Wild Roamers guide to 5 must-do activities in Colorado Springs
Welcome back to the Wild Roamers blog! I’m a Buffalo native, but moved out west to Colorado Springs four years ago! Over the years I have had tons of family and friends visit and each time we try to hit the highlights of the Springs and some of the hidden gems that we have found along the way! Here’s your guide to 5 must-do activities in Colorado Springs, including some amazing hikes, and a bonus hidden gem if you down for a short drive!
- Garden of the Gods - The number one tourist spot in the springs and rightfully so, this one is a must see! You will be amazed by the color and height of all of the red rocks that make up Garden of the Gods! This park is family owned and is free to visit. Give yourself plenty of time to explore the many trails that make up the park and then take in the scenes driving on your way out! Some notable spots to make sure you stop and see are: Kissing Camels, Siamese Twins (short hike), and Balancing Rock! Also, be sure to keep an eye out at the top of the big rocks, as you might get lucky and see some brave rock climbers!
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - Another activity that is definitely a tourist spot, but it is also a sure favorite of the locals too! This is rated one of the top three zoos in America and it got that name for a reason! The zoo not only has amazing and exotic animals, but it also gives you some beautiful views of the city! Be sure to wear your most comfy shoes as this Zoo is built into the side of the mountain range. Also, be sure to pay the extra few bucks to feed the giraffes and ride the Sky Ride!
- Hiking Trails – For the outdoorsy types, you have surely come to the right place in Colorado. There are tons of hiking trails here in Colorado Springs, but here are my top 5, based on their proximity to the city and the beautiful views along the way! All but the Incline are dog-friendly too! PS – see if you can spot me sporting some Rusterior gear on my hikes!
- Mount Muscoco – This four-mile hike has a great reward at the top with all around views. It has a steep incline, so be ready for a moderate hike!
- Section 16 - This six-mile hike also has amazing 360-mountain views at the top, but is pretty tough and can get very icy in the winter months! This one is a popular one amongst the locals, so be sure to get there bright and early!
- 7 Bridges – This 6-mile hike does not have as steep of an incline as the first two, but gives you some great views and time outdoors, while making sure you come across all 7 marked bridges!
- Pulpit Rock – Easy 2-mile hike right in town that gives you views of the city and mountain range near Colorado Springs.
- Manitou Incline – Only attempt this hike if you are up for the challenge and acclimated to the elevation! The incline is made up of 2,744 stairs that goes up 2,000 feet in elevation in just under a mile! It is well worth it to say you did it once and also for the views. If this is not your speed, spend some time in Manitou Springs, at the base of the mountain, where you can shop locally and enjoy some food!
- Cog Railway Pikes Peak – This used to be a popular activity in Colorado Springs, but was closed down for a few years ago, and just reopened in 2021! At the base of Pikes Peak mountain, you can catch a train that takes you to the top of the peak, at just over 14,000 feet. The 1.5 hour ride up and down the mountain alone is worth the trip, but the views at the top are breathtaking and definitely steal the show! On a sunny, clear day, you can see for miles! Tip: Be sure to drink lots of water if you aren’t from the area, as elevation sickness is a real thing (I thought I would be fine my first time too!). If the train is not your style, you can also drive to the top of Pikes Peak, but let me tell you that is not for the faint of heart, no guard rails, but beautiful views all the way up!
- Olympic Training Center – Although this might not be the most popular activity in town, this is one of my favorites. Since Colorado Springs sits at just over 6,000 feet elevation, this is a prime location for athletes and Olympians alike to train! At the Olympic Training Center, Olympians take you around the center and show you what it is like to live and train there for years leading up to the Olympics. It is a true glimpse into the life of an athlete and the facilities they get to train in. If you are a sports fan, this is a great tour and is different every time you go! You may even get to see some medalists training or some national competitions!
Hidden Gem - Eleven Mile Canyon (Heaven on Earth) – This is a spot that a lot of locals don’t even know about so shhhh, keep this one on the down low! This canyon is just an hour-drive outside of Colorado Springs, but offers many spots to sit and enjoy nature and during the summer it is great for fly fishing! Highly recommend for anyone looking to see Colorado in all its glory and enjoy it without any crowds!