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Cortez, Colorado
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Golden, Colorado
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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South Fork, Colorado
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Fruita, Colorado

Colorado Springs Area

Enter an inviting gateway to a Rocky Mountain wonderland

Nestled between the east entrance to the towering Rocky Mountains and the expansive Great Plains, Colorado Springs serves up a diverse menu of one-of-a-kind travel experiences. Ranging from high-altitude outdoor adventure to relaxed urban leisure, the second-largest city in Colorado bursts with choices for travelers. Whether breathing crisp mountain air while taking in views of the Rockies, or exploring the array of historical attractions in town, visitors soon learn why Colorado Springs has been repeatedly voted as the best big city to live in by several national publications.

Before visiting Colorado Springs, be aware of the seasonal changes. Temperatures during the summer months can climb into 85-degree territory, while winters average a low of about 17 degrees.

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Colorado Tourism Office

Cadets and Rocks

Sports fans and athletes flock to Colorado Springs to visit the U.S. Olympic Complex, where world-class athletes, from swimmers to weightlifters to runners, train for Gold. Tours are available from June through August. Also training in Colorado Springs are Air Force cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Tours of the sprawling campus are available for visitors who want to learn how tomorrow’s military leaders are honed.

For visitors, it is nearly impossible to walk, drive or bike in any direction from downtown without encountering one of the region’s many unique attractions. A great place to start is Garden of the Gods, which is located within the city limits and showcases some of the most compelling geological formations in North America. These towering rock spires and surreal slabs have dazzled visitors throughout history, and they continue to draw sightseers by the thousands each year.

Awestruck by the jagged rock skyline, early Colorado Springs settlers likened the spectacle to a beer garden fit for the gods. These days, you’re more likely to encounter mortals enjoying sports drinks as they explore the 480-acre park.

After a day of mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking trails, a relaxing visit to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum allows the modern-day tourist to absorb the rich history of this western gateway town. Meanwhile, Old Colorado City preserves many of the original Old West buildings that provided early settlers with an anchor to westward expansion.

Mountains, Tigers and Shrines

Located just southwest of downtown Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain State Park covers 2,701 acres with an expansive network of hiking trails that lead visitors to fascinating rock formations and waterfalls. Cheyenne Mountain also houses the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, an underground military installation that once served as the nerve center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). After watching for free-roaming wildlife in the park, visitors can drop into the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, home to animals from across the globe, along with local wildlife. This is the only zoo in America built on the side of a mountain, and probably the only place in Colorado that allows visitors the opportunity to feed lettuce to a giraffe.

After seeing elephants and tigers, visitors can use their zoo ticket to access a toll road that leads to Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a five-story monument built in the memory of the American humorist. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the shrine boasts spectacular views of Colorado Springs and showcases fascinating exhibits of the famed entertainer.

Built in a distinctive Romanesque Revival style, the shrine contains a set of Westminster chimes, which can be heard throughout the Broadmoor valley as they strike the quarter-hour each day. A chapel located at the base of the structure allows access to a display of 15th-century European art. For those who enjoy artistic exhibits of a more modern variety, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is only a mile north of downtown.

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Excursions to Rocky Mountain Peaks and Valleys

Pikes Peak, one of the highest summits in the United States beyond the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, lies 10 miles outside of Colorado Springs. Delivering awe-inspiring views of the Rockies from its staggering height of 14,115 feet, the Pikes Peak summit can be reached by switchback toll road, but many prefer to take the leisurely cog railway ride up this “fourteener” (a title given to Colorado’s fifty-plus mountains that rise more than 14,000 feet above sea level). Snowfall, thunderstorms and lightning are not uncommon during summer months.

Adventurers seeking a truly stunning visual experience should visit Cave of the Winds, an all-accessible attraction where photographers and sightseers can get up close and personal with gorgeous rock formations without having to hike up the side of a mountain.

For More Information

Visit Colorado Springs

www.visitcos.com

800-888-4748

 

Colorado Tourism Office

800-265-6723

www.colorado.com