Colorado Springs Outdoor Adventures: 8 Things to Do
Ranked among the best cities for active lifestyles, Colorado Springs offers different activities for a full range of interests and skills. From mountain biking and climbs to a zoo and rides in the sky, area visitors can’t resist spending time outside. So much so, the city also ranks among the fittest cities in America. Interested in trying something new? Check out the top Colorado Springs outdoor adventures.
Colorado Springs Outdoor Adventures: 8 Things to Try on Vacation
Hike or Bike Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak — one of Colorado Springs’ top outdoor attractions — welcomes nature lovers to visit ‘America’s Mountain’ and over 14,000 feet of majestic views. In fact, the mountain rises 8,000-plus feet above the city and has a 30-degree temperature difference from top to bottom.
Hikers should note Pikes Peak is a challenge. The trail measures 13.5 miles one way, with an uphill gain of over 7,400 feet. When hiking, bring everything needed for a full-day adventure. Essentials include: water, food, layered clothing, first-aid kit, GPS, map, compass and phone.
For a custom adventure — suited for beginners and experts — book a bike tour with Challenge Unlimited. The tour company offers two options: van up, bike down, and Jeep up, bike down. Each allow riders to enjoy a comfortable journey up the mountain and an easier ride back down to base. The downhill ride measures 19.5 miles, and these tours suit all ages and abilities.
Admire Garden of the Gods
This registered National Natural Landmark features 300 feet of sandstone with Pikes Peak in the background. Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center offers different programs based on interest and ability. Visitors can try front-range climbing, Jeep and Segway tours, bike rides, classes and presentations.
Outdoor adventurers also find a total of 15 miles of hiking trails, easily broken into smaller trails measuring 1 to 3 miles. After admiring the scenery, head inside to see inactive exhibits. The on-site museum helps guests learn about the area’s geology, ecology and culture.
Zipline Seven Falls
Seven Falls – one of Colorado’s most famous waterfalls – draws thousands of visitors who enjoy dramatic landscapes and clear waters.
One of the top ways to see Seven Falls is ziplining with The Broadmoor, a local resort. Their souring adventure consists of 10 ziplines divided by two courses, ranging from 300 to 1,800 feet. In addition to ziplines, visitors enjoy hiking, bridges and a 180-foot rappel. Individual courses take two hours, or zipline the full course in four hours.
Climb, Climb, Climb
With so many natural attractions, Colorado Springs ranks among the best places for rock climbing in Colorado. To get started, Front Range Climbing Company offers several rock-climbing excursions during cold and warm-weather seasons.
In summer and early fall, climb Garden of the Gods, Red Rock Canyon and North Cheyenne Canon. Winter welcomes thrill-seekers to ice climb. Front Range hosts guided ice-climbs at private locations, Silver Cascade near Helen Hunt Falls, and Clear Creek Canyon outside Denver.
Venture Off Road
Explore rugged terrain on a 4X4 tour, one of the most popular Colorado Springs outdoor adventures. Several companies offer Jeep tours that ride through different areas and visit top sites. Guests can join a guided ride or rent their own Jeep, and head into the mountains. In addition to Jeep tours, guests also book ATV rides and go river rafting.
Go Wild at the Zoo
For a low-key day, head to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Visitors explore 146 acres home to over 750 animals. The zoo is separated into distinct areas, including aquatics, encounter Africa, monkey pavilion, Rocky Mountain wild and the loft. While journeying through the zoo, expect to see giraffes, elephants, orangutans, moose and hundreds more.
In addition to learning about animals, ride the carousel and sky ride, get hands-on with zoo experts, and walk through an aviary with free-flight birds.
While many know Colorado Springs for its mountain ruggedness, golfers have plenty of green space, too. The area has over a dozen golf courses with challenging games, scenic views and mountain backdrops.
Golfers have private, public and semi-private options, providing players variety in game and atmosphere. Top Colorado Springs golf courses include: Patty Jewett Municipal, Valley Hi, Broadmoor Club and Garden of the Gods Club.
Among the most unforgettable Colorado Springs outdoor adventures is a hot-air balloon ride. Imagine stepping into a basket and soaring high above the landscape. Sound tempting? Two popular picks are Rainbow Ryders and Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides.
Rainbow Ryders offers sunrise balloon rides every day. Visitors book a private or group ride, and see the area’s majesty. Colorado Hot Air offers daily sunrise flights or group flights during early summer and early fall.