Old Colorado City is one of the oldest cities in Colorado, and is the oldest city in the Pikes Peak Region. The city was established in 1859 and became the capitol of the Colorado Territory in 1861. Annexed in 1917 to Colorado Springs and in 1977 became the Springs' only historic distric. Brought into being by the gold rush, oil boom, destructive fires, wars with the Native Americans, high society balls, parlor houses, and saloons are but a few remaining mementos of Old Colorado. To the south side of Colorado Avenue one would find saloons, brothels, and on the North, more respectable businesses. Connecting the two sides were roughly 12 miles of underground tunnels that allowed the upstanding gentlement to frequent the seedier side without being seen. Besides its history, the historic district boasts its brick sidewalks, 100 year old buildings, that hold an assortment of sidewalk cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and shops. Conveniently located next to Manitou Springs and the Garden of the Gods, its bustling with tourism. Lots of festivities during holiday seasons. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
About a half hour west of Colorado Springs is this National Monument. Start off at the visitor center to see a number of specimans that were found within the monument. From there, take one or two of the trails out into the monument itself. Bring water along on hot days! Depending on which trail you pick, you'll see some of the fossil tree stumps or areas where the original fossil digs were performed. Many signs throughout the park warning about not searching for your own fossils - if you must, there are privately owned digs that surround the monument. Cost is a mere $2 to get into the park, and hiking through the mountains is worth this price of admission alone.
Palmer Park is one of the cities most prominent landmarks. It is located right in the heart of the city and provides a wonderful variety of hiking and biking opportunities. The area was donated by General Palmer for the enjoyment of all the citizens way back in the early 1900s.
For additional photos visit the website listed below, or go to www.springsgov.com to get more park information.
A pricey, but cute small cave with some the scenic gems of mineral growth in Colorado. Beautiful overlook of the canyon and rich with history, this rustic cave has a short tour and fun stories to go with it. Alternatively you can do the lantern tour to get a taste of what exploring the cave by lantern was like. While I'm spoiled by famous caves like Carlsbad Caverns ... if you're in the area, its worth a gander if you've got the bucks to spend. I would recommend they drop their prices ... but overall me and my daughter had fun. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Monarch Mountain, Colorado
A beautiful powder mountain great for a Colorado hide-a-way from the crowded resorts. This mountain rocks. Plus its one of the more affordable mountains in Colorado. With typical Colorado rates at $70-100/ticket at places like Aspen and Vail, you can get tickets from $27-49 at Monarch. It's where the locals ski. Great trails, great slopes, and good service. Highly recommended. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
It's a State Park near Cripple Creek, one or two hours far from Colorado Springs. There are several hiking trails and the views you can have over the valleys are really breathtaking.
At night with the full moon the rangers could take you for a hike looking for bears.
The Air Force Academy is currently open to visitors.
Visitors to the Academy must enter through the North Gate, which can be accessed from Exit 156B on Interstate 25, 14 miles north of downtown Colorado Springs.
Other areas open to visitors include the Cadet Chapel, the Field House, Arnold Hall and the Honor Court.
The Visitors Center is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day.
The Cadet Chapel is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday with periodic closings for chapel events.
Motorcyclists must wear helmets upon entering Academy grounds.
Ute Pass is generally regarded as an area along US Highway 24 from Old Colorado City through Manitou Springs, Cascade, Green Mountain Falls, and Woodland Park. This pass through the mountains was originally blazed by the Ute Indians, then used by the Spanish explorers and white settlers. The region is now a popular resort area.
Two mails of self-guiding nature trails along Bear Creek in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Wildlife is abundant in the area, but you probably won't see much unless you're there at dawn or dusk. (No pets permitted on trails.)
As I said, keep your dogs on leashes. They don't, by law, have to be, but if your dogs are not under control, you can get in trouble. I once got scratched and nearly bit by some idiot's big dogs. Had I gotten bit, the dog would have been killed... by me... ok not really :) But the owners would have been in trouble because their dogs weren't under control. They didn't bother to apologize. Palmer Park is great, though I've had some problems with it.
Palmer Park offers a great and varied selection of trails. This Park is huge, though in the city. Off one side you see Pike's Peak and downtown. Off the other side, it almost looks like Mexico. It is a great trail system, although some of the people here are ***-retentive morons. Drive in, bike, hike... trails from easy groomed to technical off-road biking. And such a large area too. Lot's of people. Access is either from Austin Bluffs Parkway or, Paseo, which bisects the park. All the trails are good.
This is a great trail, close into the city, easily accessible, and very well maintained. It's all gravel. This trail runs, I think, all the way to Pueblo, Colorado. There are problems, including homeless people who have attacked people even in broad daylight, but on nice days there are so many people out that the trail is safe. Unsafe sections would be closer to downtown where there is much less traffic.
The road almost turns to dirt when you arrive at the trailhead for section 16, Bear Creek. This is a good trail, with great views of the city. I biked it, of course, and I must say that it does a lot of 'up' and little flat. Of course, going back it's all downhill. But it is steep, rocky in parts. A good trail had I the energy for it. Recommended. Garden of the Gods is visible in this photo.
A non-descript parking lot opens onto a trail leading to silence. Silence filled not with engine noise and pollutants, but a silence, truly without sound. This is Waldo Canyon, one of the best hiking trails in Colorado Springs. Except for gunshots eminating from a local shooting range (well out of range of the trail), there is no sound but footsteps. I decided to bike this trail, which makes it harder. But it is well-cleared and fairly easy. Highly recommended.
One of the best hikes I've had was in North Cheyenne Canyon. Granted it was off the beaten path, literally, but alert people like myself can do that withour risking much damage to the surrounding area. It was really cool. Also, I've hiked and biked around the Garden of the Gods area which is cool. There are lots of tourists by the rocks, but if you get away some, it gets better, and prettier.