Garden of the Gods
Cool rock formation
Recognized as a National Natural Landmark, Garden of the Gods is a wonder to behold. The unique red rock formations came to be millions of years ago, as a result of geological turbulence along a Colorado fault line. People have been visiting the site since 1330 BC. Today, the attractions include hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and more. There is a visitor’s center that details the history of Garden of the Gods, as well as educates on local plant and wildlife, geology, and more. The center also hosts occasional programs and events for children, students, and adults. Be sure to take photos with the ‘Sentinel Spines’ and the ‘Balanced Rock,’ two of the most popular, and awe-inspiring formations.
Helen Hunt Falls | ©Patrick Kuhl/Flickr
Helen Hunt Falls
Waterfall and creek
Named after activist and poet Helen Maria Hunt, the Helen Hunt Falls is an extremely popular hiking destination that provides views of beautiful waterfalls. Some trails are steeper than others, but you can get in a workout and enjoy the fresh outdoors all at once. And, when you get to the top, you’ll receive panoramic views of the entire city. It’s simply breathtaking. Helen Hunt Falls is a great outing for families and even pets if they are on a leash. There are also picnic areas scattered about the park for when you want to take a lunch break. Be sure to take caution driving along the narrow roads of the canyon, and arrive early in the day during busy summer months since there’s very limited parking available.
Helen Hunt Falls, 3440 N. Cheyenne Canyon Rd. Colorado Springs, CO, USA, +1 719 633 5701
Seven Falls | ©Brandi Korte/Flickr
Colorful lights and water
Owned by the Broadmoor Resort, Seven Falls is a natural 1,250-foot wall-box canyon with seven waterfalls reaching heights of up to 181 feet. For spectacular views, climb up 224 steps, which will lead you to numerous hiking trails and stream banks. You’ll be so close that mist from the cascading water will hit your face. After an invigorating hike up the steps, and then back down the trails, you’ll find yourself at Restaurant 1858. The fine dining facility is run by the resort and is located at the foot of the falls. Enjoy bison roast, venison sausage, prime rib, and other hearty dishes. The Broadmoor also hosts a zip lining over the falls, so you can get a great view from above without all of the strenuous physical activity. Make sure you stop by Seven Falls in the evening to see the waterfalls illuminated with LED lights.
Dog at Bear Creek Dog Park | ©Chris Doelle/Flickr
Bear Creek Dog Park
Exceptionally large dog park
Bear Creek Dog Park is the perfect place to bring your furry friend for an off-leash adventure. The 25-acre park is fenced in, allowing you and your pet to roam about freely. Explore the outdoors and let your dog walk along the trails, swim in the creek, drink from the dog-friendly fountains, or run out in the open grass. Bear Creek also features an agility training area, a sectioned off 2-acre area reserved for smaller and senior dogs, and a facility for dog bathing. Visit Bear Creek for a fun time with man’s best friend.
Monument Valley Park | ©Christopher Rosenberger/Flickr
Monument Valley Park
Recreational neighborhood park
This historic Colorado Springs park was first established in the early 1900s, along with the bubbling Monument Creek. Created by General Palmer, Monument Valley features vibrant flower gardens, walking paths, running trails, ponds, playgrounds for children, volleyball, tennis courts, and beautiful bridges. The park was victim to a flood in 1935, but the 1914 swimming pool remained intact and is still used to this day, during warm months throughout the year. Take a stroll, ride your bike, enjoy a picnic lunch with the family, or play a friendly game of Frisbee out on the lawn. The popular neighborhood locale is frequently used as a venue for special events, including outdoor concerts, festivals, and private parties.
Monument Valley Park, 170 W. Cache La Poudre St. Colorado Springs, CO, USA, +1 719 385 5940
By: Shyla Watson