Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Wilkerson Pass Overlook, Mount Democrat, Quandary Peak, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Dillon Reservoir, Keystone Resort, Arapahoe Basin Resort, Loveland Ski Area, Buffalo Overlook, Paint Mines Interpretive Park,
Woodland Park, “City above the Clouds”, is a gorgeous mountain town that lies directly north of 14,115-foot Pikes Peak. The town, a mere 20 miles from Colorado Springs, is a world apart. At 8,464 feet, Woodland Park has a mountain climate with snow in winter and sun in summer.
Broad-shouldered Pikes Peak dominates Woodland Park’s skyline and forms an alpine playground for scenic drivers, hikers, and climbers. The Pikes Peak Highway, beginning at Cascade on U.S. 24, twists 19 miles up the mountain to its flat summit. The road offers spacious views from numerous overlooks and access to hiking trails, three lakes for fishing including Crystal Creek Reservoir, Glen Cove Inn, and climbing areas like Bigger Bagger. At the top, everyone stops at the summit house to buy one of their “world famous donuts” that are made with a recipe developed in 1888 and adjusted for 14,000 feet.
Plenty of trails for hikers and mountain bikers thread through valleys in the Rampart Range east of town and in hills to the north, including the 7.4-mile Centennial Trail, paralleling Colorado 67 north of Woodland Park, is an easy bike and hike trail for families. It ends at Manitou Lake where you can take 2.4-mile Manitou Park Lake Trail.
Mueller State Park, a 5,112-acre parkland southwest of Woodland Park, is an excellent destination for hikers and campers. The park, a patchwork of valleys and mountains, offers 44 miles of hiking trails, 36 miles of mountain bike trails, 132 campsites in seven campgrounds, an 800-acre hunting area, streams and ponds for fishing, and four picnic areas. Mueller is an excellent place to watch wildlife, including elk, deer, black bear, and over 115 bird species.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, west of Woodland Park, offers a glimpse into Colorado’s ancient past when towering redwood trees lined a large lake. Volcanic eruptions covered the land with ash, burying the trees and a spectacular collection of leaves and insects which were compressed into fossils. The best hikes are Twin Rocks Trail and Boulder Creek Trail.
A great scenic drive is the 60-mile Rampart Range Road, which begins at Garden of the Gods and ends north of Devils Head. Jump on the road at Woodland Park by heading northeast on County Road 22 a few miles. Rampart Reservoir Recreation Area and Ridgecrest Scenic Overlook are south on the road, while Devils Head and its scenic trail are to the north. Climbers enjoy the Woodland Park Boulders just outside of town on Road 22.