Colorado is known for its high elevation cities, so a visit to Colorado Springs will reveal the towering mountains you’ve heard about. There are several notable mountain peaks just outside of town, but it’s also home to some record-breaking landmarks.
You’ll get a chance to experience the high life in Colorado Springs but remember to pace yourself to avoid altitude sickness. You won’t want to miss out on the incredible scenery waiting for you at the destination.
If you’re planning a trip to Colorado Springs, we’ll give you some insight on the best things to do, when to go, and where you’ll find the best accommodations.
Things to Do:
- Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge
The Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge is a must-visit attraction in Colorado Springs. It’s the highest bridge in the US, so it’s perfect that it’s located near the city. It towers 291-meters high above the Arkansas River and stretches 384-meters across the gorge. There is an amusement park developed around the site, making it a popular tourist destination.
Taking a walk across the bridge is only the beginning of adrenaline-pumping experiences. The amusement park includes an incline railway that takes riders to the bottom of the gorge to amaze at the bridge’s height. You can also ride a gondola across the gorge for incredible views.
For the most adventurous visitors, there is a high-speed zip line across the gorge or take a ride on the Skycoaster to swing over the edge.
- Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is a fitting name for the park once you lay your eyes upon the scenery. It’s said that it’s a place so beautiful that it’s where the Gods get together. The park features some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado – the site was established in 1909 to preserve the natural landscapes and later declared a National Natural Landmark.
Over two million people go to the Garden of the Gods every year, making it one of the most visited parks in Colorado Springs. The park is perfectly designed for recreation. Some of the top activities include hiking, rock climbing, and biking. Trek along the Perkins Central Trail Garden to reach a viewpoint overlooking the scenic landscape.
- Pikes Peak
From Colorado Springs, you can see the towering summit of Pikes Peak in the distance. It’s one of the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains, with a summit reaching over 4,300 meters high about the Pike National Forest. But don’t just check out the peak from a distance, venture to the top for the best view in Colorado Springs.
Pikes Peak has several ways of reaching the top – hiking, driving, railway. Each of the routes provides lots of viewpoints along the way before reaching the summit. You’ll also have several viewing perspectives at the top.
Pikes Peak is one of the top tourist destinations in Colorado Springs that takes you well above the clouds for a panoramic view of the landscape below. After you do the climb (or drive), visit the gift shop at the summit for a commemorative souvenir.
- US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center
To take a break from the record-breaking elevation attractions in Colorado Springs, take a trip to the US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. Although it’s not a high elevation, you’ll get a chance to see behind the scenes of athletes training at the highest skill level.
The US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center is the official training center for athletes on Team USA participating in the Olympics and the Paralympics. The site features state-of-the-art facilities and coaches to prepare athletes for the global competition.
The center offers guided tours, sometimes conducted by resident athletes. You’ll see a short documentary, tour the center, learn about its history, and enjoy lunch in the dining hall. The center also manages a museum in Downtown Colorado Springs.
- Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a favorite outdoor recreational site located just south of Colorado Springs. The park was established in 2006 with the Cheyenne Mountain as the centerpiece. The mountain is over 2,900 meters tall and offers scenic views and hiking trails to the summit.
Locals enjoy frequenting the park for exercise while visitors enjoy the beautiful nature. The park preserved nearly 1,700 acres of undeveloped landscape. Some of the popular activities are hiking, sightseeing, picnics, and camping.
There are more than 20 miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy in the park, including a couple of historic trails. Sights include diverse wildlife, waterfalls, creeks, and more. Visit the visitor center to find more information about the park or attend one of its nature programs.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs?
Many of the top attractions in Colorado Springs allow you to enjoy the area’s natural landmarks. When you visit Colorado Springs, you’ll have the best of both worlds with options to stay in the city or nature.
The best places to stay in Colorado Springs are:
You’ll find exceptional hotels all around Colorado Springs. The city center is a hub for hotels, and you’ll have no problem finding some unique hotels for your stay. But if you’re planning to spend a lot of time outdoors, consider camping at some of the incredible attractions.
Camping and RV parks are widespread in Colorado Springs; in fact, many of the popular things to do have places to stay right at them. You can find RV parks at the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. The Cheyenne Mountain State Park has designated campsites for RVs or tent camping.
For a bit more comfort, you can also find cabins and lodges near the sites.
Best Time to Visit Colorado Springs
The best time to visit Colorado Springs is when you’re able to enjoy the outdoors the most. For some, that might mean the warmer weather; but it can be an ideal wintertime getaway for others.
The summer is the peak travel time in Colorado Springs when most people take their vacations, but it’s also the hottest time of the year. Many people prefer traveling during the spring or the fall when the weather is slightly cooler, but still excellent for activities such as hiking and camping.
The fall is especially great for visiting Colorado Springs because of the colorful fall foliage.
Although the wintertime gets a lot of snow, the mountainous landscape makes it a popular skiing destination.