Unforgettable Day Trips from Colorado Springs

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Colorado Springs is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Rocky Mountains, this vibrant city offers a gateway to breathtaking landscapes and outdoor activities. While Colorado Springs itself has much to offer, including the famous Garden of the Gods, there are numerous day trip options that allow you to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the region. In this guide, we will explore five unforgettable day trips from Colorado Springs that will take you on an exhilarating journey through diverse landscapes, from alpine meadows to ancient cliff dwellings. So, grab your hiking boots and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs

No visit to Colorado Springs is complete without a trip to Pikes Peak, one of the most famous mountains in the United States. Rising to an elevation of 14,115 feet, this iconic peak offers awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Drive or take the cog railway to the summit, where you can marvel at the endless sea of mountains and explore the visitor center.

After descending from Pikes Peak, venture to the charming town of Manitou Springs. Known for its natural mineral springs, eclectic shops, and art galleries, this vibrant community offers a unique blend of history and contemporary culture. Take a leisurely stroll along the Manitou Avenue, indulge in local cuisine, and don’t miss the chance to soak your feet in the mineral-rich waters of the Manitou Springs Mineral Spa.

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park

Embark on an unforgettable day trips from Colorado Springs to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, located just outside of Canon City, about an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs. The centerpiece of this destination is the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge, one of the highest suspension bridges in the world. Test your bravery as you cross the bridge, suspended 956 feet above the Arkansas River, and relish the stunning views of the gorge below.

Once you’ve explored the bridge, venture into the park and discover an array of thrilling attractions. Take a ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, a historic train that winds through the gorge, or hop on the Cloudscraper Zip Line for an adrenaline-pumping adventure. The park also features a visitor center, hiking trails, and a captivating aerial gondola ride that offers a unique perspective of the surrounding beauty.

Garden of the Gods and Red Rock Canyon Open Space

No visit to Colorado Springs is complete without exploring the natural wonders of the Garden of the Gods. This iconic park is a geological masterpiece, with towering red sandstone formations that create a dramatic backdrop against the Pikes Peak skyline. Spend the day hiking or biking through the park’s numerous trails, or join a guided nature walk to learn about the fascinating rock formations and the area’s rich history.

Adjacent to the Garden of the Gods lies the Red Rock Canyon Open Space, a hidden gem offering a quieter and less crowded outdoor experience. This vast expanse of red rock formations, canyons, and trails is perfect for hiking, rock climbing, or simply immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature. Don’t forget your camera, as the park provides breathtaking views of both the towering red cliffs and the Colorado Springs skyline.

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Embark on a journey back in time at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, located just west of Colorado Springs. This unique destination preserves an ancient ecosystem, featuring remarkably preserved fossils that date back 34 million years. Take a guided tour along the Petrified Forest Loop Trail, where you can witness fossilized giant redwood stumps and learn about the fascinating prehistoric life that once thrived here.

The visitor center offers interactive exhibits and educational programs that provide insights into the geological history of the area. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in a ranger-led program, where you can dig for fossils and gain a deeper understanding of the remarkable scientific discoveries made in this remarkable site.

Mesa Verde National Park

Embark on a longer day trip to Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in southwestern Colorado. While it requires a few hours’ drive from Colorado Springs, the journey is well worth the effort. This ancient archaeological wonder preserves the ruins of the ancestral Puebloan people, who inhabited the area for over 700 years.

Explore the impressive cliff dwellings, including the iconic Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Spruce Tree House, which provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the ancient inhabitants. Take a ranger-led tour to gain insights into the rich history and culture of the Puebloan people, or hike along the scenic trails that wind through the park’s diverse landscapes.


Colorado Springs serves as a launching pad for unforgettable day trips that will take you on a remarkable journey through the natural wonders of the region. Whether you choose to explore the towering peaks of Pikes Peak, marvel at the red sandstone formations in the Garden of the Gods, or immerse yourself in ancient history at Mesa Verde National Park, each day trip promises a unique and awe-inspiring experience. So, pack your sense of adventure and embark on a day trip from Colorado Springs to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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