Snow-capped mountains, challenging hikes, unique outdoor landscapes, plus much more- Colorado Springs has long been a beacon for anyone that wants to experience the best of outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer. Colorado Springs located an hour drive south of Denver on I-25 and is nestled into the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Since Colorado Springs is so close to the mountains, visitors have a plethora of outdoor attractions when it comes to visiting this beautiful spot of the state. Home to majestic Pikes Peak, the Manitou Incline, Garden of the Gods, and dozens of other unique attractions, Colorado Springs has plenty to offer tourists and locals alike. The problem is deciding what to do when there is so much to offer! Here, we look at three amazing outdoor attractions around the Colorado Springs area that are great for both families and individuals alike.
Pikes Peak, known as “America’s Mountain” was the inspiration of “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates in the late 1800’s. At an amazing 14,115 feet high, Pikes Peak can be seen from nearly everywhere in Colorado Springs, over 100 miles away. The towering mountain has a postcard view summit that can rival the best views in the United States. Plus, it is easy to get to the top by either driving, or for the truly adventurous, hiking the 26 miles up and down.
For those who are up for a hike they’ll never forget, the Manitou Incline fits the bill perfectly. To accomplish the task of getting from the base to the top, hikers must ascend 2,774 steps and overcome an average incline of 45% to a maximum steepness of 68%. That is near vertical! This hike is not for the weak of heart and can take all day to complete. Even the fittest climbers take a half hour or more to complete the one-mile hike. People that are not acclimated to the elevation or those who are not in shape should listen to their bodies, as it is very hard to reach the top then take the multi-mile hike back down Barr Trail. For those that want to come down early, the easiest place is the false summit, where the Barr Trail that goes to the top of Pikes Peak connects with the incline, for a nice gradual hike down. The Manitou Incline is located on the same road as the summit to Pikes Peak.
Garden of the Gods
One of Colorado Springs’ most spectacular free attractions is the Garden of the Gods park, which is located no more than a 15-minute drive from downtown Colorado Springs. In the early 1970’s, Garden of the Gods was designated a National Natural Landmark. It features dozens of astounding 300-foot vertical rock red sandstone formations, as well as many other interesting monuments such as a balancing rock that hangs precariously over a road, seemingly ready to fall over at any time. Some activities include rock climbing, 15 miles of hiking, bike riding, tours by horseback as well as some of the most amazing natural scenery in the state! Nearly everywhere in the park has an up-close and personal view of Pikes Peak.
Overall, Colorado Springs is one of the most amazing cities in Colorado for those that want to experience all that the wonderful state has to offer. Three of the most amazing attractions that are great for outdoor enthusiasts include experiencing the summit view of Pikes Peak, rewarding yourself with an amazing hike at the Manitou Incline and staring up at the vertical rock-spires at Garden of the Gods.
This article has been sponsored by Colorado Springs CVB.