Colorado Springs is the Olympic City USA, a bustling town full of culture and above all else, a pure haven of hiking and cycling trails – a real paradise for lovers of the great outdoors.Read More
Colorado Springs is a city for those who are most comfortable on a dusty trail, wearing a pair of hiking boots and surrounded by natural beauty. The Garden of the Gods is probably the best known natural landmark – as dramatically named as it is beautiful. The garden is home to a remarkable formation of spear-like red rocks, sandstone pillars surrounded by green forests. Some of the rocks reach up to 300ft (91m), and there are plenty of viewing points along a range of hiking loops. Look behind the Garden of the Gods and you’ll see the mighty Pikes Peak. Known locally as America’s mountain, Pikes Peak stands at a lofty 14,115ft (4,302m). This is no mere day hike – it's the highest summit on the southern front of the Rocky Mountains, but is super accessible from Colorado Springs, about 12mi (19km) west of downtown. You can hike to the top on the Barr Trail, taking on the challenging 13mi (21km) one-way trip, or you can also take the Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway all the way to the top, or drive up via the winding 19mi (31km) Pikes Peak Highway. Elsewhere, mix culture and the outdoors at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, where you’ll find a village built into the cliffs to resemble the legendary Mesa Verde National Park. It’s a fantastic spot to view the architecture of the ancient Anasazi and there are two museums on site. The options go on for natural beauty – the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is near the cliff dwellings and has via ferratas and zip lines, the Broadmoor Seven Falls is home to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Colorado and Red Rock Canyon Open Space is an incredible 1,474 acre (597ha) city park. Back in town, check out the Ghost Town Museum, a Wild West model town, or the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, exploring the cultural history of the area – that is, if you have any energy left after a day on the toasty trails of Colorado Springs.