear since we were visiting with COVID-19 restrictions in place. 


xo,


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