First time coming to Colorado Springs? Or maybe you live here and you’re looking for something fun to do? You’re in luck! Here is a list of some of the best outdoor adventures that Colorado Springs has to offer:
- Red Rock Canyon Open Space – Located off Highway 24 in between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs is essentially a smaller version of Garden of the Gods. The perks about Red Rock Canyon are simple: less tourists, similar views, and great hiking/mountain biking. Make sure you go to Rudys BBQ after, it’s the best in town!
- Cheyenne Mountain State Park – Located in the southwest area of Colorado Springs lies a great state park with breathtaking views. You can pay $9 for a day pass or a little extra for an overnight camp site. This wondrous park is great for beginner campers wanting to get a quick getaway, just about a 20-minute drive from downtown.
- Manitou Incline – Athletes from all over the world have come to visit Colorado Springs for one reason: to conquer the Manitou incline. If you plan to do the incline, come prepared. You will be going up 2,744 steps while gaining over 2,000 feet in elevation. Depending on your fitness level, this could take as little as 30 minutes or as long as 2 hours. Then, after that you have a nearly 4-mile hike down Barr Trail to complete the journey. Bring lots of water and snacks to ensure you don’t get altitude sickness.
- Pulpit Rock – Pulpit Rock is a great hike for beginner tourists who want to experience some nature and take in the scenic views CO Springs has to offer while at the same time not straying too far from civilization. The hike takes about 30 minutes to get up to the top, and from there you have some gorgeous views of the city. My recommendation? Do the hike at Sunset to get the best experience. But make sure you have a flashlight or headlamp if it gets dark!
- Palmer Park – Palmer Park is a great and massive open space in the center of Colorado Springs. There are plenty of trails to choose from, and some of them are great for mountain biking as well. You will take in some magnificent views while at the same time not venturing too far into the woods, much like Pulpit Rock.
- Fox Run Park – If you are on the north end of town, Fox Run is a wonderful place to take the family and/or any pets to spend some time. There are trails to hike, volleyball courts, playgrounds, picnic areas, and even a dog park for the fur babies! If you drive around, you will also find a gorgeous pond with a Gazebo that is great for taking family pictures.
- Spruce Mountain – This is a great hike for moderate to experienced hikers. Located on the west side of I-25 and county line road, this hike has some fantastic views and is not too hard on the body. My recommendation? Wake up early and do this hike at sunrise, the top of the hike faces east, and you can hopefully catch a beautiful sunrise. However, watch out for Mountain Lions and come prepared if you are doing this hike before daylight!
- Raspberry Mountain – If you are willing to drive aways, Raspberry Mountain will take your breath away! This hike is about a 6-mile round trip if you want to reach the top and is moderately challenging. If you want to get away from the city and truly be surrounded by nature, this is a great hike.
- Barr Trail – Although Barr Trail is often used as the descent from the Incline, this is also a great hike up with some great views. In fact, this trail goes all the way to the top of Pikes Peak, which is classified as a 14er (reaches elevation of 14,000 feet). If you plan to fully ascend to the top, I recommend training first and securing a ride down from the top via either the cog railway or the road that goes from the top of pike’s peak to the bottom. (Fun fact, the ridiculous mountain scene from Fast and Furious 6 where they parachute cars out of a plane was filmed at Pikes Peak on this very road).
- Paradise Cove – About an hour and a half west of Colorado Springs, you will find one of the best spots in Colorado to cliff jump! The place is incredibly scenic, hence the name Paradise Cove. You will park at the trailhead, take a short trip in, and find a beautiful small cove where you can jump from as little as 20 feet into the water and as high as about 85 feet. This is a great place for day trips, however I would recommend going on a weekday as this place has become quite the tourist attraction.
I hope this list of place gives you some ideas and fun places to explore! That’s one of my absolute favorite things about living in Colorado Springs is how close you are to amazing views and adventures. Colorado Springs makes you want to get outside and experience all the beauty this state has to offer.