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Colorado Springs and Southeastern Colorado

Colorado Springs and Southeastern Colorado Itineraries

Colorado Gold Towns of Cripple Creek and Victor

Colorado Springs for Families with Kids

Colorado Springs in 2 Days

Weekend Adventuring Near Colorado Springs

Hike among the Gods, climb "America's Mountain" and descend 1,000 feet into a gold mine

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In 1806, Zebulon Pike “discovered” the 14,115-foot peak that bears his name although many Native American tribes gathered at its base for many years. Today, Colorado Springs, which sits at the base of the mountain, and the surrounding region hosts many of the most visited and entertaining attractions in Colorado.

This city is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy (the second-most popular tourist attraction in Colorado) and the red-rock filled Garden of the Gods, filled with gentle hikes and spires that attract rock climbers. Spend a day on the train chugging its way to the top of Pikes Peak for a spectacular view almost to Kansas on a clear day. Hiking trails surround the city and climb up the mountainsides.

Walk through 800-year-old cliff dwellings in nearby Manitou Springs, or shop in the Old Colorado City Historic District. Take the kids to see the tigers and elephants at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, or walk up the 224 steps alongside Seven Falls. The Springs is the home of the first United States Olympic Training Center, where athletes like to train because of the high altitude. Don’t be surprised if you see some famous Olympians while touring the Center. If you’re adventurous, ride a bike down  Pikes Peak, or ride the zip lines at The Broadmoor’s Soaring Adventure.


Itineraries for touring Colorado Springs

If you want to spend one or two days here, this Colorado Springs in 2 Days itinerary will give you lots of ideas. Bringing the children? Colorado for Families with Kids lists places where you and the kids will have a good time. Does the Wild West and gold mining history interest you? Head to the old mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor.

Leave time to sip the mineral water in fountains on neighboring Manitou Springs’ Main Street, on your way to drive or ride up Pikes Peak. This tourist-oriented town has several attractions, including Cave of the Winds and Manitou Cliff Dwellings.

Drive around the back side of Pikes Peak and you can visit two old mining towns, Cripple Creek, where the old stores and brothels now house casinos, and nearby Victor.  Both have interesting remnants of the Old West, and you can even go 1,000 feet underground to tour the Molly Kathleen Gold Mine.

This video is a public relations pitch by the city’s tourism office but it does give you a sense of what you can see and do.


When To Go

Summer and fall are the best times to visit Colorado Springs because there’s so much to do in the city, in nearby Manitou Springs and Pikes Peaks. All of the tourist attractions are open, and it’s easy to drive up into the mountains.

It doesn’t often go far below freezing in Colorado Springs.  The temperatures range from an average of 42 degrees Fahrenheit in December and January to 84 degrees in July.  But, when the sun is out no matter what the season, it often feels much hotter.

Dress in Colorado Springs is generally casual for tourists. Locals know to keep a fleece top, sweater, windbreaker or jacket in the car in the spring, summer or fall, in case there’s a big change of temperature within a few hours.

Colorado Springs is in the Rocky Mountain Time Zone. Locals know to keep a fleece top, sweater, windbreaker or jacket in the car in the spring, summer or fall, in case there’s a big change of temperature within a few hours.

How Much Time To Spend

Colorado Springs is a good base for exploring. Garden of the Gods is within the city limits, as well as several interesting museums. Within easy driving distance, you have many options, include the US Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Cripple Creek and Denver.  There are several tourist attractions designed specifically for families.

Four days will give you a chance to visit many of these options and play a round of golf or take a hike in the summertime.

High and Low Season

Summer and fall are the best times to visit Colorado Springs because there’s so much to do in the city, in nearby Manitou Springs and Pikes Peaks. All of the tourist attractions are open, and it’s easy to drive up into the mountains.

If business is taking you to Colorado Springs in the wintertime, there are plenty of museums to explore when you’re not a work.

Weather and Climate

It doesn’t often go far below freezing in Colorado Springs.  The temperatures range from an average of 42 degrees Fahrenheit in December and January to 84 degrees in July.  But, when the sun is out no matter what the season, it often feels much hotter.

If you plan on heading into the mountains, for example taking the train up Pikes Peak, or visiting Cripple Creek, be sure to take a fleece top, jacket or sweater because it will be cooler.

Time Zone

Colorado Springs is in the Rocky Mountain Time Zone.

What To Pack and Wear

Dress in Colorado Springs is generally casual for tourists.

Locals know to keep a fleece top, sweater, windbreaker or jacket in the car in the spring, summer or fall, in case there’s a big change of temperature within a few hours.

What it Costs

Abstract Pricing at a Glance

Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We don’t want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.

Price ranges are quoted in $US.

See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
Free
$ => Tickets less than $10 per person
$$ => Tickets $11-25 per person
$$$ => Tickets $26 per person

Sleep
$ => Rooms less than $100 for a double
$$ => Rooms $200 for a double
$$$ => Rooms $300 for a double

Eat
$ => $1-15 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$ => $16-40 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$$ => $41 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)

Shop
N/A => Not applicable

Tours
$ => Tickets less than $10 per person
$$ => Tickets $11-25 per person
$$ => Tickets $26 per person

Transportation

Colorado Springs is easy to reach via flights or car.

It’s approximately an hour’s drive from Denver. Several airlines fly into the  Colorado Springs airport at the edge of the city, and Denver International Airport is 1 1/2 hours away.

Interstate 25 runs through the heart of Colorado Springs.

Background

History

The American Indian Ute, Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations were the first to visit this region. Various tribes often camped in the red-rock canyon and drank the mineral waters bubbling up in Manitou Springs for their health.

This region was claimed by both the French and the Spanish until France sold the Louisiana Territory to President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. In 1806, Zebulon Montgomery Pike came here to explore and map the new territory, and even tried to climb Pikes Peak in the early winter.  He didn’t succeed but his journals, published in 1801 gave others the desire to travel here.

The town of Colorado Springs was founded in 1871 to be a “Little London,” because so many English tourists came to see Pikes Peak and the “Wild West.”  Although its founder, General William Jackson, had this idea of creating a genteel town, the reality proved different. In part, it was because of the activities and influences in neighboring Colorado City, where many of the residents were less than refined. It was easy to cross the city line for “entertaining” pursuits.

Colorado City had been founded as a supply town in 1859 for miners traveling over the Ute Pass to reach the mines in South Park. Then, gold was discovered in Cripple Creek and Victor, ensuring another gold rush. Soon, much of the gold was processed at the Golden Cycle Mill in Colorado City. In 1917, the city was incorporated into Colorado Springs. Today, the Historic Old Colorado district is filled with shops and restaurants that attract tourists.

In the late 1880s, the dry climate at the base of Pikes Peak attracted tuberculosis victims who came to breathe the clear air.  A few of the wide streets in the city still have the houses with big porches where the patients sat to breath in the clean air.Some of the sanitariums designed to treat the ill gradually evolved into today’s major hospitals.

Today, there’s a strong military presence in the city.  Fort Carson, a U.S. Army base, is here, as well as NORAD, which is built inside Cheyenne Mountain. The U.S. Air Force Academy, the second-most visited site in Colorado, lies to the north.

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