Things to do in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado’s second largest city, is a spectacular place where nature rules. Pikes Peak, the local skyscraper, lifts its snowcapped 14,115-foot crown above the sprawling city. The Springs boasts over 300 days of sunshine annually and has 140% more park acreage than the average city. It’s also home to the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the Olympic Training Center for many sports.
You can find the famed Garden of the Gods within the city limits and Pike National Forest just beyond. Other nearby public lands include Mueller State Park and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. A wide variety of hiking trails scatter around the Colorado Springs area. Some popular routes include: The Garden of the Gods’ paved, handicap-accessible trail that loops through the central Garden zone, the Red Rock Canyon Trail to the Roundup and Contemplative trails at Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and Columbine, Mount Cutler, and Mount Muscoco trails are popular hikes in North Cheyenne Cañon Park. If you feel like conquering a fourteener, head up Pikes Peak on Barr Trail or Devil’s Playground Trail to reach the summit.
A local favorite and Colorado’s most popular trail is the Manitou Incline Trail. The route, following an abandoned incline railway, climbs directly up the mountainside above Manitou Springs. It gains over 2,000 feet, has an average grade of 41%, and a maximum 68% grade.
There are lots of other outdoor activities and attractions to keep your attention. Pike National Forest offers campsites at Elevenmile Canyon and near Manitou Lake, while Mueller State Park has seven campgrounds. Fly fishermen head for Gold Medal Waters on the South Platte River by Cheesman Reservoir or in Elevenmile Canyon. The Arkansas River southwest of town is one of Colorado’s premier rafting areas, with big water in Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge. Golfers also find great courses, including Patty Jewett Golf Course and five-star courses at the Broadmoor Hotel.