When was the last time you unplugged? Sometimes, a Rocky Mountain getaway is just what you need to reset and restore your inner peace. Come reconnect with nature, dive into Western history, or seek out your next unforgettable adventure. No matter how you decide to spend your time, you’ll find endless things to do in Colorado Springs. Here are some unique activities to add to your bucket list!
Although some shops and restaurants are still closed due to COVID-19, many attractions are starting to open back up. Here are 10 exciting things to do in Colorado Springs right now!
10 Things to Do in Colorado Springs Today
1. Have a Doughnut 14,000 Feet in the Sky
What’s better than a doughnut? A doughnut with a view, of course! Nestled atop Pikes Peak, you’ll find a quaint gift shop that is world-renowned for its high altitude treats. In fact, it’s the only place in the world that bakes pastries above an elevation of 14,000 ft! Grab a hot doughnut (or five) and then head outside to enjoy unparalleled views from one of America’s highest elevations. Don’t forget your binoculars!
Pro tip: Make sure to eat your doughnuts immediately. They taste like pure magic when consumed at the summit. However, like all good things that must come to an end, they shrivel up when taken down to a lower altitude.
2. Hike Seven Bridges Trail
Are you looking for the best hikes near Colorado Springs? Make sure to add Seven Bridges Trail to the list! The 3.7-mile out-and-back trail features rickety wooden bridges, cascading streams, and beautiful mountain vistas around every turn. It’s a moderate hike, but if you want to take the difficulty up a notch, there are several areas for climbing and bouldering as well. Enjoy the views along the way!
After a great hike, make sure to check out the abandoned train tunnels at Gold Camp Road. Just a stone’s throw from Seven Bridges Trail, these “haunted” tunnels will give you all the thrills and chills. Both locals and visitors have claimed to see ghosts of children and visions of spectral trains here. Spooky stories aside, you’re bound to snap some interesting pics. Step inside if you dare!
3. Visit the Paint Mines for an “Out of This World” Adventure
Would you like to explore Colorado Springs off-the-beaten-path? Just beyond the city limits, away from the crowds and the tourist traps, lies one of the world’s most extraordinary natural wonders: The Paint Mines. Many visitors are unaware that this hidden gem even exists, but that’s all part of the appeal. Here, you’ll discover colorful landscapes, spectacular geological formations, and miles of trails just waiting to be explored.
The Paint Mines are named for their unique clay deposits, which contain iron oxides that paint the landscape vibrant reds, yellows, purples and blues. As you navigate the colorful maze of rock formations, it’s easy to imagine that you’ve traveled to another planet entirely. But don’t take our word for it; you’ll just have to come experience it for yourself!
4. Explore Garden of the Gods
If there’s one thing you absolutely must do during your stay in The Springs, it’s tour Garden of the Gods. This National Natural Landmark is the most visited attraction around – and for good reason! From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted by postcard-perfect views of towering red rocks and clear blue skies. Take a drive through the park, get out and hike, or saddle up and go horseback riding for an even more exciting adventure. Just make sure to bring your camera; there is no shortage of Insta-worthy backdrops here!
5. Conquer the Manitou Incline
Are you up for a challenge? Get your adrenaline pumping with a hike up the Manitou Incline. Not for the faint of heart, this extremely grueling trailhead is a popular training site for Olympic athletes and adrenaline junkies alike. The trail is approximately one mile long, but don’t let the short distance fool you. Once a railroad track, this difficult hike consists of 2,744 steep steps to the summit. If you can make it to the top, the views are well worth the climb. Bring lots of water!
6. Chase Waterfalls
Your Rocky Mountain getaway just wouldn’t be complete without seeing a waterfall or two. Luckily, Colorado Springs has its fair share of beautiful waterfalls! While the ever-popular Broadmoor Seven Falls is temporarily closed, there are three other falls to add to your bucket list.
If you’re not interested in a long hike, start with Rainbow Falls. Located on Fountain Creek in Manitou, the falls are aptly named for the colorful graffiti painted on the surrounding canyon walls and overhead bridge. If you visit during the right time of day, you can even see rainbows reflecting off the water.
For a more challenging waterfall hike, make sure to check out Helen Hunt Falls or St. Mary’s Falls. While you can drive right up to Helen Hunt Falls, there is also a moderate trail that offers stunning mountain vistas. You’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views from the top!
7. Enjoy a Sky-High Hot Air Balloon Ride
Want to take your vacation to new heights? Embark on a hot air balloon ride with Adventures Out West to see Colorado Springs from a whole new perspective! As you soar above the clouds, you’ll see where the plains meet the mountains and the sky meets the Earth. No two trips are the same, so buckle up and enjoy the ride! Afterwards, indulge in a champagne toast to commemorate your amazing excursion.
8. Hit the Shops at Manitou
When it comes to the best shopping in Colorado Springs, look no further than Manitou. Located at the base of Pikes Peak, this charming alpine village is filled with specialty mountain stores, delicious eateries, boutiques, and outdoor retailers. Browse for one-of-a-kind paintings and sculptures, play a game at the Penny Arcade, or find unique souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Whether you’re looking to shop, dine, or play, you’ll find endless things to do in Manitou Springs.
Are you looking for things to do in downtown Colorado Springs? Check out this list to see which local businesses are currently open.
9. Brave the Whitewater Rapids
If adventure is what you seek, you’re sure to find it on the thundering rapids of a Colorado river. There are two main areas to go whitewater rafting near The Springs: The Arkansas River and Royal Gorge. The Arkansas River is a great choice for both family-friendly excursions and high adventure experiences. But for the ultimate in world-class whitewater rafting, Royal Gorge may be more your speed. With challenging class IV – V rapids, huge waves, and steep vertical drops, it promises to be a wild ride every time. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
10. Go Sand Boarding
Colorado may be famous for its ski slopes, but in the summertime, it’s all about the dunes! The Great Sand Dunes National Park is just a 3-hour drive from Colorado Springs. If you’ve never tried sandboarding, then you must take a day trip and experience it for yourself! Rent boards from the park’s shop, or bring your own, and race your friends down the tallest sand dunes in North America. The park is also a popular area for hiking, swimming, horseback riding, biking, fishing, and stargazing.
Girl, Book the Trip!
Now that you know about the coolest things to do in Colorado Springs, it’s time to pack your bags! Get those hiking boots laced up, put your adventure hat on, and get that selfie stick ready. After all, the mountains are calling and you must go. So, what are you waiting for? Girl, book the trip! We can’t wait to hear about the amazing time you had.
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