Home to the United States Olympic Training Center, Pikes Peak, and the Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs gets its fair share of tourism. We’ve come up with 5 great day trips from the Colorado Springs area sure to make your summer freetime a little more exciting.
1. Phantom Canyon
Named after reported sightings of a mysterious man, Phantom Canyon Road is a hidden gem in the Pikes Peak Region. Roughly 30 miles long, connecting Florence and Victor, Phantom Canyon Road makes for a very scenic drive, with tons of places to stop for trails and mountain biking.
2. Paint Mines Interpretive Park
One of the most peculiar geologic formations in the state of Colorado, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park is truly one-of-a-kind. Tucked away in Clahan, you’ll find oddly shaped and brightly colored rocks with several trails to hike. This attraction isn’t huge, making for a great half-day adventure.
3. Royal Gorge
Home to the highest bridge in the country, a giant swing that sends passengers above a canyon, a zipline, and a gondola, the Royal Gorge is one Cañon City destination that can’t be missed. Up to 1,250 feet deep at some points, there’s plenty of hiking for after you get the touristy things out of the way.
Only 40 minutes from Colorado Springs, the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is the perfect place to get an up-close look at wolves, foxes, and coyotes. They’ll let you get so close that you can even get a kiss. Open year-round, call ahead or check their website to see what they’re offering before you get there.
5. Pikes Peak Highway
With its tollgate less than 30 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak Highway is the perfect way to be a tourist in your own town. The roundtrip loop to the top of this 14,000 foot mountain and back will take about 3 hours, so make sure your gas tank is filled. Not only is this route one of the highest roads in the country, it’s also one of the most scenic. Just make sure you get a doughnut on top!