Tucked at the foot of 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, the Colorado Springs area showcases the best of Colorado: endless opportunities for adventure, matchless natural beauty and the unspoiled spirit of the Wild West.
There are so many things to do in the Pikes Peak region that it’s hard to know where to start. Read on for some ideas that will help you make the most of your trip.
Appreciate the famous views.
No matter how you summit 14,115-foot Pikes Peak — by car, train or foot — it won’t take you long to realize why the mountain is one of Colorado’s most famous. Challenge Unlimited – Pikes Peak by Bike gives cyclists the chance to cruise down the peak without the climb. Ride up to the top in the company’s van, then embark on a 20-mile downhill excursion. Challenge Unlimited will supply everything you need, including warmer layers for the cooler temps at higher altitude, safety gear and a post-ride lunch at Wines of Colorado, so all you have to worry about is having a blast.
If you prefer to see “America’s Mountain” from the comfort of your vehicle, the Pikes Peak Highway leads visitors to the summit with plenty of worthy stops along the way, including scenic outlooks, alpine lakes for fishing, picnic areas and hiking trails. Learn more about hiking Pikes Peak >>
Reach new heights.
Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, one of the world’s highest suspension bridges, sits 956 feet above the Arkansas River. Stroll or drive across the bridge’s nearly 1,300 wooden planks; or glide across the gorge via zipline or in one of their new aerial gondolas. For view seekers, the visitor center boasts wraparound panoramas of the gorge and surrounding area, while the Royal Rush Skycoaster dangles adrenaline junkies 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River and sends them flying through the air at 50 miles per hour.
Delve into Colorado history.
Long before the West was won, American Indian tribes made their homes in the Centennial State. Learn about some of our earliest residents at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, where you can survey the architectural talent of the Ancestral Puebloan people who inhabited Colorado’s Four Corners region more than 700 years ago. The Anasazi Museum, which opened to the public in 1907, offers a unique look into the daily lives of these ancient people.
The ProRodeo Hall of Fame chronicles the lives of professional rodeo cowboys though displays that interpret the all-American sport through the decades and tributes to some of rodeo's toughest competitors, including Chris Ledoux and Casey Tibbs. Visitors can tour the Hall of Champions, which celebrates more than 275 inductees.
National Historic Districts in Manitou Springs and Cripple Creek also offer a window into Colorado’s colorful past, when railroaders, gold rushers, cowpokes and bandits mingled in a brave new world. A former 1890s mining camp, Cripple Creek’s golden history lives on through Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad, Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, Cripple Creek Heritage Center and many other museums in the area. Admire the lovingly restored brick buildings along Bennett Avenue, a lovely sight surrounded by the neighboring mountains.
Meanwhile, you can still sip water from Manitou Springs’ eight preserved natural mineral springs, which have attracted patrons for centuries, from American Indian tribes to riders of the 1880s-era Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. The town’s collection of locally-owned shops and eateries housed in Victorian buildings are also worth an afternoon stroll.
Keep the kids smiling
Only in the Pikes Peak region can little ones visit one of the largest giraffe herds in the world. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the nation’s only mountain zoo, has more than 950 animals from all over the world, including African elephants, Amur leopards and zebras. Partake in feeding experiences with the giraffes, rhinos or elephants, ride the historic carousel and board the Mountaineer Sky Ride to take in stunning views of the zoo, Cheyenne Mountain and Colorado Springs.
A dinner and theater show at Iron Springs Chateau is the perfect way to end the evening. Indulge in a hearty three-course meal while the entire family enjoys an old-fashioned melodrama, where booing the villain and cheering on the hero is encouraged.
Planning your trip?
Browse coupons for Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, check out the Pikes Peak blog and view the events page to learn about happenings during your visit.